Atheist Republic News Summary: This Indian State BANNED Muslim Polygamy...

  • This Indian State BANNED Muslim Polygamy and Didn’t Stop There…

Location: India 

The northern Indian state of Uttarakhand has taken a bold step by implementing a uniform civil code (UCC), setting a precedent as the first Indian state to do so since the country gained independence in 1947. This comprehensive legislation seeks to harmonize civil laws across all religious communities, addressing marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption with a unified approach. Notably, the UCC outlaws several practices, including polygamy and triple talaq, a Muslim practice allowing instant divorce by a husband declaring "talaq" three times. It also prohibits nikah halala, a complex ritual requiring a divorced woman to marry another man and get divorced again before she can remarry her first husband, and iddat, a period of waiting mandated for Muslim women after divorce or widowhood. The legislation establishes a common marriage age and introduces equal rights for men and women in divorce and property matters. Critics, however, decry the law as intrusive, especially for its regulations on live-in relationships, demanding registration with the government under threat of punishment. "The code also allows a third party to file a complaint against couples who failed to register their relationship," highlights the controversial nature of this mandate, igniting debate over the intrusion into personal freedoms versus the pursuit of uniform civil rights.

  • This HUGE Blow to Sharia Law in Malaysia Caused a Legal Earthquake

Location: Malaysia

Malaysia's highest court made a groundbreaking ruling on February 9th, declaring 16 Islamic laws in Kelantan state unconstitutional, in a move that has sent shockwaves through the country's legal and religious communities. This decision, notably on laws related to sodomy, incest, and gambling, underscores a significant legal boundary between state-enacted Sharia law and the federal legislative powers. Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat emphasized that "the essence of those provisions are matters under the federal list, which only parliament has the power to make," highlighting the jurisdictional overreach of the state's Sharia criminal code. The ruling not only challenges the legislative competence of the Kelantan state governed by the Islamist party PAS but also sets a precedent that may influence the interpretation and enforcement of Sharia law across Malaysia. Amidst fears of undermining the position of Islam in Malaysia and tight security due to protests, the court maintained that the judgment was a matter of legislative power rather than a challenge to Islam's role in the nation, indicating an attempt to balance religious law with federal authority.

  • Yemeni Houthis Sentence 13 Men to Death for Homosexuality

Location: Yemen 

In a stark demonstration of the Houthi-controlled judiciary's harsh stance on homosexuality, a court in the Yemeni province of Ibb sentenced 13 men to public execution on charges related to homosexuality, with another 35 receiving prison sentences for similar accusations. This punitive action occurs amidst the tumultuous backdrop of ongoing conflict involving the Houthis, who are supported by Iran, and their aggressive operations in the Red Sea. Niku Jafarnia, a Yemen researcher for Human Rights Watch, highlighted the gravity of the situation, stating, "The [Houthis] are ramping up their abuses at home while the world is busy watching their attacks in the Red Sea." This sentencing underscores the severe human rights challenges in Houthi-controlled areas, reflecting broader concerns about the treatment of LGBT individuals in conflict zones and under extremist rule.

  • Islamic Republic Amputates 4 Fingers of Accused Iranian Thief

Location: Iran 

In a shocking act of punitive justice, the Islamic Republic of Iran has carried out the amputation of four fingers from a prisoner accused of stealing sheep, a punishment that underscores the severe and controversial nature of Iran's judicial practices. The prisoner, identified as Yousef T., was accused of taking five sheep from a farm owned by a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a charge he denied throughout his 13-month detention. The execution of this sentence, described by Mahmud Amiri Moghadam of the Iran Human Rights organization as showing "the utmost cruelty and immorality of this system," has drawn international condemnation. This act, highlighted against the backdrop of allegations of widespread corruption within the regime, starkly illustrates the harshness of the judicial measures enforced in Iran, sparking outrage and calling for accountability from the highest levels of the Iranian judiciary and government officials involved in such practices.

  • Why Do Hindu Nationalists Hate Valentine’s Day So Much?

Location: India 

In India, the celebration of Valentine's Day has sparked controversy among Hindu nationalists, who argue that the holiday is a Western imposition incompatible with traditional Indian values. Leading the charge against the February 14th festivities are the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, influential Hindutva organizations, which have called on Indians to reject Valentine's Day in favor of honoring the memory of Indian security personnel killed in the 2019 Pulwama attack, a devastating suicide bombing that targeted a convoy of Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir, resulting in the loss of over 40 personnel. Pagudakula Balaswamy, a campaign leader for VHP in Hyderabad, emphasized the movement's stance by declaring, "Corporate forces are promoting foreign culture in the name of love. Why celebrate Valentine’s Day? We can look at the love of Sita-Ram and Satyabama-Sri Krishna, they are our culture." This sentiment reflects a broader critique among Hindu nationalists, who view the holiday as antithetical to Indian cultural heritage and advocate for its replacement with celebrations more aligned with Hindu deities and values, such as proposing "Kamadeva Day," a local god of love and desire who wields a flower-arrowed bow, as an alternative.

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