Source: Amnesty International Press Release
January 5, 2001: The Bangladesh High Court made a landmark ruling that fatwas -- religious edicts issued by the Muslim clergy --are illegal. The court also ruled that such edicts, mainly issued against women, must be made punishable by an act of parliament. Usually imposed against women who assert themselves in village family life, dozens of fatwas are issued each year by the rural clergy, who justify their deed in the name of religion. The clergy impose flogging and stoning, and other humiliating punishments, and they are often involved in directly inflicting the punishment. In many cases there is a financial motive involved as fatwas can be a source of income for the local clergy.