27 November, 2021

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As Sri Lanka Mulls Reforming MMDA, New Report Highlights Shocking Degrading Of Muslim Women Through Existing Act

As Sri Lanka focuses on reforming the controversial Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) of 1951, a damning 61 page report has disclosed the many ugly sides of the MMDA in Sri Lanka, which has discriminated and rendered Muslim women less than equal as citizens in the country. This report also comes amidst hype around EU’s alleged demand to amend the act as a condition for GSP+. While there is no such condition attached to the GSP+ Sri Lanka has to show progress on international conventions, some of which have called for review of discriminatory family laws and raising the age of marriage for Muslims.Muslims Sri Lanka Colombo Telegraph

The report titled ‘Unequal Citizens: Muslim Women’s Struggle for Justice and Equality in Sri Lanka’ by Muslim women working in the area of human rights, has exposed many instances where children as young as 14 were married off and had to suffer sexual and physical abuse in the hands of their husbands, while in many instances even getting a divorce can be challenging for women.

The report detailing several case studies reveals how young girls were either forced into marriage, or had to undergo abuse, both physically and sexually post marriage for various reason including dowry matters. In one incident, a 15 year old girl was forced into marriage by a mosque committee citing ‘bad reputation’ even though she was not at fault and a man who had been harassing her demanding she marries him, tried to molest her after entering her home while she was changing her clothes.

Detailing the incident the report said, “A 15-year-old girl from the Eastern province was continually harassed by a man in her village who was asking her to marry him. She kept refusing him as she was still attending school and was not interested in marriage. One day when she was alone at home, the man had entered her house and when she was changing her clothes he had tried to molest her. She had screamed and neighbors had come from outside to help her, and had found the man in her bedroom. Shortly afterwards they had taken both the girl and the man to the mosque committee, and the mosque committee had insisted that the girl marry this man on the basis that she now had a “bad reputation” and therefore that no one else would want to marry her. The girl had refused but was forced into marriage, and because it was ordered by the mosque committee her family had not objected. After marriage the man was with the girl for only one month, after which he abandoned her. The girl who had dropped out of school has been living alone and fending for herself with little family support for the past 2.5 years.”

In another incident, a husband beat his 16 year old bride with a helmet, causing her serious injuries, because she refused to ask her mother and brother to sell the remaining property and give him a bigger dowry.

Detailing the case, the report said, “A 16-year-old girl from the Eastern province was given in marriage to a man from the same district after he had approached her mother and brother with a marriage proposal. The man asked for a big kaikuli (dowry) so the family sold half of their plot of land and bought him a motorbike, and gave the remainder in cash as kaikuli. After the nikah she had gone to live with him. After the third day of marriage, the man had pressured the girl into asking her family to sell the remainder of their land and property and give the money to him. To this she had objected saying that her family would have no place else to live if they did so. The man then began to be severely physically abusive towards her, and on the 10th day after marriage she was attacked with a helmet causing her serious injuries so that she had to be taken to the hospital. In the hospital she said that her injuries were because she had fallen, as she was too embarrassed and scared to mention the domestic violence to anyone. The husband had then dropped her at her mother’s house and abandoned her thereafter. Now at 18 years of age, she has obtained a fasah divorce but was unable to get back any of the kaikuli except the motorbike.”

The report highlighted that dowry is not only an un-Islamic practice, but also grievously harms Muslim women and their families and must be removed from the MMDA. However, given the current context, in order to eliminate the practice, stringent and mandatory record of all kaikuli dealings (moveable and immovable assets) must be stipulated during the marriage registration. “There also has to be clear procedures to recover kaikuli during any point of time in the marriage, separation period or divorce,” the report urged.

The report also reveals the harrowing experience Muslim women have to undergo in the hands of the Quazi court system administers the MMDA. In another incident, it was revealed that within the first two months of marriage a woman of a minority Shi’a sect who was married to a man also from the same community, experienced emotional abuse and controlling behavior from her husband, which culminated in physical abuse as well. Unable to continue being in such a marriage, she had to separate from her husband. Despite attempts at reconciliation, the woman decided that she would not return to the marriage given her experiences of being abused but was unable to get a fasah divorce under the MMDA as the law of the sect requires the consent of the husband for divorce, regardless of circumstance. She received strong support from her family, community and religious leaders in this regard and they put immense pressure on the husband to permit the divorce. However despite this the husband did not grant her a divorce for three years simply because he was able to withhold it as a right granted to him by (unwritten) provisions in the law pertaining to the sect.

In another incident, a girl in the Eastern province was married at the age of 14 after her schooling was stopped. After a few months of marriage she applied for fasah divorce due to severe sexual torture by her husband. The Quazi instead of dealing with the case in a sensitive and appropriate manner chose to interrogate her for over two hours asking her specific details about the sexual violence, which in turn caused the girl further psychological trauma so that she attempted suicide and faced severe depression.

The report demanded that the Sri Lanka State needs to ensure that the minimum age of marriage is 18 years for all citizens regardless of religion or ethnicity. Also since, Islamic legal jurisprudence does not stipulate a particular age and some scholars even considers setting any age limit not permissible, it is therefore imperative that government takes responsibility for setting the minimum age of marriage as it does for all other citizens.

“Regardless of the number of cases, whether isolated or many, child marriage is unacceptable and for the Muslim community this needs to be addressed by removing the legal cover that MMDA accords,” the report said.

The report also criticized those who are not in favor of setting a minimum age of marriage for Muslims, who often give the example of some states in the United States of America that has a low minimum age of marriage as an attempt to call out the ‘hypocrisy of the West’ on child rights. “However, the fact that Muslim majority countries such as Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Lebanon have set a minimum age of marriage in keeping with international human rights standards are never considered in the same vein,” the report revealed.

The report also said that Muslim politicians, religious leaders, as well as some individuals and organizations in support of MMDA reforms believe that the minimum age of marriage for Muslims should be decided from within the Muslim community and mandated by the MMDA. However, the minimum age of marriage is a contested topic even within the Muslim community and is highly subjective, dependent upon the theological viewpoint of the various parties supporting or opposing the establishment of a minimum age.

“Therefore, in the current context, it is unlikely that all the stakeholders in the Muslim community in Sri Lanka would agree and reach consensus on raising the minimum age of marriage to 18 years and deciding that the State should set the minimum age of marriage for all citizens. It is important for the Sri Lankan state to recognize and protect the rights of all citizens to enjoy his/her culture, traditions and freedom of religion. However in provisions such as establishing a minimum age of marriage – it is the responsibility of the State to ensure that child rights are not compromised in the name of culture and religion,” the report said.

Sri Lanka is a party to the Convention on Rights of the Child (CRC)24 and Convention for Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) among other international human rights instruments, and is thus required to adhere to global benchmarks on child rights and women’s rights. The CRC recognizes anyone under the age of 18 as children and explicitly states in Article 2 that no child can be treated unfairly on any basis including religion, ethnicity or gender. Article 19 of the CRC also states that children need to be protected from all forms of violence, including “from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally”. As per CEDAW, early and forced marriage is considered a “harmful practice” that the state needs to take serious action to reduce and eliminate.

“Clearly the status quo with respect to MMDA is untenable. There are serious shortcomings in the law and in its implementation. This has had an adverse impact on the rights and wellbeing of women and girls in the community. Constitutional provisions like Article 16(1) have prevented those affected from being able to seek redress against discriminatory aspects of the law and has rendered Muslim women less than equal as citizens. The struggle of Muslim women for reform against heavy odds has been led by few committed activists, admirable and long suffering but also riven with limitations,” the report said.

The report highlighted that in Sri Lanka, the government has the primary duty to address issues faced by Muslims under the MMDA and the Quazi court system, which was established, administered and is funded by the state.

“The Sri Lankan government has foremost responsibility to ensure that State laws protect the rights of citizens and is not in turn causing discrimination and injustice on the basis of gender and religion. In this regard the Sri Lankan government cannot grant any religious or ethnic group the onus to decide on whether or not the individual and fundamental rights of citizens can be forgone in the name of the cultural and religious rights of the group to which they are affiliated. Especially so in a democratic state that has secular laws, which by default, should apply for each and every citizen. On certain issues such as minimum age of marriage, the Sri Lankan government is mandated to establish an age that is suitable for all citizens and protect child rights and promote education, health and wellbeing. Putting perceived cultural and religious rights before child rights and legally allowing for Muslim minors to be given in marriage at an earlier age and legally exempting their protection under the Constitution and Penal Code is a serious violation of this State responsibility,” the report underscored.

The report also highlighted that Muslim women in Sri Lanka are facing grave issues under the MMDA not because of their religious affiliation, but as a result of patriarchy and power that has used a religious and legal basis to disqualify women from equal protection under the law and reinforce subordination of women. “Therefore, the argument that amendments to the MMDA will negate Muslim identity is one that reinforces this patriarchal notion and threatens the status quo, which privileges Muslim men above women,” the report added.

The report has been developed by Hyshyama Hamin and Hasanah Cegu Isadeen. Hamin is gender consultant and independent researcher, while Isadeen is a lawyer and activist. (By Munza Mushtaq )

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Latest comments

  • 19
    13

    Will Muslims accept that this report is the Allah’s wish ?

    • 19
      26

      Buddhist monks around the world are continuously involved in pedophilia, sexual assault and rape; even though there are strict laws against it in respective coutrices. Will so called ‘Buddha’ accept this barbaric acts are normal part of behaviour in reaching Nirvana?

      • 17
        10

        AJ are you aware the founder of Islam married a six year old girl and repeated raped her after she turned nine? Not only that, Muhammad had sex slaves. A paedophile rapist is the man Muslims venerate. The man Allah chose to represent Islam. So we can definitely say Allah accepts child rape and sexual slavery.

        • 10
          5

          If you can definitely say Allah accepts child rape, I can definitely say Budha accepts child rape, as its practiced by some Budist monks.

        • 5
          1

          Harsha

          “The man Allah chose to represent Islam. So we can definitely say Allah accepts child rape and sexual slavery.”

          The man was married to his first wife fir 25 years, and only after his first wife died that he went after girls and multiple wives.

          What changed?

          Did Allah change it? or Did Satan Change it? Or did the Tribals change it? or the man change it?

          Is this cultural or religious?

          • 4
            0

            The most obvious reason was that many men had died in the preceeding wars and women were left widowed. The choice for these women were :

            1. Lead a sedentary life. (Like a Nun)
            2. Be another man’s illegal wife with no legal protection.
            3. Suicide
            4. Prostitution
            5. Be another man’s legal wife with legal protection.

            Which one’s the best?

            • 1
              1

              You must note that he did not have children by succeeding wives. All his children were by his his first marraige.

        • 11
          0

          There is no need to denigrate the Islamic hierarchy with made up stories to make your point. There is however an urgent need to repeal the MDDA as it has been blatantly cruel to Muslim women. In the main scheme of things we should aim for assimilation and not separatism. The MDDA does keep the Muslims separate. I am sure a majority of Muslims, irrespective of the sects, would welcome the repeal of MDDA.

        • 7
          1

          The prophet did marry a 6-years old (Aisha). He did have many wives, concubines and sex-slaves. But the justification I hear from many Muslims is that, those were all acceptable BACK THEN. That having many wives, concubines, sex-slaves, temporary marriages, etc was normal back then.

          So the question is what applies TODAY? Does Quran give clear cut instruction on when and where things should apply and not? I am not talking about someone’s interpretation (like e.g. Zakir Naik) but unambiguous, clear cut instructions given in the Quran since Muslims consider it literally the word god.

          I am not Muslim, Christian or Jew. So in Islam and don’t even fall into the “People of the Book” category. This is what frightens me the most. How does this all work?

          • 1
            0

            Thanos

            “But the justification I hear from many Muslims is that, those were all acceptable BACK THEN. That having many wives, concubines, sex-slaves, temporary marriages, etc was normal back then.”

            So this is 7th Century Arab cultural, era based tradition, not God directed Revelation.So, it should be changeable. If Prophet Mohamed was alive, could have lobbied for a change, with a new Revelation through Angel.

            Is there any way one can contact Angel Gabriel?.Muslims are frozen in the interpretation and the era.

            Do the Muslims know that now they have 46 chromosomes, not the 48 of the primate ancestors?

    • 27
      0

      Sir,

      There is no need to consult medieval fanatics or anybody else.

      Jsut repeal this law today, if possible.

      Cheers!

      PS:
      1. Where are our highly vocal, in-house experts on all affairs Islamic.
      2. Too busy whining about Palestine? While gross abuse is being committed against Sri Lanka’s girls, just because they are Muslims, right under your nose?
      3. Are you choosing to look the other way? To save your face among medieval fanatics? Playing to the gallerry of bloody idiots?

      Your silence amounts to conscent. DISGRACEFUL!

  • 10
    2

    Are these Quasi contain Women members or only Men while investigating the girls cases. Is there any age set for boys by this MMDA?

    Apparently this law was brought in to split Tamils and Muslims, otherwise why there is the dowry provision that is illegal even for Tamils?

    So it was the Muslim men politicians pulled harrows to destroy the country under the name of MMDA. That part was made Tamils to feels jealous though Muslim were only carrying the yoke.

  • 19
    0

    This calls for strong measures to reform these primitive practices, and it is up to the government to help these poor little girls have the law on their side, by raising the age limit for marriages. According to UNICEF Southeast Asia has the highest number of child brides, and it does not apply to Muslims only. India too, has been cited as one of the nations with the highest child brides. Our girls must be shielded from abuse, being forced into marriages, and have strict laws that give them rights when they decide they cannot live in an abusive marriage. Muslim laws do favor the man, and these girls are afraid to divorce these men, because these scoundrels are not obliged to pay alimony or child support. The girls/women are also not entitled to any property or financial settlements, which is crucial for her to take care of herself and her children. We also should have programs to teach close minded, uneducated people, that girls must be allowed to attend school and get an education, so that she can be empowered and able to fend for herself if necessary. Poverty does play a big part in these child marriage, as the family considers girls a burden for them. All primitive thinking, which is also part of the culture.

  • 28
    0

    This is a fight the Muslim Women themselves have to carry forward. We have numerous progressive, educated and emancipated Muslim Women in the country. They have to come out on to the roads and lead this fight. If not they will be treated as slaves and silenced for ever by the hardcore men.

    • 7
      0

      Not only Muslim women but there are many right thinking Muslim men who should come out with courage and support these ladies. The majority of muslims will support thus but they are too scared of the radical minority amongst them.

  • 22
    8

    The Moslems pick on the weakest segment of their society – women. The Tamils pick on the weakest in their culture too – the low castes.

    Both say its because the God asked them to do so. In the case of the Tamils I think its a penis that talks to them.

    I think neither the Tamil low-castes nor Moslems women want to speak up due to fear of creating ripples that reverberate back.

    • 27
      6

      And Sinhalese pick the minority race: Tamils and Muslims

      • 11
        2

        In addition, sinhalse also pick low cste among them: Govigama, Vahumpuras, Rada and Karava etc etc

    • 14
      5

      “The Moslems pick on the weakest segment of their society – women. The Tamils pick on the weakest in their culture too – the low castes.”

      sinhalese pick on the tamils and muslims.Bullying is everywhere.

      • 8
        1

        shankar

        “sinhalese pick on the tamils and muslims.Bullying is everywhere.”

        The Sinhala/Buddhists pick on the Sinhalese, Buddhists, Tamils, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, ……. keep all of them down in order to build their Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto.

    • 5
      3

      Sinhalese were also picking on their lower castes like your Salagamma ancestors, They were not allowed to build proper homes or enter Buddhist temples owned by the upper castes ( Just like the Hindu temple entry) until the British put a stop to this and the lower castes started to build their own temples and create their own orders. In the name of caste, the Rodiya and Berewa women were forced to walk around topless so that the upper caste men could ogle on their breasts. Even now the Sinhalese upper castes will never allow someone belonging to the low caste to be a leader.

      Low caste Premadasa was bumped off and the blame conveniently laid on the LTTE. Karawa Sarath Fonseka was jailed for daring to be a leader. Tamils on the other hand will elect/choose anyone as their leader irrespective of religion or caste. The basis of the Sinhalese JVP rebellion that was brutally put down by the ruling upper caste establishment and elite was caste. The largely lower caste educated rural youth were never given any opportunities to find employment or come up. Just look at the JVP membership all largely from these lower castes.

      They not only discriminate their lower caste but the minorities like the Tamils and the Muslims in the name of their Mahavamsa comic book, that states the land only belongs to them. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones

    • 4
      1

      Is that why your low caste Tamil ancestors imported from South India by the Dutch to work on the cinnamon estates became Sinhalese Salagama and now you have a grudge against the Tamil upper castes?

      • 8
        0

        Ignorance at best. During the Dutch colonisation, various caste from India moved to Sri Lanka. You conveniently left out what’s now called Chetty Tamil. These people were from a high class, merchants and owners of land in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They were called Chetiar in India. When they moved to Sri Lanka they learnt Tamil,thus called Chetty Tamil. After independence they learnt Sinhala and changed their names from ‘Pillai’ to ‘Pulle.’ Ex Fernando Pulle. Other types of low caste also moved to Sri Lanka.

        The caste system exists among Sinhalese and Tamils and well rooted within our culture unfortunately. Sinhalese call one of the low caste Govigama and Tamils call them Goviar. Sinhalese call it Karava and Tamils call it Karaiyar. Prabahran who was from Karava (fisherman caste) tried to implement laws against discrimination based on caste during his reign through his court system. (That is the only thing I liked about him, but I didn’t like his punishments). You can be shot if you say Karava during his reign.

        I have Sinhala clients from Kandy who said to me recently, “we never marry somebody from Galle caste.” Before pointing fingers at somebody else, just take a good look at your own back yard, because it equally stinks.

  • 28
    3

    There can be only one law in this county,which is called srlankan law.There can’t be muslim laws,hindu laws or bhuddhist,christian/catholic laws.If evryone starts claiming laws the country will end up as a madhouse.

    The best option for those who don’t like to abide by srilankan laws is to leave the country and happily settle somewhere else,such as example syria,iraq etc.

    • 4
      0

      shankar

      How about the constitution favouring Buddhism or should I say Sinhala/Buddhism?

    • 7
      0

      Budhasena

      “MUSLIMS MUST OBEY THE LAWS OF THE COUNTRIES WHERE THE RESIDE.”

      How about the Sinhala/Buddhist politicians, their cronies, state functionaries not obeying the laws of the country? It is okay isn’t it?

      “IT IS ABSURD TO HAVE PRIMITIVE LAWS FOR THEIR OWN RELIGION. “

      How about primitive religion being given foremost place in the constitution?

      ” ALL LAWS OF THE COUNTRY MUST BE UPHELD BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL”

      You are kidding, aren’t you?

    • 5
      0

      We have the Sri Lankan law which ban the sale of alcohol on a Poya day, which is sensitive to Budhism. Are you saying they should change that law to make it neutral to all the religion and Buddhist should leave the country?

    • 0
      0

      Shankar,

      There can’t be muslim laws,hindu laws or bhuddhist,christian/catholic laws.If evryone starts claiming laws the country will end up as a madhouse.

      Sri Lanka is and has been a mad house ever since we got independence. Those who are most mad are the thugs in saffron robes running amok with no restraints. In the meantime the mad politicos are reaping rich illegal harvests in this mad house.

  • 26
    9

    Yeah… Islam is a very biased and violent religion anyways… Well done Sri Lanka… Please try to abolish the potato-sack dress for their ladies too…

    • 5
      2

      GOOD POINT. While banning potato sack dress, we should also ban half naked primitive saffron robe

  • 20
    2

    What ever laws required to be enacted should be based on rights and responsibilities, not beliefs and obsolete unethical practices. A girl has to be ready to be responsible to raise a family. If she is regarded as a marketable commodity by any religion then national laws must provide adequate protection to the individual to veto the loss of rights due to unethical practices of beliefs. Best solution would be get educated which will become the weapon to survive.

  • 15
    0

    RE: As Sri Lanka Mulls Reforming MMDA, New Report Highlights Shocking Degrading Of Muslim Women Through Existing Act

    “As Sri Lanka focuses on reforming the controversial of Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) of 1951, a damning 61 page report has disclosed the many ugly sides of the MMDA in Sri Lanka, which has discriminated and rendered Muslim women less than equal as citizens in the country.”

    “The report titled ‘Unequal Citizens: Muslim Women’s Struggle for Justice and Equality in Sri Lanka’ by Muslim women working in the area of human rights, has exposed many instances where children as young as 14 were married off and had to suffer sexual and physical abuse in the hands of their husbands, while in many instances even getting a divorce can be challenging for women.”

    Sri Lanka constitution need to clarify that certain sections of the populace, women, cannot be discriminated based on belief.Period.

    “The report has been developed by Hyshyama Hamin and Hasanah Cegu Isadeen. Hamin is gender consultant and independent researcher, while Isadeen is a lawyer and activist. (By Munza Mushtaq )”

    Thank you for fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Sri Lanka.

  • 30
    4

    Great…agreed MMDA must be amended …

    Guys also ensure right of Buddhist child who is recruited to practice as monk and never have a chance for marriage

    • 18
      4

      Exactly correct. There must be a age limit to become a Buddhist priest.
      Young children belong to the family and not to temple to live old monks.
      They are not safe in temples. This can be called child abuse.

      Siri

      • 4
        0

        Siri de Alwis

        I do agree with your observations, however, in many cases, the family is too poor to care for the child, hence the child is donated into monastic slavery.

  • 21
    2

    I believe these things are happening in rural and villages areas and not Muslims living in Colombo and its suburbs.

    Arabic Muslims won’t ask for dowries from girls parents. They buy the girl paying girls parents money.

    In any case there should be one law for every Sri Lankan.

  • 11
    2

    Yikes! This is really scary. I admit, I was totally oblivious to this. How come the statutory rape laws are not applied here? The age of consent is 16 in SL. If one party of the relationship is over the age limit while the other is under then that it is automatically a crime regardless of how committed, consensual the relationship is. Even parental consent is irrelevant. If the age gap is narrow the judges might be lenient especially if both are still in school. Many men in the south have been jailed for this (and rightfully so). Law should be equal to all.

  • 16
    2

    Sound like an excellent report.

    Sri Lankan Muslim women must have equal rights and at least enjoy the rights that Sinhala and Tamil women have, which are in any case less than men in a patriarchal society where Buddhist monks run amok routinely and there is no Bikkuni Sasana. A sign of how backward and chauvinistic Sinhala Buddhism is!

    Sri Lanka needs an equal opportunities bill and public education so that women who are more educated and qualified that men are able to get jobs, and not marginalized and always treated as victims.

    The only way women get noticed in this country is when they are victimized/

    • 2
      0

      /*

      a patriarchal society where Buddhist monks run amok routinely and there is no Bikkuni Sasana.

      */

      Well, I agree on the score of Bikkuni Sasana.

      I think women need to take a more assertive stand as the women shown below have done.

      A new beginning -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BubxzlV-0N0

  • 15
    10

    MMDA is practiced barbarians who follow a malicious religion created by a child molester

  • 13
    0

    There are two very serious issues with the MMDA which is not much highlighted. For one thing there is no provision for the written consent of the bride as her marriage guardian (wali) signs on her behalf. A man can simply give his ward away in marriage and declare she consented to it. It’s his word against hers since there is no proof of her consent.

    For another, it requires the bride’s guardian (relative such as father or brother)to consent to her marriage thereby placing obstacles on her free choice of spouse. This is a very basic human right the entire world accepts and which Islam too recognises, albeit not conceded in the local law.

    Change has to come sooner or later, the sooner the better. Only insecure people who don’t know how to bring up their daughters support these backward laws.

  • 10
    3

    Worldwide there are lots of unjustifiable hate comments against Muslims. We must not add to those.

    However, we must never forget that Under 18s are NOT considered adults by us. I don’t know what the intricacies of the laws are. These children have rights, that must be protected. Nothing should be allowed to supercede basic human rights.

    It is good that this report has actually been prepared by two Muslims. It must be treated seriously, however much some Muslims may howl.

  • 11
    7

    The Prophet Muhammad married a six year old girl and then had sex with her when she turned 9. She was repeatedly raped by the ‘founder of Islam’. Ganansara Thera of the BBS is a saint compared to Muhammad. Muslims are only following the example of their Prophet when they clamour for child marriage, oblivious to the fact that paedophilia is a criminal offence in the civilised world. This is not acceptable at all. We are living in 2016 and not medieval Saudi Arabia.

    • 3
      1

      Even in the articles that show children being horribly abused and not have rights to protect them, comments show there are some bigots in our country, who take the opportunity to show their ignorance and hatred toward another religion, a religion they know nothing about. Whatever religion you belong to, obviously you did not learn the part that teaches you to be tolerate and compassionate, especially when it comes to all children.

      Even Mother Mary was a young child when she conceived and gave birth to Jesus:

      “It is very clear that Mary was betrothed to Joseph and marriage was imminent. The usual age for marriage under Jewish law is 13 for boys, 12 for girls. Considering the circumstances described in the Gospel and giving enough weight to Jewish practices 2000 years back Mary was 13 when angel Gabriel appeared before her. Please also note that Mary was not subjected to a physical relation with God. According to our best knowledge she was 14 at the time of giving birth to Jesus.”

      Instead of showing ignorance it would be good for haters to help our young kids have the laws support and protect them from being hurt. It is the humane thing to do.

  • 3
    0

    There were cases of state officials facing problems regarding whom the ownership of new houses constructed after 2004 Tsunami should go to where a polygamist Muslim died leaving two or more wives. The houses built were 400-600 sq ft and grossly inadequate for accommodating two or more families. Sharia Law had no provisions for solving that problem. So the Muslim politicians demanded more houses.

    I recall one senior official responding to requests of Chiefs of Households (during R Premadasa regime) for more houses on grounds of more families living in irregular houses (slums and shanties) marked for relocation, “I am sorry. The government cannot give dowries.”

  • 10
    1

    MUSLIMS MUST OBEY THE LAWS OF THE COUNTRIES WHERE THE RESIDE. IT IS ABSURD TO HAVE PRIMITIVE LAWS FOR THEIR OWN RELIGION. ALL LAWS OF THE COUNTRY MUST BE UPHELD BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

    • 3
      0

      Primitive Religions want Primitive Law.

      When will the Age of Reason and Enlightenment arrive to the Mullahs and Ulemas?

  • 1
    1

    country’s law should be for the protection of rights of its citizens.it is government duty to do so.government should not worry about the incentives granted by a ruler of another land around 1450 years ago to his male followers to achieve his political ambitions like becoming ruler and spiritual leader of his dream empire.

  • 1
    0

    Why do we need Muslim, Hindu, or Christian laws for a country? Laws should be humane and should protect everyone equally against those who try to take advantage of their primitive ‘superiority’.

  • 7
    0

    @ AJ ,This is what happens quote : Buddhist monks around the world are continuousl ..

    —————
    The Article is about amending the Muslim marriage law , and without staying within the article ,which is about Muslim marraige law ,which you have no knowledge at all or have the qualification to debate or discuss , you try turning tables , it does not work giving monkeys for peanuts randomly .

    —————————–
    as for you Harsha ,you are no different , you know nothing of Islam ,or its Prophet , you are parroting what you have googled and picked at random , you are no better than AJ , this is what happens like the old Sinhalese saying goes ,when you give a shaving razor to monkeys , same with today’s internet, and not to forget the Facebook, every fool has an account and most of them are too busy login into it and gossiping and spreading hate ,lies and rumors than concentrate on their livelihood.

    Besides The people of the most powerful nation on earth The USA have completely turned the so-called picking political leaders and first ladies from fresh unspoiled fruits straight from treas to picking from among the rotten and fallen fruits filled with worms and what not, they are wise people I believe , they have realized their country and most people around the world are rotten and filled with worms and they need someone with similar traits to take charge and control and I believe they have done the right thing .

    And what you have mentioned about The Prophet of Islam is completely based on hearsay , in different literature the age of the said incident is never consistent , and it needs more time and a separate forum to debate about , but I am not obliged to talk certain subjects with men with tiny minds who do not possess the mental capacity to comprehend it.

    AJ and to Muslims to whom it concerns , this is a highly intellectual subject ,and unless you are a qualified lawyer and have a degree in Islamic law , my advice is please refrain without adding insult to injury.

    We have some dynamic minds who are well qualified with the subject ,so let them deal with it.

    Peace be to you

  • 3
    1

    1. Do ONLY Muslim girls given in marriage in their early teens get abused?

    2. Isn’t abuse of wives, regardless of their age, by their husbands quite
    common in all societies the world over?

    3. As Dowry from the brides to the grooms is UNISLAMIC, by all means make it
    Unlawful.

    4. If the Quazis are Not doing their job properly, Replace them, by all means.
    Well, It is not only the Quazis who are incompetent in Sri Lanka,lets not
    forget that. Incompetency is a malaise that has been with us for ages. So,
    if we do away with the Quazi Courts for incompetency, logically, we must do
    away with every Public Office!

    Finally, this so-called Report is NOT worth the paper it is written on.

  • 2
    2

    Where is Lateef Farouk to blame Jews and Christians for their pedophile backward primitive marriage laws? Where is Hilmy to blame racist BBS and Sinhala fascism.

    SECULAR NATIONS must have secular laws. NO Sharia shit in Sri Lanka. NEVER NEVER NEVER. NO child marriage and no assault and no Sharia in Sri lanka

  • 1
    1

    I would like to hear the opinions of Fazal Mohammed ,Hilmi ,Izeth about this issue.They are amazingly silent.These hypocrites especially Fazal Mohammed cry out loud when something goes wrong against Muslims.Folks where are you when the most vulnerable segments of your society are subjected to these kind of inhuman treatments.This is not speculation but solid evidence. Fazal brought ten points suggestions in one of his previous articles aiming step by step destruction of Buddhism of the land.Such radical minded fellow is largely silent when his fellow female kids are subjected to horrifying intimidation by their own men as described in this’s article .It is surprising that educated liberal minded Muslim women are keeping their silence on this report. Fear of reprisal,fear of God ..I am not sure why ,This should not be brought up as a Muslim marriage law.Instead law should have been passed clearly clarifying the minimum age of marriage as 18. Common folks this is 21st century.Let us treat women with some respect and dignity and not as sexual objects.This should not be viewed as a religious issue but as a moral and human rights issue. Let Muslims practise their religion peacefully without any intimidation as they have every right to do so. However when it comes to human rights issues we need to take a firm stand to ensure the rights of most vulnerable in the society like children and women irrespective of race religion and cast.This should equally extend to other races as well and no one should be spared from committing heinous acts like thi

  • 0
    1

    Law is by the people for the people, not by non-humans for the people.

    Allah is non-human mythical life.

    All the people, especially Muslims must understand it and value his own capabilities rather than following unreal teachings.

    This is not stone age.

    • 2
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      sr

      “This is not stone age.”

      ‘The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.’ It ended because we invented bronze tools, which were more productive.”
      – Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani

      Find new tools to bring harmony and prosperity to this world, not proliferation of religious bigotry which we have plenty, similar to stones.

      • 0
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        Native

        I love the way you commented but i’m not fond of religions.

        Wonder what’s the best tool other than the truth.

        How can we find/make a common ground for harmony when every thing divides us except the humanity.

        Isn’t it worth to sacrifice religion to make a common ground?

  • 0
    0

    DAWRY (KAIKULLY) IS A BELIEF THAT HAVE TRANSFORMED TO A MUST-DO FROM BRIDES FAMILY WHEN GETTING MARRIED. MOSTLY A HOUSE , LAND VEHICLES GOLD & MONIES ..HAPPENS 95% IN EASTERN PART IN SL, IT HAS TO BE ELIMINATED ASAP, ALSO THE COMMON LAW OF MARRIAGE HAS TO BE INITIATED STRICTLY TO THIS SECTOR AND THE MUSLIM LEADERS IN THIS PART SHOULD MONITOR THESE, ITS UN RELIGIOUS WHAT THEY DO .

  • 3
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    Isolated instances which happened in the East of the country, being reported as the norm. This has nothing to do with Islam nor its teachings.

    When a young girl is given in marriage, it must only be done by the father of the girl, who carries the burden of responsibility to give his daughter away in marriage. Surely he must be aware of its implications before agreeing to such an arrangement. But yet, like with all marriages, sometimes it works, sometimes it fails. In the case that the father is not alive, then it falls on the grandfather, or the most senior male member/guardian of the bride to give her away in marriage. What is wrong in that? Why should it bother anyone else?

    Abuse and misdemeanors happen in all marriages irrespective. It is not unique to Muslims marriages only. They are many who are happily married and the girl is allowed to pursue her education until completion, and sometimes even after getting into family way. No one speaks about the success rate of arranged marriages which is the most recommended and is usually considered the norm for Muslim’s to marry, where matured parents of both parties agree after reviewing each others family background to ensure compatibility on all fronts. Of course, these are also sometimes not nearly perfect and do lead to break-up after silly issues which are usually solvable by direct and open communication.

    This is like creating a mountain out of a mole-hill. Much to do about nothing.

    • 1
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      Marwan, your logic is absolutely warped, you seem to be talking of women as mere chattels to be given away in marriage to safeguard the status of the family. Come on mam, this stupid marriage guardianship law has to go sooner or later, the sooner the better!

  • 3
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    AJ -Not in the Initials of the reputed family name please, can you use a different Nick other than AJ ?

    Like Pila Kota sameen nana ,or something?

    Thank you

  • 1
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    If the Sinhala Buddhist Nation can set an example of exemplary living all other beings will fall into line and MMDA will become irrelevant. The Tamils will not clamour for a separate state either.

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