While laws exist to prosecute those that commit heinous crimes of violence against women, the problem lies with the attitude of the police and their tolerance for such crimes. It is this apathy by law enforcement officials and a few within the lower judiciary that such crimes are rampant.
Most crimes against women occur within homes. I fail to understand why our religious scholars have so vehemently opposed the domestic violence bill. Their argument is as hollow as the CII’s May 2013 decision that DNA cannot be accepted as primary evidence against a rapist. Male chauvinism has no place in Islam nor is there proof of a single incidence having occurred during the life of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) where violence against any women, including a wife, has been condoned. Islam emphasises acquisition of knowledge so that it can be used for the welfare of human beings. DNA is not a creation of scientists, but a discovery of what already exists.
The Islamic welfare state must precede the imposition of sharia penalties for any violations and excesses. The CII and our religious scholars must stand up for basic human rights and condemn all criminals who forcibly occupy state and private land and deny women their inheritance in accordance with the edicts of the Holy Quran.
If a man has irreconcilable differences with his wife, he has the option to seek a divorce in accordance with sharia laws instead of beating her to death. Islam gives women the right to choose their life partner in marriage, yet we witness this basic right being denied on one pretext or another.
Malik Tariq Ali
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2021.