Islam and the Death Penalty

By William A. Schabas / William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 9(1), 223-236, on 1 January 2000

Capital punishment is not practiced by a majority of the world’s states. Anti-capital punishment domestic policies have led to an international law of human rights that emphatically prohibits cruel and inhuman punishment. International concern for the abolition of capital punishment has prompted Islamic states that still endorse and practice the death penalty to respond with equally compelling concerns based on the tenets of Islamic law. Professor William A. Schabas suggests that Islamic states view capital punishment according to the principles embodied in the Koran. Islamic law functions on the belief that all people have a right to life unless the administration of Islamic law determines otherwise. Professor Schabas emphasizes that capital punishment exists in the domestic law of all Islamic states, but the ways by which these states employ capital punishment are varied and inconsistent. Although Professor Schabas acknowledges that Islamic states correctly argue that capital punishment is an element of Islamic law, he maintains that Islamic states do not recognize the more limited role of the death penalty articulated by the Islamic religion.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list Bangladesh
  • Themes list Religion ,