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22 August 2002

Letters to the Editor
Los Angeles Times

Dear Editor:

Ms. Ghittis' oped piece (Women Must Be Freed From Koranic Brutalities 8/21/02) accurately reflects the dismal state of affairs faced by many Muslim women around the world.  Many Muslims, men and women alike, reject the narrow interpretation Islamic texts that results in gross injustices that clearly violate basic rights guaranteed by Islam. However, the Times, by your choice of title for this piece, mistakenly blames the Qur'an which does not, in any verse, call for capital punishment of the adulterer. It is true that adultery is major sin in Islam, as in other faiths, and, in an Islamic state it constitutes a sex crime. But the requirements for proof of adultery are nearly impossible to meet (four eyewitnesses to the act of intercourse). The majority of jurists do not consider pregnancy alone as valid evidence of adultery nor is it referred to as such in the Qur'an. Unfortunately, the religious leadership in Nigeria subscribes to the minority view, resulting in an unjust interpretation of Islamic law.  This is not the fault of the Qur'an, as the title proclaims, but of men who are unable to appreciate the essence of God's words which emphasize justice for all members of the human family.

Sincerely,

Laila Al-Marayati, M.D.
Spokesperson, Muslim Women's League
Los Angeles

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