Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In 1958, Egyptians Laughed At Wearing the Hijab -- Today, Israel Has Sharia Courts

During a speech in 1958, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser entertained his audience with a story about a meeting he had with the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood 5 years earlier. He claimed the first request of the Muslim Brotherhood was to enforce the wearing of the hijab among women. Nasser's response to the leader had his audience roaring with laughter (English subtitles are in yellow at the top of the video).

Today, of course is a very different matter.

Not only is the wearing of the hijab and full burka found all over the Muslim world, but Islamic law itself -- administered by Sharia Courts -- can be found applied in the West as well.

In Europe, official recognition of Sharia Courts does not appear to be that widespread.
Needless to say in countries such as Great Britain, Germany and France, the idea of imposing the authority of Sharia law, albeit only on Muslims, has been controversial.

But there is one non-Muslim country where the use of Islamic courts has been expanded, without an outcry.

Just yesterday, Rivlin welcomes Israel’s new sharia judges in Jerusalem ceremony:
President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday welcomed Israel’s newest qadis (Muslim judges), telling them that the existence of state-supported Muslim religious courts highlights Israel’s commitment to upholding religious freedom and diversity.

“The authority of the sharia courts – as assured by Israeli law — to me reflects the fundamental principle that an attachment to faith, to tradition, to a culture and community, is not solely the issue of the individual,” Rivlin told the seven new qadis, who are appointed to sharia courts across the country, during a ceremony at his official Jerusalem residence.
President Reuven Rilvin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (center front) pose
with new Israeli sharia judges during a ceremony at the President's Residence
 in Jerusalem on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 (Mark Neyman/GPO)
The only limitation is that no women have been appointed as of yet. Last year a bill was proposed by the Zionist Union and Meretz along with the Joint (Arab) List faction to allow female appointees--but it was blocked by ultra-Orthodox ministers who feared it would set a legal precedent that might lead down the road to the appointment of female rabbinical judges in the religious Jewish courts.

Historically, Sharia Courts have always existed in Israel and date back to when the Ottoman Empire exercised control on the area. When the British took over, the courts remained, with jurisdiction limited to personal status issues among Muslims. With the re-establishment of Israel, Sharia Courts were recognized per the Law and Administration Ordinance and the Qadim Appointments Approval Law recognized the jurisdiction of the Qadis who served in the Sharia Courts before the State of Israel was created. Today they are under the authority of the Ministry of Justice.

And while in the West, Sharia Courts are a subject of controversy...

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