CII pe­cu­liar pro­posal

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -


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

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