Religious leaders should provide alternate anti-domestic violence law

By Farman Nawaz

Maulana Fazal Rehman has derided the parliamentarians who supported the anti-domestic violence law in Punjab assembly. These parliamentarians were advised to display badges of ‘Zun Muride’ (Female Followers) on their chests and instead of being ashamed they should feel proud of what they have done. Fazal Rehman has also vowed to start a movement ‘Tehreek Tahufoz-e-Shuhrain’ for the protection of husbands.

Although he did not explain whether this would be a street protest movement, movement on social media and electronic media or a legal fight in the court but he has also declared to help those people who will raise the issue in the court, means that he is not in a mode to fight a legal battle in the court. What type of assistance he will provide in the court proceedings that is yet to be revealed. He labeled the bill as a joint venture of Muslim League and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He has raised the question whether this bill will lead to the any solution of the domestic issues.

The question is, is it ‘Zun Muredi” to give protection to women in domestic violence cases. What do these religious people do when people bring the issues of domestic violence to them? Do they advise the women to tolerate all the violence? Do they tell them that it is their fate written by God and determined by the religion?  Do they give freehand to the males to do whatever they want to do in their domestic life? Don’t they forbid the males to be violent in domestic issues? Don’t they advise the male to show tolerance in such cases? If not so what if the government has made a law for the protection of women?

Like so many other things of the modern world this law has also been labeled as anti-Islam and an attack on the domestic life of Pakistan. Its implementation is said to be a step towards secularization of Pakistani society.

Domestic violence against women is a legal issue. The government will have to find a solution of domestic violence. Obviously this solution will be in the form of a law. Now Punjab government not only has enacted the law for the domestic violence but also facilitated a reconciliatory process for the smooth running of family life.

Religious leaders could not so far provide any concrete solution of domestic violence against women. In spite of the fact that Pakistani society is a Muslim society, the issue of domestic violence is not on the priority list of religious parties. Their claims are just confined to the interpretations of women rights in the light of religion but what would be the practical manifestation of those rights, it is still not explained to the people and parliament.

The fatwa – religious decree – number Fatwa ID: 376-409/Sn=5/1437 [1] of Darul Aloom Deoband (India) clearly states that a women can opt for the cancelation of Nikah in case of domestic violence but here in Pakistan the dilemma is that Fazal Rehman has threaten the government to start a movement for protection of husbands against the wives – the wives who are harassed in homes.  It is a sheer mockery with the Islamic rights of wives.

The Amir of Jamat e Islami, Siraj ul Haq, has also blamed the government and the West for disturbing the domestic life of Pakistani society. The question is what these religious leaders have done for the domestic life of Pakistanis. How many resolutions these religious parties have introduced in the parliament for the protection of women and domestic violence? How many rallies they have managed against the kidnapping, rapes and abuse of women in Pakistan? How many times they have protested for the women whose husbands are martyred by Taliban?

The fact is that this hue and cry of religious leaders is for the time being. The government should provide them an opportunity to provide an alternate legal solution for the issue of domestic violence against women. Of course the rights of women are determined in Islam but what would be its legal form so that parliament can legislate accordingly. Women are dealt according to the local customs in Pakistan and that have led to the present deplorable situation. It’s the duty of the government and religious leaders to provide solution to the women so that they can get rid of the clutches of jaws of cruel traditions.




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