Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pakistani Hardliners- New Law Protecting Women Is Un-Islamic

Pakistan isn't like Afghanistan. And it's a tad more progressive than say, Iran or Saudi Arabia when it comes to its women folk. There are no religious police out on the streets making sure women are covered. Unlike Saudi Arabia, they can drive. Universities are not segregated. Heck, they even elected a female Prime Minister. Twice. Although Benazir Bhutto was eventually assassinated she served two terms from 1984 through 1993. Of course, that was back then when Muslims weren't quite so fanatical and hardline as they are today. But although their legal system is rooted in British common law, the Penal Code often adheres to Islamic Shariah law and many of its barbaric practises, including death for apostasy and blasphemy. Any attempts to change the more radical Islamic laws, like Blasphemy and child marriage laws are met with major resistance, and often violence from a slew of religious hardliners.

The latest child marriage law ban never came to fruition because of opposition from the hardliners who actually want girls as young as nine to be eligible to marry, as per Shariah law.  And now, they want a new law protecting women to go bye-bye. There's a lot of domestic abuse within the Islamic nuclear family, so that's not surprising.

More than 35 religious parties and groups in Pakistan have come together to call on the government retract a new law in the country's largest province of Punjab that protects women from abuse. Claiming that the law is unIslamic, they accuse the law of being part of the West's agenda to destroy the family system in Pakistan.
The Women's Protection Act was passed by Punjab in February to protect women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. It also calls for the setting up of a toll-free abuse reporting hot line, women's shelters and district-level panels to investigate reports of abuse. The new law also mandates the use of GPS bracelets to keep track of offenders.
The law however seems to have fallen foul of the mainly conservative clerics and religious leaders. They have said it is in conflict with both the Koran and the Pakistan constitution.

"This controversial law to protect women was promulgated to accomplish the West's agenda to destroy the family system in Pakistan," reads the joint declaration from the conference comprising the religious parties and groups. "This act ... is redundant and would add to the miseries of women."


Pakistan Today said the Council of Islamic Ideology, a Pakistani religious body that advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam has declared the Women's Protection Act as un-Islamic. On 14 March, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of the Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam, the country's largest religious party, claimed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had promised to address the reservations of the religious parties.
The rest here.

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