Moharebeh - Iran's Sharia Law

Moharebeh - Iran's Sharia Law

Although we look around and think that there are many problems with our laws.  Either we are being way to strict, or not strict enough - somehow we always believe we are doing it wrong.  One thing to be thankful for is that our religious and political freedom is not quite as strict as in Iran.

Last Saturday, Iran put 16 opposition supporters detained during anti-government protests last month on trial on charges of rioting and conspiring against the ruling system.

The defendants face charges ranging from plotting against the establishment to violating security regulations. Five of those on trial, including two women, were accused of "moharebeh," or defying God, a charge that could carry the death penalty.

"Moharebeh," literally means "fighting" in classical Arabic, moharebeh is the term used in Iran's Sharia law to describe a major crime committed against Islam and the state. It carries a punishment ranging from imprisonment to death.

Those who stood trial Saturday were detained during anti-government demonstrations on Dec. 27. At least eight people were killed and hundreds more were arrested in those rallies, during which opposition activists and security forces clashed.

The new trial comes amid a sweeping crackdown by Iran's clerical leaders against opposition activists in a bid to crush the challenge that has emerged to their rule in the wake of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election in June. The opposition says Ahmadinejad's victory was fraudulent.

Iran's hard-line government has quashed opposition rallies and tried more than 100 political activists in a mass trial that started in August, sentencing 11 people to death and more than 80 people to prison terms ranging from six months to 15 years.

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