Rape Law in Islam: Cultural vs. Shariah Views and Implementation

Date of Defense



Foreign Languages (to 2012)


Rape is a crime that gets placed on the 'back-burner' in many societies. The problem is not directly addressed and the victims are often overlooked under the excuse that there are 'more important' societal issues that take precedence. Neglecting it, however, is itself a crime against society. When any society faces corrupt activity for which justice continually fails to be served, society begins to degenerate towards a state of lawlessness. Many predominantly Muslim countries are traditionally patriarchal societies which view the honor of the family as being held by its women, particularly in their sexual behavior (Sonbol 277). Members of these societies must see, then, that allowing such crimes to take place against their women in the first place facilitates the dishonor of women and, thereby, the family. They must take care to understand rape and all of its implications.


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