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Court challenge tests authority of Islamic religious law in Nigeria

Court challenge tests authority of Islamic religious law in Nigeria

HAMZA IBRAHIM A Nigerian court reserved judgment on a challenge against sharia law in the mostly Muslim northern state of Kano in a case that will test the authority of Islamic religious law in Africa's most populous country. Nigeria's constitution is neutral on religion. The country is divided between the largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north. Kano is one of the foremost states that enforce sharia law, including the death penalty against blasphemy. In 2020, a 22-year-old singer, Yahaya Aminu Sharif, was sentenced to death while a teenager was jailed for 10 years by Kano Sharia Court over accusations…
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Escape from Kabul: a gay man dodges death at the hands of the Taliban

Escape from Kabul: a gay man dodges death at the hands of the Taliban

HUGO GREENHALGH THE Taliban seized power in Afghanistan more than 100 days ago, following the fall of the capital Kabul on August 15. The militant Islamist group have promised a softer brand of rule than the radical form of sharia law they enforced from 1996 until 2001 when they were ousted by U.S.-led forces. But concern is growing for LGBT+ Afghans, some of whom are on the run fearing death. Even before the Taliban takeover, LGBT+ people said it was too dangerous to live openly in Afghanistan. But under the Taliban's extreme interpretation of Islam, LGBT+ Afghans say they could be…
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Blasphemy convictions spark Nigerian debate over sharia law

Blasphemy convictions spark Nigerian debate over sharia law

ALEXIS AKWAGYIRAM and ABRAHAM ACHINGA  FUAD Adeyemi, an imam in Nigeria's capital Abuja, respects those who believe that a 22-year-old man accused of sharing a blasphemous message on WhatsApp should be punished. But he thinks the death sentence is too harsh. He was referring to a ruling handed to Yahaya Aminu Sharif by a sharia court in the northern state of Kano in August. On the same day, the court sentenced a 13-year-old boy, Omar Farouq, to 10 years in prison, also for blasphemy. The sentences caused an international outcry and sparked a broader debate in Nigeria about the role…
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