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Ely, Attorney
Category: International Law
Satisfied Customers: 103491
Experience:  Private practice with experience in common law, civil law, international family law, and international contracts.
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How would one go about prosecuting a Muslim Cleric for crimes

Customer Question

How would one go about prosecuting a Muslim Cleric for crimes against humanity for issuing a fatwa saying it is ok to rape women. We are not talking about an isolated incident but incitement to commit crimes against humanity. Even the threat of such action might deter some other clerics from doing something similar.

The rebels in Syria have been encouraged to rape non-Sunni women as part of their campaign. Earlier this year, Salafi sheikh Yasir al-Ajlawni issued a fatwa saying it was “legitimate” for Muslim fighters who are trying to put in place an Islamist government to “capture and have sex with” Alawites, the sect to which President Assad belongs, and other non-Sunni, non-Muslim women.

It followed a similar edict by Saudi cleric Muhammad al-Arifi in which he told jihadi fighters that they had the right to have sexual intercourse with captured Syrian women.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: International Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Nicola, I am happy to wait to get the right answer.

Thank you for your help.



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Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a JustAnswer expert in international law. You give an example of a Muslim cleric, but I am not sure if you are talking about Yasir al-Ajlawni specifically, or, another cleric? If another cleric, then where is this cleric located?

Or, are you simply asking about hate speech in general, regardless of where it is?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think we should avoid specifics and approach it from any religious or secular leader of any faith or dogma inciting crimes against humanity. Which surely inciting hatred, violence, rape degradation and death, especially against women, in pursuance of their aims must surely be. or ought to be.

in the example quoted a Muslim man can rape his wife in marriage so fifteen marriages were performed on the one women and then annulled after the rape, until she died!

The world must find the collective courage to condemn such behaviour and ensuring it is viewed as a crime against humanity would save a great many but not all lives.

this is a cause worth fighting for.

kind regards, John

Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your clarification.

You asked this in the legal category, so I will give you an answer based on legal principle. Unfortunately, the issue is that some parts of the world either have (1) less developed legal systems which cannot or do not prosecute such individuals or (2) the authorities condone such acts, all-together.

If something like this happens in the USA, UK, or another part of the developed world, then the authorities generally prosecute the individual(s) involved in such matters. However, in parts like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other parts of Africa and the Middle East, such actions are condoned - either they are illegal but the authorities choose to ignore it, or, they are simply legal.

As such, the problem is that if the local authorities cannot act, then the UN or other countries cannot, either. There is limited jurisdiction here - the UK cannot go into Saudi Arabia or Syria for example to arrest and prosecute an individual. Likewise, the UN can really focus on heads of state or individuals involved in genocide, etc.


How would one go about prosecuting a Muslim Cleric for crimes against humanity for issuing a fatwa saying it is ok to rape women.

There is no real way to do so unless they live in a country that wishes to prosecute them, because our societies' laws cannot apply to them unless they live in our societies. Some countries are simply stuck in the past, I am afraid. Until that time comes - and it may be a long time before they catch up with us - the answer is "we cannot," I am afraid.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The fact that some countries condom such crimes against humanity is not good enough. how do we get this sort of behaviour condemned by the 'so called' civilized nations as a crime against humanity.

Even the possibility that such an unenforceable crime can be levelled against an individual in a primitive country highlights it for what it still is, a crime against humanity. it would name and shame the individual involved. so it needs to be action a the level where international law exists in the hope that over time such people will find themselves out of step with civilized humanity. I really need the help of someone who understands what I am trying to achieve and can then either help or point me in the right direction, unfortunately it is not a case of I do not like your answer, but it told me nothing that is not common knowledge. enforcement will be difficult if not impossible.


I want to know how to get these hatefully incitements to rape and murder against a religious or non religious group of people listed as crimes against humanity


Even if it were never enforced I am hoping that the deterrent effect that it might be enforceable one day might save a few lives. Kind regards, John



PS I am still awaiting your reply to this response before rating your reply

Kind regards, John