Islam and the Anti-Violence Law

fawzia-koofi-cnn

Back in 2001 the Elimination of Violence against Women decree was a huge step toward rights for Afghan women when it was endorsed by President Karzai, but it had not yet been approved by the Parliament.

In the last week, a move to pass the law in Parliament encountered major opposition from MPs (members of parliament) who said it is anti-Islamic. They said some of the articles in this law are against the Koran and the Prophet’s narration of Islam.

The legislation was presented by Fawzia Koofi, one of the female MPs and a women’s rights activist. Koofi is also head of the House Commission on Women Affairs, and a candidate for president in the 2014 elections.  

Mulla Trakhel, representative of the Nomads, argued that God allows men to get married four times, but this law prohibits it. He said because the Prophet Mohammed married a nine-year-old girl (Aisha) then men ought to be able to marry teenagers. Muslims are obligated to follow their prophet’s tradition. “As a member of parliament, I would never, ever allow this law get approved,” he said.

Mr. Rhamani, who represents Balkh province, said, “This law should not be presented in the general assembly; it is totally against Islam. We request that it be removed from the general assembly’s agenda.”

He said God mentioned in verses, Nase 35 in the Koran, that a man can get married four times and the men would “do justice among them,” in reference to the four wives. He said that if a man does not do justice among the wives, this doesn’t mean to define the law of Allah. He also said the strategic pact between Afghanistan and the U.S. was “a shameful pact which was presented in the parliament, and this is the most shameful law.”

On the other side of the argument, one of the articles in the legislation says that a girl can be permitted to pick her life partner and that it doesn’t matter who she picks. If her father rejects her choice, and refuses to let her marry, he would face two years in jail.

This is a problem because under Islam, a girl must marry whoever her father chooses.  This follows on what happened when the first Caliph of Islam, Abubakr Șiddīq, had his daughter Aisha marry the Prophet when she was only nine years old. 

My concern with this article in particular is that if my daughter makes a bad choice, if she picked an alcohol or a drug abuser, I would not let her get married to such as person, yet under this law I should be put in jail for two years. What sort of law is this? It creates a gap between family members. This law is against Islam and the Afghanistan constitution. It must not be approved. 

Another lawmaker, Satar Khawase, a representative of Parwan province, said that President Karzai is against Islam for endorsing such a shameful law. The law mentioned the protection centers for women, which Khawase said is completely against Islam. He said that these protection centers are like centers of prostitution. They just lead women to prostitution.

Finally, only two women MPs raised their voices against the men’s arguments.

Gulalai Noorsafi of Balkh province said women are beaten, forced to marry, are raped, and then are blamed for having relations with someone other than a husband. Women have suffered for years. Enough is enough, now we won’t tolerate this situation. We want equal justice, and we will fight for approval of this law.

All of my male colleagues in my office were against this law. They expressed their hatred toward the law, and confirmed the MPs arguments.

A huge rank of female MPs, scholars, university students, government and private companies’ staffs also are firmly against the law. They argued the law is against Islam. But no one asks them what is their level of knowledge and education about Islam and the holy Koran.

God says, “I sent Koran for entire periods.” So the Koran must be interpreted according to the era.

People always argue that Islam says a man can marry four wives, but they don’t know the circumstances under which God gave this permission. At the time when God sent this verse of holy Koran to the Prophet of Islam, most men had lost their lives in Jihad. There were a lot of widows and no one to feed them, so God allowed men to marry again, and justice was still able to be performed with fewer men.

But now, men sometimes have nine children from one wife, and they may end up more than twenty children from four wives. How could there be justice?  

With all respects to lawmakers, I don’t know their level of knowledge of Islam. But I am also a Muslim and I have read the holy Koran and the Prophet of Islam’s narrations, and there is no way that the Koran even in one verse says that girls have no right to pick their life partners.

When the Prophet of Islam’s cousin (Ali) asked Mohammed for his daughter Fatima’s hand, Mohammad (peace be upon him) asked his daughter whether she was willing to marry Ali or not.

So how do you ignore these points, and turn every thing for your own benefits and portray Islam as a forced religion? 

What would you say to Allah when you see him? Please do not continue to portray Islam as a phobia and a violent religion.   

By Sitara


Comments

  1. God loves everyone. God gave equal rights to all genders. The rigidity and inflexibility of any religion is harmful to human beings. Guru Nanak said, ” Why to put down women who gave birth to us and even the mightiest of the world like kings, Napoleon, Alexandra, Prophets so on. I am pretty sure Islam must have same rights for women as well. I have not got a chance to read it yet. For sure interpretation of religion is wrong by the preachers and that need to be revised and corrected. It is unfortunate that every religion have those fanatics who want to create controversies and discrimination against human beings through race, religion, color, gender and any other way they could think of to make things difficult for people to belief and practice. Guru Arjan Dev ji and Guru Tej Bahadur ji in 16th and 17th century have to bear unrelenting torture by Muslim emperors in Lahore and Delhi respectively. Those rulers tortured them to the end to force them to join Islam or show your Prophet Power and Miracles. It was refused by Gurus not that they did not respect Islam but because they said,” Everyone have right to pray to God what ever way they want. Everyone is free to pray to God including women. Two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh ji were arrested by Muslim emperor and were lured, threatened and tortured to death in Sirhind, Punjab. They both refused to join Islam. Islam is a beautiful religion and big part of world follow the Islam. But intimidation and violence are never the ingredients of any religion and it never would be. It was proven to arrogant Muslim fundamentalists by ten Sikh Gurus and Sikhs through their love, peace, perseverance and faith in One God to whom we all belong including women, men, gays, lesbians and atheists. Sikhs respect Islam and love Muslims and all other religions in same manner as a Sikh love a Sikh. All religions are great and respectable and people who follow any religion are equally respectful. That is why one of Sikh of Guru Nanak was a Muslim and most beloved companion to Guru; Guru Arjan Dev ji, Fifth Guru, gave the honor of inauguration of Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple_ a place of worship open to all mankind of all religions, atheists including all genders) in Amritsar, Punjab to a Muslim saint Sai Mia Mir; Tenth Guru Gobind Singh had so many Sikhs who were Muslim and always remained Muslim, but those Muslims had great attachment and love for Guru Gobind Singh ji and they fought against the tyranny of fundamentalist Muslim rulers and the army to maintain justice and harmony in this world. They remained true to their own religion and to Guru Gobind Singh. One of city in Punjab named Malerkotla as of today is still a home of Muslims in majority. Please visit the site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malerkotla to learn the history and Muslims will feel proud of it. Being a religious does not mean putting down other faiths albeit being a religious means cooperate with other religious people of same and different religious faiths. Sikh Gurus did not start a new religion, they taught the fundamentalist religious fanatic people to be respectful of each other and build a society of love and peace and not of hate and violence. It is time to recognize those fanatics in every religion and fight against them because they are leading parts in every religion and creating lots of unrest and hatred in this world. At present time Muslims had been portrayed as terrorists by some countries, who portray themselves as the ambassador of peace, and doing the same damage to Muslim community all over the world, must stop doing so. Both communities’s evil fanatics are damaging our beautiful world. It is up to us to recognize those fanatics and condemn them and discard them from our religions. Whether it is Osama Bin Laden and his associates or it is Bush and his associates. Women and earth are both our mothers and both need protection from evils. Join together and kill the evil before it kills us. Kill the evil inside every human being to make him humble and peace preserver and never kill the human being. No human is evil, it is ones negative thinking that is evil.

  2. Salute to Fawzia Koofi. Being a Muslim women, it is your right to have equal rights and you must continue with your honest efforts. My blessings are with you. May God bless you the strength, courage and perseverance to continue your efforts for betterment of women. Some Islamic fanatics are so rigid to such an extent that they can not see and evaluate anything logically and rationally and want to make women slave through their wrong interpretation of God’s will. Being a Sikh, I strongly believes in God and as strong as like any of my Muslim brothers, friends, sisters, mothers and I criticize openly to these fanatic religious leaders who think they are Muslims and who are trying to intimidate people through wrong interpretations. There is no where it is written in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, (Sikhs Holy Guru) that woman is inferior to man in gender or rights. Both have equal rights and woman have every reason to stand against these fanatics. I am pretty sure Holy Quran does not discriminate women in any sense. If Prophet of Islam did something, there must be a different reason for it otherwise no man have any right to touch a girl of 9 years old for sexual relations. Women of Islam can not be different from women of Sikhism or any other religion. If Sikh women have equal rights then Islam women must have same rights. Standing against these fanatics is the way to go.
    I encourage my Muslim brothers and sisters to cooperate with her efforts.
    A message from a Sikh brother to my sister Fawzia Koofi.

  3. Dear Sitara: Thank you for helping us outsiders better understand the nuances of the laws. I am praying that there will be a day that you and your sisters will enjoy both equal protection under the law and true due process. That said, I pray that I find this here at home in America! These are ideals that must be constantly fought for–that even when you think you have it, it can slip away. Please keep writing and sharing your insight! Stacy

  4. Kelly Caldwell says:

    Very well explained, Sitara. And enlightening! It is especially informative to hear from a woman whose colleagues every day talk about the law, and are against it. What a difficult position. Good for you for writing this.

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