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The ICC and Traditional Islamic Legal Scholarship: Analysing the War Crimes Against Civilians

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International Criminal Law—A Counter-Hegemonic Project?

Part of the book series: International Criminal Justice Series ((ICJS,volume 31))

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Abstract

In recent decades, numerous criticisms have been directed at Eurocentrism in international law generally and international criminal law specifically. These critics demand international law to be more inclusive towards non-European knowledge, inter alia Islamic law. Some scholars have argued that it is essential for the ICC to refer to Islamic law, not only to counter Eurocentrism in general but also because of the growing number of cases involving Muslims. Other scholars have suggested that there is some congruence between Islamic law and international criminal law in some general principles. However, so far there is very little comprehensive analysis on the compatibility of the two. It must be noted that if Islamic law has prescribed criminalization for international crimes up to a standard which is at least on par with what international law requires, this would mean at least that (a) there would be no reason for the ICC to not refer to Islamic law resources, and (b) Muslim states/groups who implement it would not need to refer cases to the ICC due to the complementarity principle. This research comparatively analyses Islamic Law and the ICC Statute. For the former, this research uses the fiqh literature of the traditionalist Islamic law scholars. Further, this research limits itself to war crimes included in Article 8 of the ICC Statute, specifically crimes against civilians. The hypothesis is that there is congruence in some but not in all rules, which is a challenge for international law and Islamic law scholars likewise.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See inter alia: Bashir 2018; Boisard 1980.

  2. 2.

    See Farrar 2014.

  3. 3.

    See inter alia: Al-Khasawneh 2013; Weeramantry 1988.

  4. 4.

    Tiedrez 2020.

  5. 5.

    Some did, however, mention the need to explore ‘non-Western legal traditions’ but, still, said nothing about Islamic law in particular. See: Ali and Heer 2018.

  6. 6.

    ICC 2021.

  7. 7.

    Muhammadin 2020a.

  8. 8.

    Badar 2011, pp. 423–426. See also: Fraser 2020.

  9. 9.

    See Muhammadin and Wahab 2018.

  10. 10.

    Compare Articles 8(2)(b)(i) and 8(2)(e)(i), both stipulating ‘Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities’. The former applies to international armed conflict, the latter applies to non-international armed conflicts.

  11. 11.

    Mohamad 2016, pp. 54–55.

  12. 12.

    Muhammadin 2021, pp. 7–9.

  13. 13.

    Nyazee 2003, p. 128.

  14. 14.

    There are numerous literatures of fiqh covering all of these topics in multi-volume books written throughout the ages of Islamic intellectual history up to this date. See inter alia: Al-Maqdīsī n.d. (10 vols); Al-Sarakhsī 1409 H (30 vols); Al-Mawsū‘ah Al-Fiqhiyyah 1410 H (45 vols); Al-Zuḥaylī 2011 (10 vols), and many others.

  15. 15.

    Even the Salafi school agrees with this. See: Brown 2015.

  16. 16.

    See: Afsah 2008; An-Na’im 1996.

  17. 17.

    See inter alia Muhammadin and Mohd Kamal 2019, pp. 187–192; Bashir 2018, pp. 8–13; Saipudin 2016.

  18. 18.

    See: Al-Attas 1993.

  19. 19.

    Wan Daud 2013, pp. 6–7; Al-Attas 1993. See also: Salim 2010; Husaini 2005.

  20. 20.

    It is a well-established principle that ijtihad is only made when there is no clear text from the Qur’an, Sunnah, or ijma‘ on the particular matter. See: Mohamad 2016, p. 67. Hence, this opens much room for different ijtihad in different eras regarding such matters.

  21. 21.

    Al-Khin and Al-Bugha 2014, p. 48.

  22. 22.

    Ibid.

  23. 23.

    Al-Da’as 1989, p. 56; Al-Burnu 2003, p. 1100.

  24. 24.

    Harris 2012.

  25. 25.

    Al-Lāḥim 2011, p. 21.

  26. 26.

    ‘Awdah 2003, p. 127.

  27. 27.

    There are some differences of opinion in a few among them. See: Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 17, p. 131; Al-Shabrawi 2010, vol. 21, pp. 5–361.

  28. 28.

    ‘Crucifixion’ in this context is not like the typical Western notion. In the Islamic notion, the perpetrator is tied up on a plank in public view at the crime scene. The ‘ulama differ on whether to execute the perpetrator before or shortly after tying them up, and a small minority of ‘ulama say that the perpetrator is tied up and starved to death. See: Ibn Rushd 2000, vol. 2, pp. 548–549.

  29. 29.

    Which is why some ‘ulama classify qiṣāṣ as among the ḥudūd. See: Al-Zuḥaylī 1428 H, vol. 6, p. 13.

  30. 30.

    Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 33, p. 259; Al-Juzayri 2003, vol. 5, p. 181.

  31. 31.

    Al-Lāḥim 2011, vol. 2, p. 7.

  32. 32.

    Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 12, p. 254; Al-Mawardi 2006, p. 344.

  33. 33.

    Al-Zuḥaylī 1428 H, vol. 6, p. 20; Al-Shīrāzī n.d., vol. 3, p. 373.

  34. 34.

    Al-Zuḥaylī 1428 H, vol. 6, p. 19; Al-Shabrawi 2010, vol. 21, p. 395.

  35. 35.

    Al-Zuḥaylī 1428 H, vol. 6, pp. 18–22; Al-Shabrawi 2010, vol. 21, p. 395.

  36. 36.

    As explained earlier, some of the ḥudūd are victimless, such as intoxication.

  37. 37.

    Al-Zuḥaylī 1428 H, vol. 6, p. 20; Al-Shīrāzī n.d., vol. 3, p. 197.

  38. 38.

    Al-Sarakhsī 1409 H, vol. 10, p. 5.

  39. 39.

    Haykal 1996, p. 660.

  40. 40.

    Some scholars use Dar al-‘Ahd and ‘Land of Peace’ (Dar al-Sulh) interchangeably. See: Anshor 2013, pp. 53–68.

  41. 41.

    Al-Mawardi 1996, p. 202.

  42. 42.

    Anshor 2013, pp. 58–59.

  43. 43.

    See inter alia Al-Sarakhsī 1971; Al-Fazārī 1408 H.

  44. 44.

    Muhammadin 2021, pp. 14–17. For classical sources, see: Al-Sarakhsī 1971; Al-Fazārī 1408 H.

  45. 45.

    See: Mansur 1973; Hamidullah 2011.

  46. 46.

    Shaw 2017, pp. 213–215.

  47. 47.

    Muhammadin 2021, p. 20.

  48. 48.

    Jad 2010, p. 174.

  49. 49.

    Al-Jawziyah 2010, p. 264; Abu Zahrah n.d., p. 277.

  50. 50.

    See: Al-Shāṭibī 1997, vol. 2, p. 17; Al-Ghazālī 1971, pp. 159–161.

  51. 51.

    Setia 2016; Crimmins 1986.

  52. 52.

    See inter alia: Al-Sarakhsī 1971, para 2741; Ibn Rushd 2000, vol. 1, pp. 458–460; Al-Zuḥaylī 1419 H, pp. 494–495.

  53. 53.

    Ibn Rushd 2000, vol. 1, p. 459; Al-Dawoody 2011, pp. 112–114; Al-Qardhawi 2010, pp. 291–296; Azzam 1993, pp. 24, 30.

  54. 54.

    Al-Dawoody 2019, p. 37.

  55. 55.

    Henckaerts and Doswald-Beck 2005, see Chapters 1–2.

  56. 56.

    Al-Zuḥaylī 2011, p. 33; Al-Sharbīnī 2006, p. 54.

  57. 57.

    Al-Shawkānī 2007, vol. 4, p. 350; Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 37, pp. 190–191.

  58. 58.

    Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 16, p. 150; Ibn Ḥazm n.d., vol. 7, p. 296.

  59. 59.

    Al-Bājūrī 2016, p. 240.

  60. 60.

    Al-Dawoody 2011, p. 134; Al-Zuḥaylī 2011, vol. 8, p. 47.

  61. 61.

    Compare: Al-Fawzān 2005, vol. 1, p. 552; Ibn Ḥazm n.d., vol. 10, p. 347.

  62. 62.

    Ibn Rushd n.d., vol. 2, p. 299; Ibn Ḥazm n.d., vol. 10, p. 347.

  63. 63.

    Al-Tirmidhī 2007, vol. 3, hadith no. 1412.

  64. 64.

    Al-‘Aynī n.d., vol. 15, p. 94.

  65. 65.

    See inter alia Articles 8(1), 17(1)(d), and 53(1)(c) of the ICC Statute.

  66. 66.

    Al-Zuḥaylī 1428 H, vol. 6, p. 198.

  67. 67.

    Kilcup 2016, p. 248.

  68. 68.

    See inter alia the Qur’an in Surah Al-Ma‘idah (5) verse 77 and Surah Al-Baqarah (2) verse 190 respectively.

  69. 69.

    See inter alia: Al-Shīrāzī n.d., vol. 3, p. 278; Al-Maqdīsī 2004, vol. 4, p. 126.

  70. 70.

    See the whole of Chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6: Henckaerts and Doswald-Beck 2005, vol. 1.

  71. 71.

    Al-Zuḥaylī 1419 H, pp. 506–507.

  72. 72.

    Eckhardt 1989, 1991.

  73. 73.

    Gardam 1993, pp. 399–402.

  74. 74.

    Muhammadin 2020b, pp. 71–127.

  75. 75.

    Al-Mawardi 2006, p. 78.

  76. 76.

    Al-Suyūṭī 2011, p. 210.

  77. 77.

    Al-Qārī 1422 H, vol. 7, p. 76.

  78. 78.

    Al-Shawkānī 1412 H, vol. 7, p. 253; Al-Qardhawi 2010, p. 496; Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 16, p. 496.

  79. 79.

    Al-Fawzān 2005, vol. 1, pp. 563–570; Qol‘ahji 2001, vol. 2, p. 680; Al-Shabrawi 2010, vol. 19, p. 395.

  80. 80.

    Al-Marghīnānī 1971, vol. 2, pp. 116–117. See also: Çiğdem 2008.

  81. 81.

    Al-Sharbīnī 2006, pp. 435, 437.

  82. 82.

    Al-Shabrawi 2010, vol. 21, p. 395. See also: Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 12, p. 276.

  83. 83.

    It must be noted that there is no high threshold to prove the existence of coercion in this case, unlike the act of zina itself that requires four witnesses. Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr 1993, vol. 22, p. 125; Al-Luhaydan 2004, p. 191.

  84. 84.

    Al-Sharbīnī 2006, vol. 5, pp. 435, 437. See also: Ibn Al-‘Arabī 1424 H, vol. 2, p. 95.

  85. 85.

    Al-Zuḥaylī 1428 H, vol. 6, p. 66.

  86. 86.

    Ibn Rushd 2000, vol. 1, pp. 456–457; Al-Zuḥaylī 2011, vol. 8, pp. 84–86.

  87. 87.

    Al-Naysābūrī 2007, vol. 4, hadiths no. 4298–4310; Al-Bukhārī 1997, vol. 1, hadith no. 30.

  88. 88.

    See for example Surah Al-Balad (90) verses 12–13 and onwards to see other righteous deeds sampled together with the freeing of slaves.

  89. 89.

    For example, the primary penalty for having sexual intercourse while fasting is to free a slave. If they cannot afford a slave, or no slaves are around to be freed anymore, other penalties will be imposed such as fasting for two months (commencing on sunrise and breaking at sunset, that is), then feeding the poor. See: Al-Zuḥaylī 2011, vol. 3, pp. 126–127.

  90. 90.

    Scholars differ whether the master is legally obliged to grant the slave’s request. See: Ibn Rushd n.d., vol. 2, pp. 274–280.

  91. 91.

    See point 12: Open Letter to Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Al-Badri, alias ‘Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi 2014. http://www.lettertobaghdadi.com/. Accessed 7 October 2017.

  92. 92.

    See: Al-Duwaysh 2003, vol. 16, pp. 570–573.

  93. 93.

    Ḥasan 1415 H, pp. 149–150.

  94. 94.

    ‘Azzām n.d., p. 56.

  95. 95.

    Many Muslim states are also parties to the ICC Statute, making relevant war crimes even more applicable.

  96. 96.

    See inter alia: Sellers and Kestenbaum 2020; Rassam 1998, p. 303.

  97. 97.

    Al-Suyūṭī 2011, p. 241.

  98. 98.

    It is our position that such customary international law does not contradict Islamic teaching, which neither commands nor gives special virtue in taking slaves (while there are endless virtues in releasing slaves). As mentioned above, leaders can just decide to not take slaves so if adopting treaties or policies prohibiting enslavement is not against Islamic law, then neither is a customary international law with the same effect. See: Muhammadin 2021, p. 55. However, again, this is ijtihad which cannot annul each other.

  99. 99.

    Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 4, p. 200; Al-Shabrawi 2010, vol. 19, p. 395.

  100. 100.

    Diyat is lower for slaves than for free persons. See: Al-Sharbīnī 2006, vol. 5, pp. 435, 437.

  101. 101.

    See: Articles 42–43 of the 4th Geneva Convention 1949. See: Dormann et al. 2004, pp. 114–118.

  102. 102.

    Ibid., pp. 108–109.

  103. 103.

    Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 4, p. 152; Al-Sharbīnī 2006, vol. 6, p. 39.

  104. 104.

    Al-Maqdīsī n.d., vol. 10, pp. 404, 409.

  105. 105.

    Al-Dasuqi n.d., vol. 2, p. 177.

  106. 106.

    Al-Ramli 1357 H, vol. 8, p. 61.

  107. 107.

    Al-Zuḥaylī 2011, vol. 8, p. 465.

  108. 108.

    Al-Mawardi 2006, p. 86.

  109. 109.

    Since it focuses more on expelling a person from a location but without any designated destination, unlike transfers or deportations.

  110. 110.

    Al-Suyūṭī 2011, p. 155.

  111. 111.

    Ibn Rushd n.d., vol. 1, p. 152; Al-Shawkānī 1412 H, vol. 7, p. 253.

  112. 112.

    Al-Suyūṭī 2011, p. 218.

  113. 113.

    Al-Zarqa 1967, vol. 1, p. 248.

  114. 114.

    See the Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqarah (2) verse 188. Also: Al-Lāḥim 2011, vol. 2, p. 29; Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 2003, vol. 36, p. 40.

  115. 115.

    International criminal law scholars seem to have various opinions on this matter. El-Zeidy 2008, pp. 307–308.

  116. 116.

    Schabas 2004, p. 88; El-Zeidy 2008, pp. 73, 307.

  117. 117.

    Stigen uses the term ‘genuine’ to indicate ‘willingness’ or ‘ability’ (as opposed to ‘unwilling’ or ‘unable’) as per Article 17 of the ICC Statute. See: Stigen 2008, pp. 216–217.

  118. 118.

    See inter alia: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture, Manfred Nowak, UN. Doc E/CN.4/2006/6; Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (No. A/60/316); and Committee Against Torture Doc. No. CAT/C/CR/28/5, 2002.

  119. 119.

    In this respect, international criminal law seems to usually direct much more attention to try prevent international crime perpetrators from being punished less than what they deserve. See inter alia: Schabas 2004, p. 88; El-Zeidy 2008, pp. 73, 307.

  120. 120.

    See inter alia: Al-Būṭī 1973; Setia 2016; Salim 2010; Husaini and Al-Baghdadi 2007.

  121. 121.

    Brown 2017, pp. 12–14.

  122. 122.

    There is some criticism regarding whether lashing really constitutes torture and inhumane treatment: Muhammadin et al. 2019. Nonetheless, this is against the mainstream position on the issue.

  123. 123.

    Ali and Heer 2018, p. 198.

  124. 124.

    See inter alia: Garbett 2017, pp. 198–220; Pena and Carayon 2013.

  125. 125.

    This is unlike the general debate on Islam and human rights where there are extremely difficult areas to reconcile. See inter alia: Muhammadin and Mohd Kamal 2019; Khan 2016.

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Muhammadin, F.M., Sadzali, A. (2023). The ICC and Traditional Islamic Legal Scholarship: Analysing the War Crimes Against Civilians. In: Jeßberger, F., Steinl, L., Mehta, K. (eds) International Criminal Law—A Counter-Hegemonic Project?. International Criminal Justice Series, vol 31. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6265-551-5_10

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