Pakistanis hit back as clerics say men can 'lightly beat' wives

By AFP
Published: May 27, 2016
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CII chairman Maulana Sherani. PHOTO: FILE

CII chairman Maulana Sherani. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Media and activists poured scorn Friday on a suggestion from an Islamic religious body that men should be allowed to “lightly beat” their wives, made in their draft of a women’s protection bill.

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) released a draft of the bill on Thursday, their response to progressive legislation giving women greater rights and protection in Punjab.

Media quoted the draft as saying: “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.”

CII proposes husbands be allowed to ‘lightly beat’ defying wives

The proposal was met with a wave of mockery in the media and online Friday.

The draft was also slammed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), which condemned its recommendations as “ridiculous” and called for the council of “zealots” to be disbanded.

“It is difficult to comprehend why anyone in his right mind would think that any further encouragement or justification is needed to invite violence upon women in Pakistan,” the HRCP stated.

Online in Pakistan, the bill was met with derision.

“This body should be dissolved, preferably in acid,” wrote one Twitter user, as others expressed bafflement and anger.

Women in Pakistan have fought for their rights for decades, in a country where so-called honour killings and acid attacks remain commonplace.

But the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Bill redefines “violence” to include “any offence committed against a woman” including things like domestic or emotional abuse, stalking or cybercrimes.

‘Gentle beating’ of wife is no violence, says CII chief

The bill, which was passed in February, also provides for a universal toll free help line for the women, and establishes district protection centres and residential shelters under a phased programme.

It also allows courts to order a GPS tracker installed to monitor a defendant’s movements.

The CII, formed in 1962 to advise parliament on the compatibility of laws with Sharia, has previously spoken out against the bill.

The council’s recommendations are non-binding, and it has drawn widespread criticism in the past for other rulings – including in 2013, when it suggested making DNA inadmissible evidence in rape cases, instead calling for the revival of an Islamic law that makes it mandatory for a survivor to provide four witnesses to back their claims.

CII chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani emphasised to AFP that the bill is still being drafted.

“Islam does not allow violence against women,” he said.

“There may be a dispute between husband and wife but that is something separate from torturing wives.”

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Reader Comments (6)

  • naqli pakistani
    May 27, 2016 - 7:39PM

    I truly believe that Pakistani men should get together and lightly beat the idiot mullahs like him and send them home, and if they are found trolling around again then they should be beat heavily Recommend

  • Azi
    May 28, 2016 - 12:58AM

    Because of foolish mullas like these we are seen as vile human beings.Recommend

  • May 28, 2016 - 4:31AM

    These Mullahs are the reason why Islam is the baddest religion in the world. Then again Pakistani Military encourage these Mullah so that Military foxes live the most luxurious life at the expense of ordinary people.Recommend

  • May 28, 2016 - 9:19AM

    The CII is a nothing less than a ‘political stepping-stone’ for currying favors. No contemporary educated and religious person is allowed and all outdated and outmoded ‘one-track minds’ are inducted into the council. As before, I say to disband it and let the Federal Shariat Court take decisions. SalamsRecommend

  • Don Barzini
    May 28, 2016 - 9:56AM

    “men should be allowed to “lightly beat” their wives”

    The Pakistani men were appalled with this statement from CII and Most Responded the say way.. “What do you Mean ‘Lightly’ ???” Recommend

  • Faraz
    Jun 1, 2016 - 10:44PM

    lightly beat does not mean in islam slap you wife on face lightly beat mean in islam beat your wife mishwakRecommend

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