Sharia law can empower women rather than punish them, argues Susan Carland

Prominent Muslim academic Dr Susan Carland has explained how Sharia law can be an effective method of promoting women’s rights and there is no justification under the Islamic doctrine for punishing victims of rape.

Dr Carland, who's married to TV personality Waleed Aly, told an inner Sydney audience, including feminist Eva Cox, that Sharia law could be used to persuade Muslim men that it was wrong for women who are victims of rape to be stoned or lashed for adultery.

Under Sharia law, a woman’s word is considered worthless without male witnesses to corroborate her story.

“For those of you that don’t know, if a woman is raped she can be punished for adultery,” Dr Carland told her audience at Gleebooks, promoting her new book 'Fighting Hislam: Women, Faith and Sexism'.

Despite concerns that Sharia law gives rape victims no rights, Dr Carland explained a US lawyer's campaign to challenge adultery laws in Pakistan arguing "there is no justification under Sharia for a woman sho is raped to be punished".

The academic told a Sydney audience that she believed there can be such thing as Islamic feminism. Source: AAP

“You can have secular feminism, you can have Islamic feminism, you can have all different types of feminism.

“I could go to them with these human rights justifications for why it’s wrong,'' Dr Carland recalled the lawyer telling her.

"But I know that if I do that, they will double down on this law because they will feel it’s an insult to their culture and their tradition and their religion’, why would I just not use the Sharia to make the argument this is wrong?’”