Posts Tagged ‘authority’

Malaysia and ‘religious authority’

July 23rd, 2012 Comments off, Just who is this ‘prominent’ Saudi Islamic scholar Umno is promoting? "The Internet’s wide reach is such that a name search of any prominent person would return a continuous stream of search engine results. Alas, that is not the case with one Sheikh Sulaiman Saloomi, being heralded by the pro-UMNO media as a prominent Saudi Arabian ulama from the holy city of Makkah."
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Is the PA afraid of third intifada?

July 2nd, 2012 Comments off

Amira Hass in Haaretz:

But handing out jobs in the security apparatus to thousands of young people without any educational or professional future, the solution the PA came up with in the 1990s and one to which they are clinging to today, does not really wipe out cumulative sociopolitical resentments, especially in the refugee camps. The economic gaps are now more apparent than ever, even when released prisoners are getting entitlements that are higher than ever.

The authority carried out a wave of arrests in May (which included Mu’ayyed and Zakaria ) and turned yesterday’s heroes into today’s criminal problem. At the same time it was glorifying the Palestinian prisoners who were on a hunger strike in Israeli prisons. Many of them are not only relatives and friends of those recently arrested by the Palestinian Authority, but like them, they too turned the gun, the symbol of machismo, into both capital and cult.

Thus the leadership of the PA is again sending out mixed messages and broadcasting dishonesty. The brutality of the arrests, no matter what the suspicions, shows that the PA is afraid of the social resentments, and as a preventive measure, is suppressing anyone it thinks may be a potential representative or leader. Or, as Alia Amer, the mother of Ziad and Mu’ayyed, says, “All the talk on TV [against the detainees] is meant to justify the positions of senior authority personnel.”

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Iraq parliament speaker threatens to oust premier

June 21st, 2012 Comments off

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 file photo, Iraq's Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi attends a meeting for the main Sunni-backed bloc in Baghdad, Iraq. The speaker of Iraq's parliament says the nation's prime minister must answer lawmakers' demands to unsnarl a political deadlock or face a vote to oust him from power. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)The speaker of Iraq's parliament declared Thursday that lawmakers are prepared to oust the nation's prime minister if he refuses to share authority with his political opponents and break a deadlock that has all but paralyzed the government.

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Korean team visits UAE's crisis management authority

June 20th, 2012 Comments off

A South Korean delegation has visited the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) national crisis management authority.
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UAE launches information exchange system for seizures

June 17th, 2012 Comments off

The United Arab Emirates' federal customs authority (FCA) has launched a new system to exchange information about seizures at all customs outlets across the state.
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Egypt’s Legal News of the Day

June 8th, 2012 Comments off

A friend who prefers to remain anonymous writes in about the Egyptian judiciary, which has been getting some flak lately:

In a landmark ruling today, a Cairo appeals court struck down air.  “We can find no legal basis in any Egyptian legal text for air. This lack of legality extends to various human activities connected with air, including breathing, use of vacuum cleaners, and parliamentary debates,” the three-judge panel stated in a written ruling. (The judges were unable to deliver the opinion orally because they were all holding their breath).  

The court deferred to a September session consideration of challenges lodged against windows, emoticons, ful for any meal other than breakfast, and Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

In other Egyptian legal news, the country’s Supreme Constitutional Court issued what legal observers have already termed a “continuous loop” judgment. The Court found itself unconstitutional. However, it argued, since it had no constitutional authority, its own ruling was invalid.  And if the Court’s finding of its own unconstitutionality had no constitutional standing, the Court actually did have full constitutional authority after all. And it would use that constitutional authority to find itself unconstitutional.  But then, since it had no constitutional authority, its own ruling was invalid.

The decision continued for 4000 pages before a printer jam prevented completion of the ruling.

Meanwhile, the parliament escalated its conflict with the judiciary following yesterday’s State Council ruling that Britain’s severance of Egypt from the Ottoman Empire in 1914 was legally invalid because it had been issued in English, which is not an official language. The Court had ordered that all Egyptian state institutions be disbanded as a result. By an overwhelming vote, parliamentarians reacted by repealing the original Ottoman conquest of Egypt, thus hoping to remove the court’s jurisdiction over Britain’s 1914 decision.  

The SCAF has also reacted to the State Council decision, posting on its Facebook page a statement declaring that the first existing Egyptian legal document, the Narmur palate, clearly gives ultimate political authority to the military and that all subsequent constitutional documents draw their authority from, and thus cannot contradict, that text.  

A Freedom and Justice deputy promptly filed suit in an administrative court to strike down the Narmur Palate as belonging to the gahiliyya.

More news tomorrow.

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Israel returns Palestinian bodies

May 31st, 2012 Comments off

Israel hands over to the Palestinian Authority the remains of 91 Palestinians who died carrying out attacks against Israel.
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Now, This is Just Getting Bloody Ridiculous . . .

May 10th, 2012 Comments off

 When we started the day, Egypt’s Administrative Court and its Electoral Commission were at odds over whether Ahmad Shafiq could run for President. Now we’re entering absurd territory, not to mention potentially explosive: a provincial Administrative Court has canceled the Presidential elections. This doesn’t look likely to stand: it was a subordinate court at Benha in Qalyubiyya Governorate, just north of Cairo, and it said that the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) did not have the constitutional authority to call elections, hence they were uncalled. But the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which does whatever it damned well pleases have such authority, delegated the authority to SPEC. The Benha court’s ruling will be appealed in Cairo tomorrow, and even if it ends up in the Supreme Constitutional Court, the head of that Court, Faruq Sultan, is also President of SPEC.

Given the violence last week and growing suspicions among Islamists about SCAF’s intentions, this could be an explosive moment if it isn’t reversed quickly. SPEC has already said it’s ignoring the ruling. (Not great in terms of respect for the rule of law, but probably wise.)

Can this whole thing get any more bizarre? (I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that.)

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Egypt military detains hundreds following violence

May 6th, 2012 Comments off

An Egyptian Army soldier sits atop an armored vehicle as workers clear away plywood and debris used by protesters during clashes outside the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 5, 2012. Lawyers say authorities have detained over 300 Egyptian protesters including 18 women following clashes outside the country's Defense Ministry, accused of attacking troops and disrupting public order.(AP Photo/Mahmoud Abd Al-Aziz)Egypt’s military officials moved swiftly Saturday to prosecute protesters they blamed for an attack on the Defense Ministry, in an attempt to put down increasingly violent protests against their authority just weeks before the country’s presidential election.

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Lebanon debates laws protecting women from domestic violence: Zambarakji

March 13th, 2012 Comments off

Angie Zambarakji writes at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Analysis: Lebanon debates laws protecting women from domestic violence

by Angie Zambarakji

Domestic violence cases in Lebanon are currently dealt with by religious courts

‘My first wife didn’t obey me so I had to hit her repeatedly. I disfigured her; I broke her nose and cut off all her hair. Then I repudiated her. My second wife, she was also rebellious and disobedient so I broke her leg. She made me so angry, I wanted to kill her. But I married again on Saturday, my third wife, and I believe this time I made the right choice’, said Fares proudly of his three marriages. ‘It is my right to beat my wife if she doesn’t carry out all her duties towards me and my family.’

Three other men of various Middle Eastern nationalities were arguing heartily that, like Fares, they had the right to batter their wives if reasoning with them failed.

‘He would hit me with everything he could lay his hands on; his belt, his shoes, a table…’
Samah, a talk show guest

The use of violence against women in the Arab world was discussed last week in the talk show Red Line Not to Cross, which aired on a national Lebanese TV channel.

The debate on violence against women has come under scrutiny ever since human rights campaigners tried to pass a law in the Lebanese parliament protecting women from domestic violence.

The bill – which would criminalise physical, mental, and sexual abuse, marital rape, and so-called honour crimes – was approved by the former Council of Ministers on April 6, 2010, and referred to a special parliamentary committee. It has remained there since May 2010, mainly because both Dar al-Fatwa, the country’s highest Sunni Muslim authority, and the Higher Shia Islamic Council, vehemently opposed the draft bill on the grounds that Islamic sharia law protects the role and status of women and includes provisions governing legal issues related to the Muslim family.

The Law to Protect Women from Family Violence proposes establishing specialised domestic violence units within the Lebanese police and specifying the punishments for offenders, including fines and prison terms. The bill also allows a woman and her children to seek a restraining order against an alleged abuser – which is currently impossible under the Lebanese laws.

In a 2002 study of 1,418 Lebanese women, 35% reported experiencing domestic violence and 22% had family members who had been exposed to domestic violence. Among the women exposed to violence, verbal abuse or insult was most common (88%) followed by physical violence (66%); 57% reported their experiences to family, friends or authorities, whereas the remainder kept silent.

It is not just an issue for Lebanon. A Unicef report shows that in Egypt, 35% of women reported being beaten by their husbands at some point in their marriage, and 32% of women in Israel reported at least one case of physical abuse by their partners.

Samah, another guest on the talk show, described how her husband had beaten her for years: ‘He would hit me with everything he could lay his hands on; his belt, his shoes, a table… he would hit me if he was upset or angry or if he didn’t like my cooking, he would hit me for any and every reason. I would run away from him, run to the neighbours, to the people on the street, to the nearest police station… First I didn’t know how to defend myself… then one day I pulled a knife on him to protect myself.’

In most cases of marital violence, women in Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries resort to the religious courts to address their complaints. But these courts deal with violence in the families by urging guidance, counselling, and other measures meant to preserve the family, rather than to protect the women. They typically solve personal status matters such as divorce, custody, and inheritance but are not mandated by law to protect women from violence.

In cases of divorce or separation, the religious courts may consider an act of violence as evidence supporting a case for divorce, but these courts are not mandated by the state to prosecute criminal cases and punish the abusers.

Jamal Al-Shaar, a sharia judge in Beirut, was also present during the show. He is part of Dar al-Fatwa, the country’s highest Sunni Muslim authority, which rejects the draft bill. He objected to the bill’s definition of a family, arguing it would lead to ‘confusion in Lebanon’s legal system’ and to the introduction of new crimes such as marital rape. He also argued the draft bill threatens to destroy the social construct of the Middle-Eastern family and is incompatible with the norms and values of Lebanese society.

Dar-al Fatwa and the other religious bodies opposing the draft bill appear concerned this new law could diminish the father’s authority in the family and men’s authority in society more generally.

Violence against women is by no means confined to the Middle East, but the discrimination against women, the fact that many men feel they have the right to beat their wives, the culture of religious interference in private life and the attitude of female submission, are particularly problematic in this part of the world. Only a few countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, such as Jordan and Israel, have comprehensive laws on family violence.

It is hoped that Lebanon will adopt this new law and in so doing set a standard for neighbouring countries to follow.


From The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

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