CII peculiar proposal
VINOD C DIXIT
This refers to the shocking report ‘CII proposes men be allowed to ‘lightly’ beat defying wives” (PO –May 27). According to statistics compiled by the Aurat Foundation for 2009, most cases of domestic violence arise due to “domestic conflicts”, fights arising from petty issues in the household. According to Quran relationship between the husband and wife should be based on mutual love and kindness. The notion that a man cares about his wife even after being violent is incongruent, and can be dismissed as lip-service.
Almighty Allah says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more strength than the other, and because they support them from their means. It is important that a wife recognizes the authority of her husband in the house. He is the head of the household, and she is supposed to listen to him. But the husband should also use his authority with respect and kindness towards his wife. The theory that Islam justifies abuse is incorrect; Islam does not disempower women, as is popularly believed. Violence against women can’t be accepted, and it’s time for the nation to stand up to people who come up with such proposed laws. —Via email
Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) that advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam, has proposed a new law that criminalises violence against women Bill to be “unIslamic.”
The Women’s Protection Act, passed by Punjab Assembly gives unprecedented legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. It also calls for the creation of a toll-free abuse reporting hot line and the establishment of women’s shelters. Some parts of the KP domestic violence bill are against spirit of Islam, said the CII Chairman
But since its passage in the Assembly, many conservative clerics and religious leaders have denounced the new law as being in conflict with the Quran, as well as the Constitution. “The whole law is wrong,” Muhammad Khan Sherani, the head of CII said at a news conference, citing verses from the Quran to point out that the law was “unIslamic.” The 54-year-old Council is known for its controversial decisions. In the past it ruled that DNA cannot be used as primary evidence in rape cases, and it supported a law that requires women alleging rape to get four male witnesses to testify in court before a case is heard.
The Council’s decision this January to block a bill to impose harsher penalties for marrying girls as young as eight or nine has angered human rights activists. The new law establishes district-level panels to investigate reports of abuse, and mandates the use of GPS bracelets to keep track of offenders.
It also sets punishments of up to a year in jail for violators of court orders related to domestic violence, with that period rising to two years for repeat offenders. Fazlur Rehman, the chief of one of Pakistan’s largest religious parties, the Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam, said the law was in conflict with both Islam and the Constitution of Pakistan. “This law makes a man insecure,” he told journalists. “This law is an attempt to make Pakistan a Western colony again.” In 2013, more than 5,800 cases of violence against women were reported in Punjab alone, the Province where the current law was passed. According to the Aurat Foundation, a women’s rights advocacy group, these cases represented 74 percent of the national total that year, the latest for which data is available. — Via email