20 November, 2018

Blog

MMDA: Who Is Blocking Reform Of This Discriminatory Law?

By Ameer Faaiz

Ameer M. Faaiz

Sri Lanka’s Muslim women are being denied family and other rights available to other women under this country’s constitution. The government committee set up nine years ago to reform the out-dated and discriminatory Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) has finally made its recommendations for change. But six months later, the government has taken no action. Why this urgently needed reform is being blocked is a mystery. Or is it?

The Report of the Justice Saleem Marsoof’s Committee on reforming the MMDA was handed over to the Ministry of Justice on 22ndJanuary 2018. While the Minister of Justice, Thalatha Athukorale, deserves credit for having have persuaded the committee to conclude its deliberations and submit its report, that the Minister herself continued to sit on it without taking the reform forward remains a mystery, and speculations abound. The Ministry of Justice released the report on its website only on the 18thJuly, the day before Justice Marsoof was to explain the recommendations, including their variants, to Muslim MPs, on invitation.

The fact that the overwhelming majority of the recommendations are unanimous were lost on the Minister. Yet differences of opinion amongst the members of the committee remain on some important matters which demand reforms. They are crucial to the rights and equality of Muslim women in our country.

Most of the areas where there is variance also have a direct impact on the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of citizens and the state’s obligation to uphold them. Hence the Minister should have referred the report to the Cabinet of Ministers for necessary follow up action without prevaricating.

The ACJU:  a veiled threat of incitement

Why the delay? What happened at the 19thJuly meeting with the Muslim Ministers and MPs casts light on this mystery.

Minister Rishad Bathiudeen joined the meeting mid-stream and is understood to have prevailed upon the other Muslim Parliamentarians to invite the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the self-appointed group of Islamic theologians, to explain their stance. This was totally unnecessary and without any legal basis. Agreeing to this was a typical manifestation of male chauvinism. The signed report contains the ACJU’s recommendations as well. The ACJU has no special or legal status to make any further input in the matter.

Furthermore, the Muslim Parliamentarians including Ministers are duty bound to acknowledge the diversity of views within the Ulamas or theologians. But, most importantly, they must respect the views of the most important stakeholders in the reform process: the women who have been adversely affected by the discrimination and abuse permitted and continuously perpetrated under the MMDA in violation of the spirit of Sri Lanka’s constitution. There are also the other men who hold different opinion to that of the ACJU but well within Shariahand Fiqh (deep understanding).

The MPs would do well to know that the women have met the ACJU on more than one occasion and presented the ground realities and the abuse women are subjected to. Yet the ACJU has completely failed to acknowledge their testimony or to learn anything from the women bearing witness to these injustices. It must be acknowledged unequivocally that, as a private male-only club, the ACJU is neither qualified nor entitled to represent the interests of women and or children.

Had the Muslim MPs applied themselves they would have realised that all the progressive reforms proposed in the Justice Marsoof’s Committee’s Report are within the limits of Islamic law (Shariah). There are examples of many Muslim countries that have reformed their family laws progressively.

Instead, the Muslim MPs, having invited the ACJU to contribute to their deliberations, were then subjected to a veiled threat by the president of the ACJU that his supporters would incite people through the mosques should the ACJU position not be accepted. Maybe this threat instilled the same fear in the mind of the Minister of Justice in relation to Muslim votes.

The diabolical actions of the ACJU are further highlighted by the fact that in 1951, its members, as the premier council of theologians, protested against the enactment of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act in the vicinity of the Old Parliament near Galle Face on the basis that they were not consulted despite repeated requests for hearing from the then Minister of Home Affairs. Blissfully forgetting that, now the very same pseudo Mullas or their offsprings are crying foul, falsely alleging that it is Shariah and thus cannot be amended.

MMDA reform: another ten year’s delay?

The call for reform of the MMDA dates back at least three decades. It is an import, dating back to the 1770s, from Batavia (now Indonesia) at a time when Sri Lanka was ruled by our past colonial masters. The substance of the law codified in 1951 has not been amended since. Indonesia itself has drastically reformed its family law, as have many other majority-Muslim countries.

From 1951 to date Sri Lanka has transformed its legal regime to incorporate equality, ensure non-discrimination, promote equal protection and gender parity, promotion of free education, health and hygiene amongst others. Comparable transformation of the MMDA is shockingly overdue. Any further delay permits Muslim women and children to continue be oppressed and discriminated by state structures. This is a gross neglect and dereliction of responsibility on the part of successive governments. It demonstrates their scant disregard and disrespect towards Muslim women who make up of half of all Muslim voters.

This is the context in which the conduct of the Minister of Justice after receiving the said Committee’s report must be judged. It was her responsibility either to accept the report of reject it. Instead, the Ministry has called for further response from the public when the committee itself had already entertained representations from all walks of life prior to finalising its report. This can only cause further delay, maybe for another 10 years. That is exactly what the ACJU and its supporters want. The Minister of Justice should be alive to the fact that already social media is full of sample letters being disseminated to all and sundry requesting males and females to copy and paste a letter to the effect that they “…agree with the Faiz Mustapha submissions (as spelt in those posts/mails) as it is based on solid Islamic principles.”

The moot points

These are the significant areas of disagreement over the Justice Marsoof’s Committee’s report. They reveal the mind-set of the ACJU and its supporters who oppose key reforms.

1. The proposal to take off the reference to ‘Sect’ (a school of thought/’Madhab’) and apply ‘Muslim Law’ instead is to permit parties to choose the school of thought they are to be governed by. This is opposed to by the ACJU. In effect the ACJU wants all Muslims to follow Imam ‘Safie’ whereas Imam Shafie himself has not told his adherents to do so. They argue that “… if following of any school of thought is allowed, it would lead to people hand-picking the conveniences of the schools in order to follow their desires.” The ACJU’s rejection of this reform runs completely counter to what is generally accepted across the Islamic world. In jurisdictions such as Singapore and Malaysia it is clear that if a provision in a particular school of thought is against the public interest, other imams may be consulted, and a decision made on the basis of public interest or the greater welfare of society. The ACJU’s insistence on disregarding what is generally accepted across the Islamic world, and to impose a particular school of thought even when it is against the Shariah is oppressive and perpetuates injustice.

2. Their further justification “…that the generality of Quazisdo not possess required level of competence and knowledge to deal with this issue” is not only self-defeating but also butts up against another proposal to increase the competency of a Quazito be selected from among Attorneys-at-law with knowledge of Muslim Law, which too they oppose.

3. The ACJU insists that all ‘Quazis” (Judges administering MMDA) remain men, and only men. They seem mortally scared that one or two females could possibly get appointed as Quazisas time passes. Despite this, defying logic and reasoning, they are agreeable to women sitting in appeal as judges in the Board of Quazis. To put the ACJU anti-female prejudice in context, it is pertinent to note that Morocco, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, UAE, Palestine, Jordan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are all Muslim countries where women function as judges.

4. It is elementary that a Quaziis required to analyse evidence, adjudicate disputes and applying relevant laws. Hence the minimum requirement for being a judge (including Quazis) should be that the person is qualified as an attorney-at-law. The ACJU oppose this. This is possibly because of late the ACJU has been encouraging its members to apply to become Quaziswith the view of taking control of the entire Quazi court system as they have done with the mosques and Friday pulpits. This they believe would provide them with an easy launch pad for their entry into politics. The government of Sri Lanka must ensure quality administration of justice, which is a state responsibility.

5. The ACJU also opposes the right for family members to have legal representation in Quazi Legal representation is everyone’s right in Sri Lanka and whoever wants it should be able to avail themselves of it. The presence of lawyers could improve the quality of justice dispensed in the Quazicourts and reduce appeals. Further, the Quaziswould be compelled to reason out their orders and judgement and improve their court room demeaner and conduct.

6. The Quran permits conditional polygamy. The proposal opposed to requires prior approval of the Quaziwho has to be satisfied of compliance of the Quranic conditions prior to giving the nod. However, the ACJU wants it virtually unconditionally as it is practised now! That is with the mere consent of the Quazi. However, in their condescending compromise they offer that “…the wife could seek a Fasahdivorce in the event that the husband contracts a subsequent marriage without her consent.” This the ACJU proposes with the full knowledge of the prevalent malpractice of Quaziswho collude with abusive and unconscionable husbands persuade the wives to go for Fasahdivorce instead of ‘thalaq’, thus depriving these women of payment of maintenance and in future, possibly ‘Mata’a’

7. The ACJU also opposes a proposal to set a minimum age of 18 for marriage of Muslim women. The proposal is that marriage would be legal from the age of 18 with a proviso that the Quazicould permit marriage between 16 to 18 in exceptional circumstances. The ACJU wants provisions for girls as young as 12 to be married. They want the legal age for the marriage of females to be 16 with the Quazibe able to authorize marriage between 12 and 16. The general minimum age for marriage in Sri Lanka is 18 years.

8. The chair of the committee and those signed with him had made proposals to empower the bride and to ensure registration of the marriage within the remit of Shariah. The ACJU whilst agreeing to these in principle has proposed clauses to render these ineffective. Whilst acknowledging that Hanafi madhab does not require ‘Wali’ (maaraige guardian), yet the ACJU, equating Madhabsto Shariah, insists on ‘Wali’ being required as in the present law. Similarly, having emphasised the need to register a marriage yet want to leave a loophole to aid and abet the habitual abusers, who are then permitted even to marry young girls and even for the fifth time contrary to the Shariah. This is not only wildly inconsistent, but grotesque.

In their opening statement, putting forward their counter-proposals, the ACJU quotes these words from a previous report; “our considered view is that the Act as it stands now needs very few recommendations and has stood the test of time. Its provisions faithfully represent the letter and the spirit of the Holy Quran, Hadiths, Ijma, and Qiyas.” If this position, signalling intransigence to change, is the ACJU’s underlying attitude, then it is extremely difficult to believe they were acting in good faith when they agreed to be part of the said Committee. It was explicitly established to deliberate and propose recommendations for reforms. What then, were ACJU representatives doing as they served on the committee and took part in the evolution and contents of a report that runs to nearly 320 pages?  Waiting for as long as it took – nine years – simply to launch their campaign for further, and if possible, perpetual delay?

Lies and abuse from the pulpits

The ACJU has unleashed their stalwarts to abuse and lie from the pulpits of mosques deriding anyone who did not agree with them in the Committee. They do this without explaining the recommendations and their justifications proposed by the Committee itself. Instead, the ACJU is abusing the Friday pulpits to incite people against reforms saying these would be in violation of Shariahlaw. Many of those who hear them proclaim this, have no way of knowing that they are being lied to.

One could also hear some sermons and homilies for the need to compromise. This is not about massaging egos. This is about addressing the lived realities and the discrimination perpetrated in the name of a law. To proscribe what is not proscribed in terms Shariahcannot be Islam. Hence one should be true to oneself, broaden one’s horizon celebrate the accommodation of diverse opinions within Shariah, apply Fiqhand ensure justice to all citizens.

The President, The Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers must step in, act fast and give direction to reform this archaic and discriminatory legislation. Otherwise, they will be knowingly propping up a discriminatory structure that violates the spirit of the constitution and commit collective discrimination against the Muslim women of this country.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    2

    This is ridiculous. It has been YEARS and it seems those involved cannot get their act together, and help the Muslim women. They have to stop listening to those who keep obstructing, and still living in the stone age, and do something for women NOW. There are many women today suffering under these primitive laws. How about ONE legal age for ALL Sri Lankans? Those wanting to live by the present backward laws should perhaps take a one way ticket to Saudi Arabia. Empower the Muslim women and support them legally, so that they can deal with abusive spouses, and not have to be forced into marriages they are not ready to deal with physically and mentally.
    Shame on all those involved who are dragging their feet.

    • 6
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      Navin,

      “one way ticket to Saudi Arabia” sort of talks are OK for school times not in reality and Saudi Arabia too won’t allow Muslims to get there just because we are Muslims. So whatever the different opinions we may have, we belong here and going to be here, there is no change.

      As long as women are kept suppressed, it is good for the Saudi rulers and monarchy system is more stabilized. Why would SL Govt also follow suit that? Mullas and Mufthis? But SL Govt is above all of them…

    • 0
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      Navin:

      “Those wanting to live by the present backward laws should perhaps take a one way ticket to Saudi Arabia” – So, for you, “backward laws” mean the law that punishes the real criminals? And, “forward laws” means the law that empowers the criminals and endangers the innocents?

    • 1
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      Ameer M. Faaiz,

      RE: MMDA: Who Is Blocking Reform Of This Discriminatory Law?

      ACJU and the followers of the Devil, Iblis, Satan.

      ACJU as the Agents of the Wahhabi-Salafis and their clones, who follow the Satan, Iblis, Devil, as per the prescient Hadith of Najd, are blocking it. They are cunningly using the Religion of Islam, to abuse the ignorant followers the religion, to their own advantage. Just look at how they have done this throughout history, just like the Popes, Priests and the Monks,

      This becomes clear when one reads the writings of the greatest Islamic Juror and Philosopher, Mohamed Ibn Rushd, who was persecuted, using the rulers, by the ignorant Ulama.

      Scholar from al-Azhar: Wahhabism is a Satanic Faith, the Horn of the Devil that Muhammad Predicted, came from Najd, Saudi Arabia, and ACJU is their Agent in Sri Lanka.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UDy_apXW3E

      Hadith of Najd

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd

      Text of the hadith. According to two narrations in Sahih Bukhari, Muhammad asks Allah to bless the areas of Bilad al-Sham (Syria) and Yemen. When his companions said “Our Najd as well,” he replied: “There will appear earthquakes and afflictions, and from there will come out the side of the head (e.g. horns) of Satan.”

  • 4
    11

    Please CT do not publish many more articles on this issue. Much has been written on this topic. We have a lot of things to write on CT. this repetition of this issue is unwanted, waste of time and people do not like to see repeated news in CT. we have been told about it more than 100 times… No disrespect to any one but this issue is gone beyond . No need to talk about it , Sri lankan government need to take some action on this issue. It is very much clear,, No more talks needed on this issue..
    talk about politics., corruption frauds, economic problems , drug problems, road accidents, employment problems, educational problems, university problems.. talk about so many issue that are more important to Sri Lanka..
    write about how to build a Lankan identity , how to support nation building process in SL., and so many other issues..

    • 8
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      L-p
      “much has been written, no action.”
      True. But this a very important subject to be ignored.
      Patriots should keep the pressure to change this stupid old, MMDA act.

    • 11
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      Dear Lankan-patriot,
      (Part 1 of possibly 3)
      .
      Of what you have said, this much I agree with: “Sri lankan government need[s] to take some action on this issue.
      .
      The problem is that all the other things that you have written contradict what you have said. Yes, almost every aspect of life is a mess; the country is kept going only because poor middle aged to aging people keep working hard; I don’t contribute much, except that I teach English to anybody who bothers to visit me in such a way that after two hours with me, a guy knows how to access excellent “Youtube” programmes from which they can learn life-long, expand vocabulary by using a Thesaurus (which is also there if they just put a word in the Google browser) , etc. All that I know, I teach them, acknowledge my ignorance of some things; the very opposite of what is called the “Guru-mushtiya” (the teacher keeping back the secrets that really matter). Another popular expression in Sinhala is “vava-kanawa”: ensure continuous work for oneself by creating imaginary problems.
      .
      We can re-build our society only by observing certain universal norms, and allowing individuals (and even groups of individuals) to retain their identities.
      .
      How does that philosophy of mine translate in to action? Let me focus on how I try to reach out to Muslim friends? I find that well nigh all of them have had a life long monogamous marriage, have never slaughtered an animal etc. A few imbibe alcohol; I don’t touch the stuff myself, and (while not objecting to others drinking), never encourage drinking or smoking.
      Will continue . . .

    • 9
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      Part 2 of response to Lankan-patriot, with close reference to article by Amir Faaiz:

      .
      As for Muslim women, not many of them live full and free lives is my impression, but I try not to get involved in individual cases. However, it is granted by most Muslims that there are occasional instances of extremely young girls being married off to much older men. That must be stopped. A child born to any parents has definite rights from the time of birth. From conception? I don’t know, but late abortions must be horrible and traumatic.
      .
      Soaring World population, coupled with all humans now wanting life-styles necessitating wasteful use of resources, means that I fear world desertification within fifty years. Millions of species of flora and fauna have been driven to extinction during the past one hundred years. Technology keeps producing gimmicks that entertain for a limited period – invariably leading to more plastic (and other) pollution.
      .
      No human ought to be reproducing at anything slightly more than the replacement level of two per couple. (Some have no children, that’s why the “slightly more”, but I’d counsel only two; an actual slight reduction now would be welcome.)
      .
      I find this story most interesting, although there are many pro and contra issues that deserve discussion. There is a joyous two minute video embedded in a not too long article:
      .
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/09/this-104-year-old-plans-to-die-tomorrow-and-hopes-to-change-views-on-assisted-suicide/?utm_term=.e97c2d3823a2
      .
      Many other accounts of this story. Suicide by young people is appalling, but please take time to think about the issues raised. Thinking before acting is what ought separate us from animals. Animals act on instinct, but harbour no malice.

    • 7
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      Part 3
      .
      There are three clearly defined groups of schools in Sri Lanka for those following religions: Sinhalese schools with an emphasis on Buddhism (but that may be understandable); Tamil-Hindu Schools, and Tamil-Muslim Schools – mostly run by the State, which also has a few Catholic majority schools. I recognise the need for Sinhala and Tamil medium education almost for ever, and I can see why the calmour for “English Medium” education. But I wish Muslim children would study with those following other religions. I’m not advocating State level action to get this done. Why should the State be dictating so many things to us.
      .
      I feel that Education is faring badly in most places in the country. The government talks about allocating so much money for Education; little concern by anybody about how a lot of this money is spent in useless ways. Over-all, not enough money on Education, far too much on military purposes. These are, of course very broad statements; to be kept in mind for proper discussion of details.
      .
      When are we going to end this Apartheid System of Education, as article author Ameer M. Faaiz seems to imply is now the case? Recognition of Sri Lankanness within the human fold is desirable.

      Yesterday the Old Boys of a school which had only primary classes in my time met.

      http://www.stcboba.org/ar2018/index.html#p=10

      Most of those present had received their entire school education in the school, where, to my mind the admiration is as unsatisfactory as in this Jaffna School about which there have been many articles:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/bishop-thiagarajah-accuses-the-jaffna-college-trustees-of-misappropriating-funds/

      These Protestant-Christian schools have a healthy mix of students, but administration is not by educationalists but by priests and bishops who pay lip service to Rules, but cheat in important areas.

      • 6
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        Part 4
        .
        I see that the earlier links have worked, so you have identified the school, which has only 60 (subsidised, the Headmaster acknowledged; I consider the subsidy justified) boarders now out of 1,600 students. In my time – about 300 boarders, and less than 50 day scholars – including girls.
        .
        I envy the current Headmaster his gentle manner and his near first language mastery of all three Sri Lankan languages, but total opaqueness in administration. If you studied that earlier link to last year’s marathon AGM, you would have seen how stubbornly he held on to his powers to over-rule even the Constitution.
        .
        A good kitchen staff is employed and we were given an excellent lunch for free. There is an optional Annual General Meeting Dinner for which we pay; this time only Rs 2.5K, at the Bandarawela Tennis Club, (with liquor on BYOB basis) instead of in the fine old Hotel. Some Thomian Dinner Dances in Colombo have been charging 10K per head.
        .
        Anyway, I’ve been pressing for long to have these Dinners in the school itself, but the current Bishop of Colombo will not allow it, saying that that an Education Department Rule prohibits liquor consumption in schools, even during vacations when no kids are present. But these same clergy cheated in style to deny Staff Representation on the Board of Governors:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-thomian-pharisees-are-unrepentant-why-this-matters-to-all-sri-lankans/
        .
        I guess all clergy turn in to pains.
        .
        The dinner was excellent; liquor flowed freely; bottled water could be bought. I turned up with my school-kid type re-usable plastic bottle full of boiled water, much to the amusement of all present. I’m a stubborn, but non-religious tee-teetotaller. I gave them brief lectures on the evils of plastic pollution and on plastic recycling numbers:
        .
        https://www.google.com/search?q=plastic+recycling+numbers&newwindow=1&client=firefox-b&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiZ_bGijufcAhUQfBoKHTeWB2kQsAR6BAgBEAE&biw=1266&bih=885

      • 6
        0

        Part 5
        .
        Some Muslims drank; not my business, although I’d like to see much less of the stuff consumed country-wide. There was a band and some dancing. What was great about the event was that a number of people from all communities inter-acted happily. Including the Priest-Headmaster; but why couldn’t this healthy event be held in the school?
        .
        As for the music, I’m considered a strange guy who downloads Mozart to an external hard disk – which will carry more than a thousand hours of video:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=YT_63UntRJE
        .
        and experiences it all on a large T.V. Easy to do!
        .
        This year, no hostility, but they just will not allow me to provide (free) guidance on the teaching of English in this school in which my birth has been certified, and which is within sight of my house. I’m considered to be heretical on all scores. Most of my teaching has been in State Schools; here, at S. Thomas’ standards are appallingly low; surprise to you?
        .
        Actually, one private English tuition master (an excellent teacher) had indulged in some skulduggery to keep me out of even the Executive Committee of the OBA which has pathetically limited powers; I managed to stymie that by quite simply withdrawing candidacy – but that’s another story, which you will not understand as stated here.
        .
        The average teacher is kept as powerless as possible. Sad, isn’t it?
        .
        To return to Ameer Faaiz’s theme, wouldn’t it nice if, in addition to mastering English for commercial purposes alone (in which area they are far ahead of other sections of our population), they, and all Sri Lankans tried to incorporate the best of Western culture in to what our next generation of Sri Lankans absorb. While retaining our own identity.

      • 2
        0

        Typo which may puzzle:
        .
        towards the end of this Third Part:
        .
        “administration”, not “admiration”.
        .
        Sorry.

    • 3
      0

      Do you want CT to sweep a crime under a carpet and let those committing it have a field day. Relentless pursuit to achieve justice is something which has been given accolade in the past, and CT should be commended for being a guardian of truth.

  • 2
    7

    Ameer M Faiz: Sri lanka is more Islamic than Arab countries. Eventhough Sri lanka is a buddhist country, how many thousands Cattle and Pigs, How many million chicken are killed.All as per Quran. but, buddhists have to think that evey life is like I love my life and do not like to be killed. the ISlam that muslis follow in Sri lanka is not the TRUE MUSLIM religion called MOHOMMADIA religion. IT is some thing that began in Arab Deserts where you had to kill an animal for FOODS and not for sale and had to be killed after praying with a very sharp knife while standing on a red hot (heated in a fire) stone. I heard Sri lankan muslims climb ona red Brick and kill the animal. Mohommadia people are very human. On the other hand, None of the muslim ministers are elelcted. Even rishd Bathiuddin is a nationalist MP. Bathiuddin is caught right now in a COURT case for clearing the Wilpatthu national park and the catchment areas. He tried to escape by providing false Eviden to the courts. Some how the complainents have provided the true evidence. Yet, because of our corrupt sinhala politicians who get cash gifts fro QATAR, rishad Bathiuddin may escape again as he escaped from the Contempt of court charges by stonninght eTocurts where the Tamil Judge was sitting. Don’t expcet any justice from Sri lankan politicians or anything they involve in. Ask women to marry under some other laws, if you do not have alternzative laws, ask them to marry under catholic/christians laws. For buddhists, there is no need of religion. Ask them to marry as sinhala buddhists. Sri lankan NGO enacted human rights are CRAP. It is only for Politics to support poor countries in the west.

    • 8
      2

      Really, Jim softy?
      .
      “thousands Cattle and Pigs, How many million chicken are killed.All as per Quran.”
      .
      I don’t think that a single person brought up as a Muslim has anything to do with killing pigs, or eating pork. They can’t get over being told from childhood that pigs are unclean.
      .
      Can you, yourself, tell us that you are a vegan, or at least a vegetarian?
      .
      Do you think at all before you write?

      .

      • 11
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        Do you think at all before you write?
        No, he hears voices in his head, which tell him what to write.

        • 2
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          What is wrong for him to hear voices in his head, when a person blindly followed by millions in the world, heard voices in his head 1600 years ago.

          • 0
            2

            AL Faquriah: I thought you to be an intelligent man. What is your religion. YOu are so stupid. YOu think the reality is what you understand. Old codger is just a dishonest AH who think that the bond scam di dnot happen. You both are idiots. but, you woulnd not understand when I say that.

    • 4
      1

      Jim Softy, blame yourself and Buddhists in Sri Lanka for this sorry plight. Sinhala politicians will bend backwards to please Muslims for their votes and Sinhala officials with kickbacks will turn a blind eye on anti-Buddhist activities of Muslims.

      • 1
        0

        AL faquriah: Sri lankan politicians are dumb for certain. YOu say, sinhala politicians bend for muslim votes. BS. both Reishad Bathiuddin and HAeek and many more are NATIONALI LIST – MINISTERS. what does that say ? Only thing is Bathiuddin gets NGO funds from QATAR.Those Sheiks who like spread the religion.

    • 0
      0

      Jimmy Softy

      Foreigners who travel to China often come back with grizzly tales of the weird and wonderful things they eat Frogs worms and bugs, share some insights.

  • 5
    0

    The first female Justice Minister is no different to her male predecessors; basically political opportunists without a heart to help the “poor” Muslim women in Sri Lanka who are helpless in finding suitable husbands and have been the subject of abuse by the way husbands are chosen for them basically by their male dominant fathers. The protests by the various female representatives, Muslim and non Muslim organizations has not influenced the Minister so far.

    It’s time for the Minister to act and bring in legislation to help the poor Muslim in keeping with the Changes in legislation suggested my Justice Saleem Marsoof; the MMDA at present is passe.

    • 0
      2

      SARRJI: I heard she knew that her name will be in a political nomination paper in the morning that she was nominated. HEr father or some one did it. So, she does not know what she would be doing.

  • 2
    0

    ACJU and Government are playing political game for the maximum benefits. This is a painful situation for Muslims Society.
    Problem came because of the disappointment created by EU. EU must have ensured the human right implementation before restoring the GSP+.
    EU did not understand the delicate situation. It cannot keep taking and giving because it can cause serious trouble to many women. It is almost women products earning this GSP+. EU has to be stern on dealing with Yahapalanaya. Then only it will not affect other women. Otherwise the MMDA pain going to affect the entire country’s women population.
    Media reports Ranil asked refugees to return back to Lankawe. This is only going to drive many countries adamant on being rejecting the Tamils’ applications. But, during LG election time, he did not talk one word in South about solving Tamils’ problems before end of this parliament. It is same game Yahapalanaya played for the GSP+ too. As soon as they got GSP+, Minister changed her mind. Yes, when she came in she pretended like she was going to resolve it right away. Now she is just another one in the cabinet.
    Justice Saleem behavior is very suspicious. Minister had said when she pressed for the report, the responsibly was simply palm off to her. After nine years the commission did not discharge its duty on a trustworthy, dependable way. Had he not supported the women group, now the voting would be 8:9. His report cannot be considered by Minister to amend the act. So another method would have been proposed. He purposefully balanced the groups voting and delivered both reports. This suggests he caused this chaos, purposefully. Next Commission’s payment package must be split between Salary + Bonus. If there are discrepancies in reports, bonus must be withheld.

  • 4
    1

    Being in the Quazi Court jury we have witnessed the weakness of the system, how bias the quazies are, how awkward the women to open up at discussions in male dominated quazi room, how easily monetary gains could change decisions, some instances where moulavi’s are quazies only single individual in the room only himself; is this Islamic?
    What if there are 2 quazis a male and a female to be fair by all. This will also put a stop to the under the table transactions and can have fair hearings.
    In some instances quazi hearing is in his house at times not a single soul is in the house and have tried to behave in an unacceptable manner.
    I was also told by few women when they were referred to an ACJU managed counseling center the response to their problem was recite, pray and eat Ajjwaa dates.
    Can detail more and more about my experience.
    Totally endorse Saleem Marsoof’s report on practical issues faced by women. The report clearly talks of the grassroot level. People with influence can get things done in one sitting in their favour.

    ACJU is very comfortably using the masjids to promote their ideas by brain washing the people. Is this fair.
    The moulavi who sent the voice clip endorsing Faiz Musthafa report when talking of the signatories he read out as if some jokers hv signed while reputed persons have signed the other.
    Why cant ACJU and all concern including the women involved come to a conscience agreement within the Islamic preview incorporating the present day crisis.
    Why is ACJU wanting to dominate the show.
    Written in the interest of the women who suffer.

  • 4
    1

    MMDA1950has reached ‘ use-by-date and must be ditched.
    Early to mid 20th century, struggle for independence was the issue – not human rights. From late last century this is the issue. Colour-bar in US, Apartheid regime of the then South Africa were deemed human rights violation.
    MMDA is an embodiment of archaic Middle Eastern traditions which have gotten religious status.
    One of the tradition is child brides. This is illegal in Sri Lanka but MMDA proponents for reasons of power and domination wants to keep it.
    .
    Here are some instances of the savagery of the ‘traditions’
    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jul/31/nine-year-old-child-bride-reportedly-killed-by-husband-afghanistan
    Another one
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/01/fury-sparked-11-year-old-thai-girl-married-malaysian-man/
    The 41 y/o father of six, a prosperous trader and already married to two women while the girl’s parents were impoverished rubber farmers
    The next one is really pathetic
    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/11/yemen-child-bride-dies-wedding
    An eight-year-old Yemeni girl has died of internal bleeding on her wedding night after marrying a man five times her age, ……
    .
    Commercial exploitation aided by ‘qazi’.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-trafficking-marriage/indian-child-brides-sold-in-package-deals-to-men-from-gulf-states-idUSKBN1CF1F7
    Most brides were forced into ‘time pass’ marriage that lasted for the duration of the man’s stay in India. The marriages were performed by a Muslim officiant, or qazi, who forged the bride’s age to show her as an adult.
    .
    ACJU has the audacity to say “MMDA is perfect as is”. The Muslim MPs are quiet. Do they support the tradition of treating women as second class citizens?

    • 6
      1

      K P
      Forget the stupid Muslim MP’s; they are relic of the past and basically opportunists.
      Justice Saleem Marsoof has done an excellent job under the circumstances to modernize the defunct MMDA under very difficult politically induced circumstances to bring relief to the poor young Muslim girls who do not have any say in choosing their future spouses.
      Unfortunately the new and first female Justice Minister seems to have been influenced by the ACJU with the result, JSM report is gathering dust in her office.

      This seems to be the state of affairs in the Banana Republic of Sri Lanka. Time for radical political change and ditching of the female Minister of Justice.

    • 4
      0

      Dear K. Pillai,
      .
      I followed the Yemeni link that you had given, and from there, I found this other article:
      .
      https://www.worldvision.org/child-protection-news-stories/10-worst-places-child-marriage
      .
      For a moment I wondered whether Sri Lanka is there; no, but India is. In India it wouldn’t be Muslims only; I’m sure Hindus would figure as well.
      .
      That article, too, is good. As it says this particular phenomenon indicates backwardness and poverty. I’m sure that this isn’t a major problem here; but why on earth can’t our local Muslim men accept the need for a minimum age for marriage? Even if you hear of just one like in Yemen (where there are many more), that’s too many.
      .
      If this attempt to amend stalls, non-Muslims should ensure that the legislation goes through; but we must be careful not to allow it to become an Islamophobic movement.

  • 8
    2

    Part 1
    In their frenzied rush to consolidate their self-image as Sunni Priests in Sri Lanka, the scholars at the ACJU have successfully gained control of most Mosques, the Friday sermons and the Madrasas through the introduction of the Maktab method a few years ago which not only enables the brain-washing of young Muslim minds but also yields the ACJU an estimated annual income of over Rs 36 million.
    The ambitions of the power-hungry ACJU leadership are so intense that they are now resorting to bare-faced lying to instil what can best be described as ‘Rizwi Chinthanaya’ among the local Muslims. Let us not forget that it was solely due to the intransigence of these scholars that the vast majority of Muslims were compelled to commit a Haram act by fasting on the correct day of Eid (15th June 2018) for which the arrogant lebbes are as yet to issue a note of regret / apology to the community.
    To expect the Honourable Minister of Justice to take an independent fair decision on this matter is of no use. Her political arena, Ratnapura, has too many Muslim Gem Merchants whose influence is spread widely among the community. Moreover they are ardent blindless supporters of the ACJU.
    In the emerging role as Enforcers of Shariah, the ACJU will soon launch their version of the Mutaween ( the Religious Police of Saudi Arabia) to ensure compliance with such laws. How many Muslims are even aware that there are already ‘spies’ planted by the ACJU at key Mosques to observe, listen and to report on people and happenings ?

  • 8
    2

    Part 2
    By continuing with a strategy of confrontation, the proponents of change are only strengthening the hands of the opponents. For example, the views of the opponents pertaining to amendments to the MMDL are now being referred to as the ‘Faiz Mustapha submissions’ – the filthy role played by the ACJU will gradually be washed clean over the next few weeks.
    Circumvent the road-blocks on the path to progress.
    The primary demand of the female Muslims must be that they too, as female Sri Lankans, be governed by the Marriage & Divorce Laws applicable to non-Muslim female Sri Lankans. There must be one general law for all female Sri Lankans, irrespective of race or religion. Let female Muslims have the freedom of choosing under which law (Civil or Muslim) they would like to marry as long as they are fully aware of the consquences of their decision. No one not even a scholar, Presidents Council or politician should have the power to compel a female Muslim to marry under any specific law.
    The struggle for emancipation must be re-framed. The female Muslims must fight against being discriminated against not as Muslims, but as Sri Lankan women.
    Remember the words of Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trials, on how to control a population : “All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked.”
    The opponents of amending the MMDL are doing just that : “All you have to do is tell the Ummah that Shariah is being attacked”

    • 2
      1

      e.
      Spot on.

  • 0
    1

    Root cause of all these type of problem is the executive system. When we have morons everywhere justice will not prevail. First change the morons and the system. The rest will fall in place automatically. Change them first.

  • 2
    2

    The oppressed are the Muslim women, that’s a fact. It’s visible/felt to non-Muslims & a handful of Muslim women only.

    Majority Muslim women don’t know whether they’ve been oppressed or not because their sense to freedom has been substituted for some thing called divine law, some thing that should be applied somewhere else, a world called heaven; a real or an imaginary world.

    MMDA, if abolished majority Muslim men will be the oppressed as mainly they lose male dominance & free access to polygamy which they have been enjoying since time immemorial. Muslims world over have strong commitment to safe guard that uncivilized but god given right.

    The silence of the real oppressed is the obstacle to abolish MMDA.

    Until it becomes a political disadvantage any government will never consider it.

  • 2
    1

    All these reforms to empower women over their and their children’s lives are good. However, as with anything in SL, the real test is whether these laws are implemented and carried out at the ground level – given our systems’ entrenchment in corruption, and a good-for-nothing police force.

  • 1
    6

    MMDA should be preserved as it is. If any improvement needed then Faiz Mustapha report should be adapted. Saleem Marsoof report is anti-Islamic and Marsoof himself is a hypocrite encouraging fithna. Shafie mazhab should be the base in our laws in Srilanka or else Non-muslims like Qadiani and Shias might take advantage of these laws. Hope ACJU will carry on their duty by opposing Saleem Marsoof satanic report.

    • 1
      0

      Seyyed Quraish Moulana ,

      “Shafie mazhab should be the base in our laws in Srilanka or else Non-muslims like Qadiani and Shias might take advantage of these laws.”

      Are you a Muslim, Wahhabi-Salafi or one of its clones, or an opportunist like the ACJU using religion to your advantage, like many others? Just curious.

      Read up on the greatest Islamic Jurist and Philosopher, Mohammed Ibn Rushd. and his works, and how the Ulama persecuted him for self-interest.

      Scholar from al-Azhar: Wahhabism is a Satanic Faith, the Horn of the Devil that Muhammad Predicted

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UDy_apXW3E

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd

      Text of the hadith. According to two narrations in Sahih Bukhari, Muhammad asks Allah to bless the areas of Bilad al-Sham (Syria) and Yemen. When his companions said “Our Najd as well,” he replied: “There will appear earthquakes and afflictions, and from there will come out the side of the head (e.g. horns) of Satan.”

    • 6
      0

      100% of those living on this island are Sri Lankans, who should all receive equal treatment. And I mean equal. There should be no discrimination on the baseis of ethnicity, caste, religion etc.
      .
      We are all born in to this world as naked babies, but we would certainly have received different genes that will mean that we will have different unalnalysable genes. All such babies ought to have equal opportunities to develop. Parents will, and must, pass on cultures, even religious beliefs.
      .
      However, we cannot, must not, have different laws for 10% of the people who put the laws that they claim were dictated by a God whose existence none of us has proof of. The parents of those children cannot be given sole power to murder those children in the name of Allah. I’m trying not to be provocative, but that’s what these separate laws and local Apartheid do.
      .
      Just as we, Sinhalese, try to rid ourselves of the Mahawamsa mentality, so should you Muslims strive for integration as first class citizens.
      .
      Can’t do? Find yourselves another country.

      • 4
        0

        I respect your comments always Sinhala Man.

        You have been articulating it as no other.

        But Rajakashes would do anything and everything to abuse the stupid folks.
        Else, their thirsties would not have been pleased.

        Each time coming to lanka, I try my best to get on with all walks of people and pick more info as much as I can. Be it in a tuk tuk or anywhere I mingle with, I collect info. But even profs would not share thoughts relevant to SRILANKENs but as sinhalayas. Why is that ?

        • 2
          0

          Dear Babalathappu,
          .
          I’d like to think of myself as just a living being of the species homo sapiens, so I could have called myself “Human Being” and aspired to represent all of human-kind. That would have been rather arrogant, wouldn’t it have been? I guess your question is, “Why I didn’t call myself a Sri Lankan?”
          .
          Well, I don’t know any Tamil at all. In those circumstances, to have called myself a guy who spoke for all Sri Lankans would have been to imply that Tamils and Muslims (I accept the Muslim argument that they want to have religion as what distinguishes that community from others – even if I don’t altogether like it that way); as I was saying, each individual, Tamil and Muslim can have distinctive features which somewhat separate him (isn’t typing him/her tiresome?) from other Sri Lankans.
          .
          When a Sinhalese arrogantly tells a Tamil speaker that they must be Sri Lankans, they often imply that such people must give up their Tamil identity to be “Sri Lankans”. The next step is to insist on their learning Sinhalese.
          .
          So, the original reason for my calling myself “Sinhala_Man” was a humble recognition that there are Sri Lankans who don’t speak Sinhala, and I aspired to speak as a “Sinhalese”. Does that make sense? Now that I have established that as my identity in making comments, I don’t want to change it, and confuse everybody.
          .
          A good place to break my comment . . .

        • 4
          0

          Dear Babalathappu,
          .
          More recently, I’ve seen this book review:
          .
          http://tamilnation.co/books/Eelam/indrapala.htm
          .
          I actually visited Vijitha Yapa’s bookshop in Bambalapitiya in quest of the book, but it was not available. To be honest, I don’t buy all that many books now. Looking at what appears on the Internet seems to suffice for us who were veritable “book-worms” in our youth. The dangers of younger people relying solely on the Internet cannot be overstated. But that’s a different subject.
          .
          That seemingly excellent review sets forth an argument that makes much more sense than what we were brought up on. I was never a racist, but when I was fifteen years old, I really innocently believed that as a Sinhalese, I was an Aryan. After all, that was what we were taught in school. And in my school there were nearly equal numbers of Sinhalese and “others”. I’m rather vague about the numbers, and it doesn’t even now seem to matter – what it was then.
          .
          I think that the Sri Lankan Muslims must be allowed to define their identity. We cannot “stipulate” definitions. Seems obvious to me – but it happens so often. I hope that there will be greater integration, but we must recognise reality; we can neither legislate nor define “Sri Lankannness” in to existence.
          .
          And then there is English, the language that I’m most literate in. But my English is obviously a local version of it. I’m not a “Colombo Guy”. My conscious model is Standard British English. So, there are those who find my English too British, but a Brit would consider my English archaic. What is certain is that having us guys around definitely makes life uncomfortable for those in whose families it hadn’t taken root in the supposedly “good old days” when the villager had no English at all. 1956 was necessary, but not in the form it took.

          • 6
            0

            Thank you Sinhala_Man so much for your valuable inputs.

            I have been having a stressful week with travels across Europe for the week.

            I will get back to you next days. I really love the way you have been commenting. Not many add their two cts worth the way you do.
            There are times, I cant undrestand why people are forced to think that they would not have a life without Rajapakshes even if they behaves all the fierce blood suckers in the world.

    • 5
      0

      Dear Seyyed Quraish Moulana,
      .
      Another thought.
      .
      The spotlight will soon be on the Maldives. The country boasts of being 100% Muslim. But Yameen is desperately trying to get re-elected (well, did he ever get elected properly? Mohamed Nasheed was too much of a gentleman, and allowed the result to stand). Yameen is talking about even greater Islamisation – while allowing haram activities to go on in the Resort Islands catering to “Infidels”.
      .
      Even in such a country, minimum marriage age is 18 – both genders.

      • 3
        0

        Sinhala_Man ,

        “Even in such a country, minimum marriage age is 18 – both genders.”

        Many Sri Lankan Muslims and their Ulama are the stupidest in the world..

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