CII curtail women’s right

CII allowed men to beat women
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Shamim Masih: Few days back, Islamic constitutional body, Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has proposed its own women protection bill, recommending ‘a light beating’ for the wife if she defies the husband. This recommendations spark outrage though the CII chairman soften the tone stating ‘violence’ is not permissible in Islam. As he believes that light beating does not mean violence.

Earlier CII rejected Punjab’s controversial Protection of Women against Violence Act (PPWA) terming it un-Islamic and drafted its own bill and will now forward to the Punjab Assembly. However the parliament is not bound to consider its recommendations. The 20-members CII proposed that a husband should be allowed to ‘lightly’ beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuse 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. The bill also suggested that beating is also permissible if a woman does not observe Hijab; interacts with strangers; speaks loud enough that she can easily be heard by strangers; and provides monetary support to people without taking consent of her spouse.

In a bill of 163-pages there are several bans on women like ban on co-education after primary educations, ban on women from taking part in military combat, ban on welcoming foreign delegations, interacting with males and making recreational visits with ‘Na-Mehram’ (not known), female nurses should not be allowed to take care of male patients and women should be banned from working in advertisements etc….. The CII is a powerful body because of its influence on political system in Pakistan. It advises Pakistani legislature whether laws are in line with the teachings of Islam.

I don’t know for how long blasphemy laws allow me to speak about Islam or its teaching, but let me tell you; there is difference between women, children and minorities rights and Islamic permission. There are no equal rights for women and other minorities residing in a nation in which the Quran and Sharia Law define culture and society and its rule of law. Women rights given in Islam are the same as recommended by CII. Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iran are clear examples and so much so Pakistan is another Sunni dominated Islamic country inspired by Saudi Arabia.

A Muslim apologist usually says that Islam is religion of peace and provide the rights for women, children and for the people of the Book like Christian and Jews. The Council must have given Islamic references in support of these recommendations. And I am giving few quotes from Quran about how Islam deal with other minorities, which one of my US friends quoted.

Quotes of Quran from “The Quran and Christianity” (6/23/16):
In the Quran, Christians are generally referred to as “people of the book” and then in the various suras and ayahs (or chapters and verses) a number of references are made. In 2:120, “Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you till you follow their religion. Say: ‘Verily, Islamic Guidance is the only Guidance. And if you were to follow their desires after what you have received of Knowledge, then you would have against Allah neither any protector nor helper.”

In 3:56: “As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.” In 3:85: “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” In 3:118: “O you who believe! Take not as your helpers or friends those outside your religion since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed we have made plain to you the verses if you understand.”

3:178 states: “And let not the disbelievers think that our postponing of their punishment is good for them. We postpone the punishment only so that they may increase in sinfulness. And for them is a disgracing torment”. Hardly encouraging for the basis for a peaceful co-existence and a comfortable pluralism
Muslim love of the Quran that tells them to physically coerce non-Muslims through humiliation to convert or to kill them if they insult Islam or its prophet Mohammad is a dooms day promise toward Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan.

CII recommendations could rightly be according to Islam but legislature is not bound to obey it. Religions is one’s own dealing with his creator but State deals with every individual’s matter and have to protect every citizen. Today, anyone can construct mosque, synagogue or temple in US or any Christian majority country and can worship according to his faith but not in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Even if someone says that constitution of Pakistan protect the rights of minorities but on ground situation is totally different, Jews cannot even proclaim their faith in Pakistan. And we are witness to the number of attacks on churches and temples and on minorities in the country.

Decades back, Christian majority countries have separated Church from the State matters. First amendment to the United States Constitution includes a clause that calls for the separation of church and state. Many people now espouse the belief that American government was designed to include “an impenetrable wall” separating church and state. Reason would have been same the domination of religious leadership supervision over the state matters. One should learn a lesson from the history, and may be tomorrow we will come up with the conclusion to do so, if we want to survive.