Women’s rights: ‘Anti-poor, anti-women CII should be abolished’

Published: March 18, 2014
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Activists say the council is a threat to the democratic system, constitutional order and the legislature. PHOTO: FILE

Activists say the council is a threat to the democratic system, constitutional order and the legislature. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

Several rights activists condemned a report of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) declaring the law requiring consent from first [second or third] wife for another marriage un-Islamic. The CII had said that Sharia did not bind a husband to seek permission from any of his wives before contracting another marriage.

Aurat Foundation manager Mumtaz Mughal said, “The CII is acting as a supra-state body it has nullified the little constitutional and legal gains working classes, women and non-Muslims had made so far. It nullified land reforms of the 1970s, it dismissed tests as evidence of criminal violence against women and now it is attacking the civil rights of women in Pakistan.”

Mughal said the CII should be abolished as it was a threat to the democratic system, the constitution and the legislature.

“We reject polygamy as it is demeaning and oppressive for women,” she said.

Civil Society Association of Pakistan Chairperson Beenish Toor said, “Islam is a religion of equality. How does it hurt religious sentiments if our family law binds a man to seek permission from his wife before contracting another marriage?” she asked.

She said the government should take steps to improve education opportunities for women.

Sociologist Nuzhat Sadia Siddiqi said, “The Council of Islamic Ideology, as the name suggests, is interpreting Islamic teachings according to their idea of Islam.

The law pertaining to second marriages has been formulated by lawmakers keeping in mind social norms of the country, which take into account cultural roots of people.”

Siddiqi said by declare these laws as unIslamic, was tantamount to belittling the judicial and legal expertise of eminent lawmakers.

She said, “Islam teaches us to be fair, equitable and empathic when making decisions that involve drastic changes to more than one person involved.”

Allama Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, member of the Council of Islamic Ideology said, “It is a decision of Islam and not of the council. Islam permits husband to marry four times and he does not need permission for it.

Islam clearly says that a man can marry more than once if he treated all his wives fairly.”

“No other religion in the world protects the rights of women the way Islam does,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • ahmer
    Mar 18, 2014 - 10:44AM

    CII should be disbanded and banned…state has nothign to do with religion…when will they learn.

    Get all the mullahs, and put them in waziristan and let them make their own backward laws there. Fence off that area so that these people cannot come out to disturb anyone.

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  • Hameedullah
    Mar 18, 2014 - 12:11PM

    “Islam clearly says that a man can marry more than once if he treated all his wives fairly.” Exactly how he is supposed to treat the wives equally if he does not even consult them in the most important decision that affects directly his wife/wives?Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2014 - 12:36PM

    Can somebody tell what is the ratio between males and females in Pakistan ?
    What is the ratio between marriageable age boys and girls ? or
    How many girls are waiting for marriage ?
    If the answer is that that “girls are more than boys”. Then is it a sin / crime to find a reasonable solution – giving rights / protection to girls by marriage.
    We all need to see / think deeply of this ibid social issue than to do critic irrationally / unreasonably. We as a balanced society should make sure that “Basic Needs that is, Food, Clothing, Shelter, Medical Rights of Married Women are Protected.Recommend

  • farooq
    Mar 19, 2014 - 7:37AM

    This is in the Koran people. A man can have 4 wives at any given time i.e. polygamy is allowed in Islam and that’s it. However, a man is expected to treat them fairly as much as is possible. The fact is that different women also have different attitudes and therefore, it is not always possible to treat them 100% equally. This is not mathematics we are talking here. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that a man cannot marry more than once and has to seek permission of his previous wives. Nothing like that is in the Koran.

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  • SK
    Mar 19, 2014 - 9:21AM

    I think this is no harm, allowing polygamy at the expense of women exploitation and increase in brothels, which is by the way on the rise. The proponents of western influenced NGOs and organizations may soon underscore the fact establishing brothels and women’s right to earn living through prostitution should be made legal as in west. Islamic way is the best way, polygamy must be allowed but must come with strings attached like fair dealing / equal rights among wives. Secondly, how much money is too much money for getting second wife is quite subjective. I believe Islam says about equal treatment and fair justice and certainly doesn’t tell the monetary limit beyond which you are entitled to marry second time. Just abandoning the law that fair justice not possible is based on false premise that justice / fair dealing is not possible. Islam certainly doesn’t say that. It may be possible but might be difficult not impossible.

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