Abusing Women, Abusing Islam: Re-Examining Sharia Court Rulings in Contemporary Times

This brief paper is an effort to expose how patriarchal and distorted interpretations of Sharia have been used to subjugate women and rob them of their fundamental rights, in direct opposition to the central teachings of Islam. In this paper, the Muslim Public Affairs Council presents three case studies involving abuses of Muslim women worldwide in the name of Islam. These cases have been widely reported and have been used as precedence for exploitative laws against women throughout the Muslim world. The cases are rooted in three typical cases involving women – child marriage, rape laws, and freedom of movement without a male chaperone. It is the hope of the authors that the analytical framework presented will provide diplomats, aid workers, and Muslims themselves with some crucial theological tools to be able to argue for the equal status of women using an Islamic framework.

Muslim Public Affairs Council