The Is-Ought Problem blog brings news of Mariwan Halabjayee, who has been forced to flee Iraqi Kurdistan in fear of his life after writing a book about how Islam oppresses women:
As first reported by the Kurdish language weekly Hawlati (translation by Hiwakan) on March 27, 2006, and later reported by the Peyamner News Agency and The Hewler Globe on March 28, Mariwan (sp. Marywan) Halabjayee (sp. Halabjaee, Halabjaye, Halabjayi), “the Salman Rushdie of Iraqi-Kurdistan,” has been forced to flee to Sweden.
Halabjayee departed from Suleimaniya International Airport. Mala Bakhtiar, a political bureau member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), was responsible for facilitating Halabjayee’s escape. The PUK effectively controls the Eastern half of Iraqi-Kurdistan, including Suleimaniya.
Halabjayee is in possession of a warrant for his arrest issued by the Suleimaniya police department. Halabjayee reportedly intends to use the warrant in an attempt to secure political asylum in Sweden.
Halabjayee is the author of the book Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam. The book is about how Islam is allegedly used to oppress women. “I wanted to prove how oppressed women are in Islam and that they have no rights,” said Halabjayee.
The Islamic League of Kurdistan has issued a “conditional” fatwa to kill Halabjayee if he does not repent and apologize for writing his book. The “conditional” nature of the fatal fatwa is uncertain. Halabjayee reported that “a couple of weeks ago in Halabja, the mullahs and scholars said if I go to them and apologize they will give me 80 lashes and then refer me to the fatwa committee to decide if I am to be beheaded. They might forgive me, they might not.” As a result, Halabjaye went into hiding with his pregnant wife and three children.