As reported in the UK Independent, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, has reiterated alarming comments made during a March, 2010 interview, sanctioning marital rape.
Sheikh Sayeed was in fact responding to an inchoate effort at modernizing the contracts which govern Muslim marriages in Britain. The good Sheikh, representing Britain's main Islamic Sharia court, the Islamic Sharia Council, promptly published a rebuttal of the contract, which included a statement on sexual abuse (page 6 here). He opined in the March interview:
Clearly there cannot be any "rape" within the marriage. Maybe "aggression", maybe "indecent activity."
He further rejected both the characterization of non-consensual marital sex as rape, and the prosecution of such offenders as "not Islamic." Sheikh Sayeed, who came to Britain from Bangladesh in 1977, also brazenly expressed his Sharia-supremacism and accompanying disdain for Western, i.e., British Law, stating,
...to make it exactly as the Western culture demands is as if we are compromising Islamic religion with secular non-Islamic values.
In Islamic sharia, rape is adultery by force. So long as the woman is his wife, it cannot be termed as rape.
No other sharia council can claim they are so diverse as ours because other sharia councils, they are following one school of fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence]. Ours is diverse -we are hanafi, shafi'i, hanbali.we have Bangladeshi...we have Pakistani, we have Indian, we have Palestinian, we have Somali scholars on our board.
At present there are 16 main sharia courts around Britain, located in Birmingham, Bradford, and Ealing in West London. These institutions are "complemented" by more informal sharia-based tribunals-the think tank Civitas asserting that up to 85 tribunals currently exist in Britain. But for those who naively-and smugly-proclaim such phenomena are absent within the Muslim communities of North America, consider AMJA, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America. AMJA's mission statement claims the organization was, "...founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America...AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation's laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities."
In response to the specific query, “Is there a such thing as Marital Rape?,” the AMJA issued fatwa #2982:
In the name of Allah, all praise is for Allah, and may peace and blessing be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family. To proceed:
For a wife to abandon the bed of her husband without excuse is haram [forbidden]. It is one of the major sins and the angels curse her until the morning as we have been informed by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). She is considered nashiz (rebellious) under these circumstances. As for the issue of forcing a wife to have sex, if she refuses, this would not be called rape, even though it goes against natural instincts and destroys love and mercy, and there is a great sin upon the wife who refuses; and Allah Almighty is more exalted and more knowledgeable.
An ocean apart from Britain—now a recognized Western hotbed for “Islamic fundamentalism”—the same Sharia-sanctioned misogynistic bigotry prevails in a North American clerical organization openly advising US and Canadian Muslims.