CII rules women's protection law 'un-Islamic'

Women's Protection Act, passed in Punjab Assembly last week, gives legal protection to women from violence


Reuters March 03, 2016
Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology, Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) that advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam on Thursday declared a new law that criminalises violence against women to be "un-Islamic."

The Women's Protection Act, passed in Punjab Assembly last week, 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 K-P domestic violence bill against spirit of Islam: 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 "un-Islamic."

The 54-year-old council is known for its controversial decisions. In the past it has 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 off girls as young as eight or nine has angered human rights activists.

Women protection bill will cause divisions within families and increase divorce rate: JUI-F chief

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."

'Khula’ without husband's consent is un-Islamic: CII

In 2013, more than 5,800 cases of violence against women were reported in Punjab alone, the province where Wednesday's law was passed, according to the Aurat Foundation, a women's rights advocacy group.

Those cases represented 74 percent of the national total that year, the latest for which data is available.

COMMENTS (8)

hasan ali | 5 years ago | Reply He doesn't look educated. We need someone smarter at this job.
Rex Minor | 5 years ago | Reply @Raza: Protecting the insecurities of men, is not a cornerstone of Islam. Another proof why the CII is no longer relevant and needs to be abolished. t me try as a foreigner to This is not so simple Sir! Let me try as a foreigner to understand the complexity involved. The Government is trying to make changes in community cultures and traditions which people regard as part of their faith through common laws which it would seem do neither reflect fully the constitution of the country nor are compatable with those of the Islamic jurisprudence. The cart before the horse, how come the proposed legislations were not formulated in conjunction and in consense with the community leaders and the clergy rather than with jurists go it alone and expecting the others to follow. The country needs democratic structures and supporting institutions to get itself out of the babylonian prison. The alternative is to implant a foreign constitution more compatable with the Islamic values and palatable to the people. Because without the consense of the community elders the polarisation among the people will remain and very likely to implode. Rex Minor
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