Thursday, March 3, 2016

Law Protecting Women against Violence Is Foiled; Pakistan Islamic Ideology Council: It's Un-Islamic

Pakistan's largest province of Punjab unanimously passed a new law last week that criminalizes violence against women, the Christian Science Monitor website reports today (March 3, 2016).

The new law gives legal protection to women from domestic, psychological, and sexual violence, and calls for the creation of a toll-free abuse-reporting hotline and the establishment of women's shelters.

But the Council of Islamic Ideology -- the powerful Pakistani religious body that advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam -- is not pleased, calling the measure "un-Islamic," and contending that it conflicts with the Muslim holy book, the Quran, as well as Pakistan's constitution.

"It's unacceptable," council chairman Muhammad Khan Sherani said at a press conference in Islamabad today. "The law seems to have the objective of pushing women out of the home, and increase their problems." (Countries that are predominantly Islamic tend to treat women as second-class citizens, since their laws and customs use a double-standard which favors men.)

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