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Adultery, Porn Videos, and Moral Authority in Iran

Video of an Iranian cleric apparently committing adultery leaked online and was spread and popularized by a social bookmark site in Iran. A hidden camera was recording evidence as part of an investigation by the Intelligence Ministry according to a Blogger for The Daily Beast Telmah Parsa in “Iran’s Hottest Porn Video.”

The cleric was apparently a member of the government-run Friday Prayers Committee in Hamadan province. Semi-official news sites tried to downplay the impact of the video, which leaked out of an Intelligence Ministry investigation. But their reports did acknowledge that the man involved was a married cleric, and that the video depicts the consummation of an unlawful affair.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this video, not the titillating and voyeuristic elements, but what it might say about the interaction between interpersonal relationships and religion in Iran and elsewhere. Does this controversy change your opinion at all? Is this just another example of government-level hypocrisy that we see all over the world or does it have some special meaning in the context of Iran?

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South Asia

Anglo-Islamic Law in Colonial India

Mitra Sharafi, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin

In colonial India, Islamic law was famous for its flexibility. It
was one of many systems of religious law applied in the state courts, typically by European judges. Then as now, South Asia operated upon the personal law principle. For marriage and inheritance, a person’s religious affiliation determined what law would govern. Hindu law applied to Hindus, Islamic law to Muslims, and so on. State courts administered religious law, making the term “Anglo-Islamic” law the most appropriate term for the body of law applied to Muslims. Continue reading