A Fatwa Too Far

A Court in Bangladesh has outlawed punishments handed down by islamic clerics who issue fatwas concerning the treatment of women in the county. The nation’s High Court made clear its concern about fatwas that justified beating and degrading women or even going so far as to have them killed for the manner in which they dressed or their behavior toward men. According to the High Court, “any person who issues or executes such an extra-judicial penalty must be punished for committing a criminal offence.” Among the most outrageous examples of such fatwas was the case of a 16 year old girl who was raped, and for the “crime” of getting herself assaulted was flogged a hundred times! This feudal mentality is too often found in villages in which a group of men decide what is correct behavior on the part of women.

We all too often forget that planet Earth contains billions of people living in a post industrial society while also giving home to a few billion who would be more comfortable being in the year, 1510.