ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Wednesday proposed redrafting of the controversial ‘Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017, which was recently passed by the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights.
CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz, while addressing a press conference, said after a thorough review, a CII research team and religious scholars belonging to all schools of thought expressed reservations over the definition of transgender in the bill along with highlighting several other flaws.
He said the CII had recommended that the definition of ‘intersex’ and ‘transgender’ should not be mixed with each other and should remain the same as recognised in society.
“A person who becomes transgender after undergoing a surgery, better known as castration, should not be considered as intersex — a person who is by birth born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of a female or a male,” he said while calling it un-Islamic.
“Though the CII has deliberated on the issue of castration, it has yet to officially decide whether to declare it un-Islamic or not,” he said.
Dr Ayaz added that the council had accepted that transgender would have the right to be recognised as per his or her self-perceived gender identity. The court would, however, determine the sex of transgender in case of any issue related to inheritance, he said.
He said taking cognisance of the use of word ‘Black Friday’ by brands and others for commercial purposes, the council noted that even though there was no harm in offering sales on that day, equating the black day with Friday is condemnable.
“Therefore, the council proposed use of ‘Blessed Friday’ instead of ‘Black Friday’,” he said.
The council clarified that the decision was in no way to discourage the use of word black, but it was proposed given the fact that black colour had negative connotations in society.
“Therefore, it was not appropriate to call Friday as ‘black day.’ The importance of Friday is well known in our religion and should be used in a positive way,” he said.
The CII also strongly condemned the brutal murder and rape of seven-year-old Zainab in Kasur, and demanded implementation of its earlier recommendation related to the incidents of sexual abuse of children.
“I request all not to politicise the shocking incident, and blaming the police or institutions would not help address loopholes behind such tragic incidents,” said the CII chairman.
He added that the more the world was getting closer through social media, the more the children were getting vulnerable to being sexually abused.
The council also decided to conduct a detailed study on the incident of Kasur by taking into account social, physiological and other aspects in order to propose a comprehensive strategy to the government.
It proposed that the government would arrange training for hajj pilgrims at local level. “The CII has proposed that people offering free-of-cost hajj should be discouraged,” said Ayaz.
The council also proposed law for creating gender balance in society. For the purpose, said Ayaz, the CII would soon organise a conference in which presentations would be made on the issues related to men, women, transgender and children.
On the occasion, some religious scholars registered their protest regarding inclusion of their names in the list of 1,800 religious scholars without informing or including them in the consultation process of drafting the fatwa against terrorism.
They said though they had no reservations over the fatwa, using their names without even asking them was a major cause for concern for them.