Thursday September 20, 2018

Islamic Council says Pakistani husbands can “lightly beat” their wives

The council, also Known as CII believes that it is “un –Islamic” for a women to leave an abusive relationship and look for an escape.

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Women Praying. Image Source : muslimgirl.com
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This year Punjab approved a law in Pakistan which gives women protection and escape from abusive husbands, but it has been strongly opposed by the Council of Islamic Ideology.

The council, also Known as CII believes that it is “un –Islamic” for a women to leave an abusive relationship and look for escape.

Council said it wanted to spread its own proposal before the bill is expanded in other parts of Pakistan whose draft is now complete. The draft also contains a law opposing the new one in favour of women. It says — husbands should be allowed to “lightly beat” their wives.

“A husband should be allowed to lightly beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods,” the report states, according to Pakistan’s Express-Tribune newspaper.

People protesting outside Council of Islamic Ideology . Image Source : tribune.com.pk
  • Currently, Pakistan’s domestic violence abuse laws are vague, although prosecution even in the most heinous cases has been rare.
  • CII claims that the proposal is based on sharia law and koranic teaching which also seek to allow domestic if the women disagrees to cover her face in public or interacts with strangers; speaks loud enough that she can easily be heard by strangers; and provides monetary support to people without taking consent of her spouse.
  • The proposal contains 163 page document which will ban pakistani women from appearing in television or print advertising campaigns and would prohibit female nurses from treating male patients. It would also give a husband permission to forbid his wife from visiting males other than relatives.
  • “It shows the decadent mind-set of some elements who are part of the council. The proposed bill has nothing to do with Islam and it would just bring a bad name to this country.” Said Farzana Bari , an human rights activist based in Islamabad.
  • Pakistan has a reputation of lagging behind in women rights but women had enjoyed the power of voting since 1947 when it got separated from India.
  • In 1988, Pakistani’s elected the late Benazir Bhutto as prime minister, the first Muslim-majority nation to install a female head of state.
  • Even CII the proposed document contain a law which allows pakistani women to marry without the permission of her parents.
  • CII also proposed that there should be a wait up of 120 days after conception before abortion can be declared “murder.
  • But Bari hopes the Pakistani public sees the document for what it is: a cringe-worthy example of why the CII should be disbanded.
  • “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,” Bari said.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter handle: bhaskar_ragha

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  • Pritam Go Green

    This is totally insane. Sexual intercourse is done with mutual understanding. Forcefully u can’t rape someone just because you are the husband. And who are these idiots (ISIS) to define laws of Muslims communities. This is totally unacceptable.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    The CII should not be talking about women welfare unless they don’t know what it really is. They should at least have one women on board so that they get a better idea of what women in Pakistan really want.

  • Chetna Karnani

    Releasing fatwaas that subjugate women (forget even about their basic rights), marital rapes and the Sharia Law of course have been fundamental for the Islamic community. Lightly beating is still beating a human who is supposed to be treated equal to you.

  • Ashwati Menon

    How can people be so stupid. If their mother or sister is beaten up by their husbands will they still be in support of the ideology of women getting beaten lightly?

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  • Pritam Go Green

    This is totally insane. Sexual intercourse is done with mutual understanding. Forcefully u can’t rape someone just because you are the husband. And who are these idiots (ISIS) to define laws of Muslims communities. This is totally unacceptable.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    The CII should not be talking about women welfare unless they don’t know what it really is. They should at least have one women on board so that they get a better idea of what women in Pakistan really want.

  • Chetna Karnani

    Releasing fatwaas that subjugate women (forget even about their basic rights), marital rapes and the Sharia Law of course have been fundamental for the Islamic community. Lightly beating is still beating a human who is supposed to be treated equal to you.

  • Ashwati Menon

    How can people be so stupid. If their mother or sister is beaten up by their husbands will they still be in support of the ideology of women getting beaten lightly?

Next Story

The Other Side of “Hindu Pakistan”

Although, the mainstream parties stay away from nominating Hindus, this time there are many independent Hindu candidates contesting from general seats — mostly from the Sindh province

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The-Other-Side-of-“Hindu-Pakistan”
The Hindu population in Pakistan is about 1.8% according to the 2018 census, 0.2% more than that of the 1998 and the 1951 figures.

Sagarneel Sinha

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s remark that India would become a “Hindu Pakistan” if the BJP is elected again in 2019, sparked off a major debate among the political circles of the country. BJP didn’t let the opportunity go by launching a scathing attack on Tharoor and his party for insulting Hindus and Indian democracy, forcing the Congress party to distance itself from its own MP’s comment. Only one year is left for the next general elections and in a politically polarised environment such comments serve as masala for political battles where perception is an important factor among the electorates.

Actually, Tharoor, through his statement, is trying to convey that “India may become a
fundamentalist state just like its neighbour — Pakistan”. Tharoor is a shrewd politician and his remarks are mainly for political gains. The comments refer to our neighbour going to polls on 25 th of this month which has a long history of ignoring minorities where the state institutions serve as a tool for glorifying the religious majority bloc and ridiculing the minorities. This compelled me to ponder about the participation of the Hindus — the largest minority bloc of the country, in the upcoming polls.

There are total 37 reserved seats for minorities in Pakistan — 10 in the National Assembly
(Lower House), 4 in the Senate (Upper House) and 23 in various state legislatures — 9 in the Sindh assembly, 8 in Punjab and 3 each in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistani Hindus, like other minorities have the dual voting rights in principle. But the reality is they have no rights to vote for their own representatives as the seats are reserved — means the distribution of these seats are at the discretion of parties’ leadership. Practically speaking, these reserved seats are meant for political parties not for minorities. In case of general seats, it is almost impossible for a Hindu candidate to win until and unless supported by the mainstream parties of the country. The bitter truth is — the mainstream parties have always ignored the Hindus by hesitating to field them from general seats. In 2013, only one Hindu candidate — Mahesh Kumar from the Tharparkar district won from a general seat, also became the only minority candidate to make it to the National Assembly from a general seat. This time too, he is nominated by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) — a major centre-left party of Pakistan. However, there are no other Hindu candidates for a general seat from the two other significant centre-right parties — former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and cricketer turned politician Imran Khan’s Tehreek-E-Insaf (PTI). Although, there is a Hindu candidate named Sanjay Berwani from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) — a Karachi (capital of Sindh province) based secular centrist party of Pakistan.

Shashi_tharoor
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s remark that India would become a “Hindu Pakistan” if the BJP is
elected again in 2019, sparked off a major debate among the political circles of the country.

The Hindu population in Pakistan is about 1.8% according to the 2018 census, 0.2% more than that of the 1998 and the 1951 figures. It means that despite the state’s hostile policies, Hindus have been able to remain stable in a highly Islamist polarised society. 90% of the Hindu population of the country lives in the Sindh province. Hindu population in Umerkot,Tharparkar and Mirpur Khas districts of the Sindh province stands at 49%, 46% and 33% respectively — making them the only three substantial Hindu districts of the country. The three districts have 5 National Assembly and 13 Provincial seats. However, Hindus have never well represented from these seats.

Although, the mainstream parties stay away from nominating Hindus, this time there are many independent Hindu candidates contesting from general seats — mostly from the Sindh province. Many of them belong to the Schedule caste — the Dalit community. A recent report based on Pakistan Election Commission’s data says that out of 2.5 lakh women of Tharparkar district, around 2 lakh of them are not included in the electoral list — means that they are not entitled to vote for the upcoming general elections. All over the country, there are about 1.21 crore women voters who will not be able to vote in the elections. The reason is the lack of an identity card. Most of them are poor who are unable to pay the expenses required for an identity card. This has made difficult for independent Hindu Dalit candidates like Sunita Parmar and Tulsi Balani as most of their supporters will not be voting in the upcoming polls. In Tharparkar district, around 33% percent are the Hindu Dalits — brushed aside by the mainstream parties. The reserved seat candidates are based on party nominations, where mainly the upper caste Hindus are preferred. Radha Bheel, a first time contestant and the chairperson of Dalit Suhaag Tehreek (DST), a Dalit organisation, says that the fight is for the rights of the lower socio-economic class and scheduled castes. Sunita, Tulsi, Radha and the other independent Hindu candidates know
that the possibility of winning from the general seats is bleak but for them the contest is for their own identity — an identity never recognised by the political parties and the establishment of Pakistan.