Still living in dark ages


One just fails to understand if Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has any relevance in today’s Pakistan. Apparently the council has no other issue to ponder upon, other than women, marriages and rapes. Latest milestone achieved by CII this week was its ruling on laws which prohibit underage marriages. CII termed such laws as unfair as there can’t be, in council’s expert opinion, any age for marriage. We all know minor girls are married to aged men as part of deals out of tribal and family disputes, as part of penalties against girls’ families, Vani, Sawara — common practices in rural and tribal societies of Pakistan. Council recommendations to do away with marriage age is in fact an attempt to support and legalise such evil practices. Council didn’t stop its expression of wisdom on girls’ age, it went ahead to question why a man, who intends to remarry, is required by law to seek permission from his first wife. Council demanded to scrap the 1961 Family Laws which were enforced to discourage polygamy practices in the society. Not long ago CII refused to accept DNA test results as primary evidence to prove rape crimes against girls and women. It insisted to keep intact the Gen Zia’s legacy, Hudood Ordinance, wherein a rape victim has to produce four male eyewitnesses to prove that she has been raped. Council has also rejected Protection of Women Act of 2006 and declared its provisions are not in line with Islamic injunctions.

It appears that the council has become an institution whose only purpose is to work against women’s rights. It has lost its credibility to be an institute to do ijtihad to meet the needs of today’s world. Its chair has been used to bribe the political affiliates. There is no way but to demand abolishment of the council altogether. Parliament should have the sole right to make and amend laws without the biased opinion of these so-called scholars and jurists.


Jubail, Saudi Arabia


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