United Nations Headquarters in New York City (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
United Nations Headquarters in New York City


A groundbreaking appeal submitted to the United Nations is calling for urgent action against the pervasive violence inflicted on women under Sharia law.

Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2024 — which, among other things, brings awareness to violence against women — a formal complaint on how Sharia (Islamic law) is inherently abusive of women was submitted to the United Nations under the title, “Thematic Complaint to the Human Rights Council, United Nations On the Worldwide and Consistent Patterns of Gross, Reliably Attested, and Continuing Violations of Women’s Human Rights Caused by Sharia.”

Oxford defines Sharia as follows:

“Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna), prescribing both religious and secular duties and sometimes retributive penalties for lawbreaking. It has generally been supplemented by legislation adapted to the conditions of the day, though the manner in which it should be applied in modern states is a subject of dispute between Islamic fundamentalists and modernists.”

The complaint contains the signatures of Muslim and non-Muslim men and women worldwide, including victims of Sharia and terrorism, human rights defenders, professors, journalists, activists, and other concerned professionals from all walks of life. (Because it was submitted on a UN portal, no more signatures can be added to the complaint at this time.)

According to one of its press releases:

“Sharia-linked violence is inflicted upon women in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia. This includes the recent extreme sexual violence committed against Israeli women in October 2023 by Hamas proven by the UN; the infliction of sexual slavery on Yezidi women by the Islamic State (IS); killing of Iranian women for not wearing the hijab; the trafficking, kidnapping, and conversion of Coptic Christian girls in Egypt; kidnapping of girls and women in Nigeria by Boko Haram; mass attacks on women in Germany in 2015; the rape of girls in the UK by the so-called ‘grooming gangs’; the forced conversion, kidnapping and murder of Hindu girls in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to name a few.”

By way of demonstrating that Sharia is the root source of all this misogyny, the complaint quotes extensively from the building blocks of Sharia, primarily the Koran. For instance, 4:34 says:

“Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart, and beat them.” [Dawood translation]

The complaint also addressed the sexual enslavement of women, which Sharia — again, based on the Koran — permits. Verses 4:3, 4:24, and 33:50, for example, permit Muslim men to have sexual relations with as many women as “their right hand possesses,” meaning as many “infidel” women as they are able to take captive in a jihad. During the October 7 Hamas invasion of Israel, the terrorists can be heard referring to some of their female Israeli captives by this and other Sharia terms, such as sabiya.

The complaint also did some useful number-crunching:

“One basic feature of Sharia is the lower status it accords to women. Statistical analysis has demonstrated that 71% of the Qur’an’s text about women states that a woman has a lower status than a man. In the Hadith, 91% of the text about women states that a woman has a lower status than a man. Sura 2: 282 makes a woman’s testimony worth half that of a man; under Sura 4:11 women inherit less than men; under Sura 4:34 a Muslim may have four wives, but a Muslim woman marrying a non-Muslim is impermissible under Sura 2: 221.”

The complaint is also notable for showing how Islamic culture, itself an offshoot of Sharia, abuses women:

“Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is widespread in parts of the Islamic world. Immigration from Muslim countries has increased FGM in the West. Islamic culture compels Muslim women to undergo unnecessary surgery to restore their hymen. UN reports show how Islamic culture demeans women. Islamic culture impedes women’s education in some parts of the world and blocks advancement for educated Muslim women. Muslim women do not have equal opportunities to participate actively in sports and physical education and have poorer access to mosques as compared to Muslim men.

“Head coverings for Muslim women are linked to complex security, health, educational, cultural, and civilizational issues. Muslim leaders have also violated Muslim women’s reproductive right to choose the number of children by advocating the use of Muslim birth rates as a non-military strategy to conquer non-Muslim lands.”

To redress these abuses, the complaint asks the UN Human Rights Council to do several things. One consists of requesting that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which claims to represent the Muslim world at the UN, provide a “single consolidated response” as well as “one standardized, worldwide codification of the Sharia and an explanation as to why Sharia should not be considered a fundamental cause of violation of women’s human rights.”

The complaint also requests the appointment of “two non-Muslim rapporteurs, one who is a Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the second, a Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, to mandate them to work in a coordinated manner and report to the Human Rights Council.”

It additionally requests:

“[O]ngoing discussions towards a universal treaty on crimes against humanity and the need to include specific elements of the Sharia as risk factors that heighten the likelihood of such crimes against women…. The Human Rights Council should request the International Law Commission to determine the extent to which elements of Sharia should be classified as harmful practices and therefore null and void as being contrary to international human rights law.”

There is much to recommend this document. As the first ever thematic complaint to be submitted to the UN, it makes the case that women are abused wherever Sharia or elements of it predominate. It also documents “the consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of women of all religions and those without any faith in many parts of the world.” Examples come from numerous countries around the globe. What this document makes clear is that Sharia — not this or that nation, regime, or political circumstance — is behind the abuse of women.

Of especial importance is that the complaint shows how many aspects of Sharia directly contradict what the United Nations claims it stands up for. By relying heavily on UN documents, and quoting from the UN conventions that back them, the complaint essentially asks the UN to do what it should be but is not doing.

“Aliens shall observe the laws of the State in which they reside or are present and regard with respect the customs and traditions of the people of that State.”

The complaint further shows that, according to the UN’s own definitions, the issues it raises cannot be deemed “Islamophobic”:

“This complaint is not ‘Islamophobic, hate speech, or racism’ as (a) according to the UN, ‘criticism of the ideas, leaders, symbols or practices of Islam,’ is not in of itself Islamophobia, and that ‘international human rights law protects individuals, not religions’ (b) UN leaders have admitted that a thematic issue exists concerning the rights of Muslim women (c) the UN has appointed a Special Rapporteur who dealt only with one religion (Islam and Muslims) thus setting a precedent (d) the Islamic countries of the world, by organizing themselves through the OIC into one entity that is the ‘collective voice of the Muslim world’ establishes that it is valid to raise a cross-cutting [and thematic] issue whose roots exclusively lie in Islam…”

In short, the complaint meticulously documents how Sharia directly contradicts so much of what the United Nations claims to stand for — and asks the UN to respond on behalf of the millions of women abused all around the world in the name of Sharia. Should, as is likely, the UN not respond, it will have, once again, proven itself a defunct and corrupt organization.

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