Islamic “justice” in Mali
(The following commentary is taken from this article)
Things are going to hell in Mali, and a UN force will soon invade the country to restore order. Among the horrible things taking place in that country is the imposition of sharia law by the rebel Islamist government. The New York Times had a chilling piece yesterday on what happens when the Muslim faith gets the upper hand.
BAMAKO, Mali — Moctar Touré was strapped to a chair, blindfolded, his right hand bound tight to the armrest with a rubber tube. A doctor came and administered a shot. Then Mr. Touré’s own brother wielded a knife, the kind used to slaughter sheep, and methodically carried out the sentence.
Souleymane Traoré had his right hand cut off by Mr. Touré’s brother, a police chief in the Islamist-held north.
“I myself cut off my brother’s hand,” said Aliou Touré, a police chief in the Islamist-held north of this divided nation. “We had no choice but to practice the justice of God.”
Such amputations are designed to shock — residents are often summoned to watch — and even as the world makes plans to recapture northern Mali by force, the Islamists who control it show no qualms about carrying them out.
After the United Nations Security Council authorized a military campaign to retake the region last week, Islamists in Gao, Mr. Touré’s town, cut the hands off two more people accused of being thieves the very next day, a leading local official said, describing it as a brazen response to the United Nations resolution. Then the Islamists, undeterred by the international threats against them, warned reporters that eight others “will soon share the same fate.”
This harsh application of Shariah law, with people accused of being thieves sometimes having their feet amputated as well, has occurred at least 14 times since the Islamist takeover last spring, not including the recent vow of more to come, according to Human Rights Watch and independent observers.
But those are just the known cases, and dozens of other residents have been publicly flogged with camel-hair whips or tree branches for offenses like smoking, or even for playing music on the radio. Several were whipped in Gao on Monday for smoking in public, an official said, while others said that anything other than Koranic verses were proscribed as cellphone ringtones. A jaunty tune is punishable by flogging.
At least one case of the most severe punishment — stoning to death — was carried out in the town of Aguelhok in July against a couple accused of having children out of wedlock.
Flogging for a cellphone ringtone, and stoning to death—a horrible way to go—for having a child while unmarried! Only religion could mandate things like that. And the amputations can be prolonged, too:
Moctar Touré had his hand amputated several weeks later. He said it took 30 minutes, though he fainted in the process, awakening in the hospital bed where the Islamists had placed him afterward.Mr. Touré said his brother had insisted that the sentence be carried out.
“They asked my own brother three times if that was the sentence,” Mr. Touré said. “He’s the commissioner of police in Gao, and he wants to die a martyr,” Mr. Touré said quietly. “He joined up with the Islamists when they came to Gao.”
Here is Souleymane Traoré, whose right hand was amputated by Mr. Touré’s brother, a police chief:
Photo by Joe Penney for The New York Times
Islamists ‘buying child soldiers, imposing Sharia’
Islamists who seized control of part of Mali are amassing money from ransoms and drug trafficking while imposing Sharia law, says a senior UN official.
They are also buying child soldiers, paying families $600 (£375) per child, Ivan Simonovic said after a fact-finding visit to the country.
Islamic extremists seized two-thirds of Mali in March when a military coup plunged the country into chaos.
Mr Simonovic painted a grim picture of human rights abuses there.
Women’s rights were being particularly restricted, said Mr Simonovic, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, citing the compilation of a “frightening” list of unmarried women who were pregnant or had borne children.
More women were being forced into marriage - with a wife costing less than $1,000 - and some were then being resold in “a smokescreen for enforced prostitution”, added Mr Simonovic.
“Human rights violations are becoming more systematic,” he told reporters at UN headquarters in New York, adding that Islamists had “imposed an extremist version of Sharia”.
Amputations and floggings
The fact-finding mission gleaned information from people travelling to and from northern Mali, where he said Islamists were imposing harsher punishments for crimes.
So far, he said, there had been three public executions, eight amputations and two floggings.
There were allegations of torture and inhuman prison conditions in southern Mali, where the government retains control, Mr Simonovic added.
Every day the religion of peace is in the news..
I was debating with myself whether to use countries with Sharia Law or countries dominated by muslims in this one. I decided to go with Sharia Law, since I suppose muslims would argue that without Sharia Law, you can’t have a proper Islamic society.
I can’t say I’m all too surprized about the results, but I was surprized about Japan. I thought Japan was a very respectful place, but it appears I thought wrong.
Are people better off under Sharia Law?
There are 25 countries with some degree of Sharia Law imposed. 18 of these have Sharia Law imposed at the State level, 3 at the regional level, and 3 at the family law level. I could not include Somalia (regional level) due to a lack of data, leaving a total of 24 Sharia Law countries to work with.
For comparison, I have taken the 24 most irreligious countries in terms of percentage of population, based on Gallop data. Hong Kong is included as part of China in the Gallop data, so technically it could mean 25 countries are included.
The question essentially is the following: Rate your life today on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst possible life and 10 being the best possible life.
With these national averages, I have then grouped them and provided an overall average score for each group.
Source is Gallop Worldview using the data on the question ‘Life today’.
Countries in picture are sorted first by degree of implementation of sharia law (i.e. State > Regional), then by irreligion or muslim percentage.
If I’ve made any mistakes in my data please inform me.