20 June, 2024


Realizing Muslim Women’s Rights – When Is The Right Time?

By Shreen Abdul Saroor

Shreen Saroor

The Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) which was enacted in 1951 has been perceived primarily as religious and minority issue. Muslim male politicians and religious leaders and government actors for over decades have only considered it a concern to be resolved ‘within the community’. Thus this has prevented MMDA issues to be raised as a matter of equality and fundamental rights of Muslim women viz a vis the State despite the fact that MMDA is a law like any other law enacted by Sri Lankan Parliament and any judgments made by the Quazi court system is enforceable through our judicial system. More importantly the MMDA is part of our colonial legacy and no longer reflects current realities of Sri Lankan Muslims nor the advances made in the interpretation of Muslim personal law in Muslim communities and countries across the world.

Irrespective of discriminatory provisions and procedural irregularities, MMDA is protected through Article 16(1) of the 1978 Constitution which states that ‘All existing written law and unwritten law shall be valid and operative notwithstanding any inconsistency with the  provisions of the fundamental rights chapter’. The Government of Sri Lanka has repeatedly placed the responsibility for MMDA reforms on the Muslim community especially on religious leaders and male politicians. This is despite the work of individual Muslim women and women’s groups such as Muslim Women Research Action Forum (MWRAF) working with processes that promised change and more recently Muslim women in the numbers making representations before the Public Representations Committee (PRC) on Constitutional Reforms as well as the Sub-committee on Fundamental Rights of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly to demand for equal and non-discriminatory laws and practices and specially reforms of personal and customary laws. These Muslim women, especially those directly affected by the MMDA, went one step further and even demanded they be given the option of accessing the civil court system for redress or even an option to opt out of the MMDA, by removing the clause in the General Marriage Registration Ordinance (GMRO) which currently prohibits Muslims marrying under general law, which in itself a discrimination between the citizens. 

In addition women’s groups like Women’s Action Network (WAN) and Muslim Personal Law Reform Action Group (MPLRAG) are demanding that the new Constitution protects rights of all citizens, regardless of when or whether or not reforms to discriminatory laws take place. The demand is that Article 16(1) be repealed on the principle of ensuring equality for all citizens and to open further possibility of MMDA reform. 

These women groups also have taken up this demand at various national and international forums and there is mounting pressure on the government to reform discriminatory provisions in the MMDA. The price these women, specially the affected and ground level activists, are paying is huge. They have been falsely accused of ‘betraying the community’ in the face of Buddhist extremists, and for opening up problems of the Muslim community for public discussion.

But for those advocating reforms to MMDA the motivation is simple. Injustices and discrimination faced within the community and family is the same as injustice and discrimination faced by the community from outside forces. Both are a struggle for equality and equal treatment before law. Both are a struggle for full recognition, guarantee and protection of rights. Both are a struggle for dignity and justice. It is important to realise that this current wave of MMDA reform activism is based on the significant work by activists, community leaders and scholars within the Muslim community and also from outside, but also on the failures of those who have insisted on gradualist reform agenda that has yielded little in the way of structural change at least since 1951.

Stalled reforms?

The MMDA reform committee that was appointed in 2009 by the then Justice Minister Milinda Moragoda consists of Justice Saleem Marsoof, P.C., former Judge of the Supreme Court (the Chair of the committee), Justice A.W.A. Salam, former Judge of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Suhada Gamalath, then Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Law Reform, Mr. Shibly Azeez, P.C., a former Attorney General, Mr. Faisz Muzthapha, P.C., a former Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Professor Sharya Scharenguivel, Executive Director for Centre for Human Rights Studies., Mr. Mohamed Mackie, a Judge of the High Court and former Assistant Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission, Mr. S.M.A. Jabbar, former Chairman of the Board of Quazis (now deceased), Dr. M.A.M. Shukri, Former Director Jamiah Naleemiah, Ash-Sheik Mohomead Magdoom Ahmad Mubarak, former President Jamiathul Ulama, Ash-Sheik Mohummad Ibrahim Mohummad Rizwe Mufthi, President of Jamiathul Ulama, Deshabandu Mrs. Jezeema Ismail, Former member of the National Committee on Women and Human Rights Commission, Mr. Razmara Abdeen, Attorney at Law, Mrs. Safana Gul Begum, Attorney at Law, Mrs. Fazlet Shahabdeen, Attorney at Law, Mrs. Shermila Rasool, former National Project Coordinator, Access to Justice Project, UNDP, and Ms. Dilhara Amerasinghe, then Additional Secretary and Mr. A.K.D.D. Arandara, then Assistant Secretary to the Ministry.

All of these members are learned individuals and known for their professionalism. The very fact that they agreed to be part of this committee itself indicates that they all firmly believed that MMDA needed reform. However they have been dragging their feet over eight years to deliver, irrespective of the fact that there have been many promises made by the committee members to the community that they will deliver. Many dates and deadlines have been given and now a Cabinet sub committee too has been appointed to look into their report once it is released but so far nothing has materialized. Towards the later part of last year it was told by the Chair that the Committee’s report would be out soon. Thereafter it was believed that the chair based on the deliberations had circulated a draft report within the committee. I am of the understanding, now, that there is yet another proposal from All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama (ACJU) to the committee which probably is aimed to cause further delay and regresses from providing solutions.

Do the committee members understand in the last eight years, that they have taken to contemplate on this reform report, how much injustice has been committed against the women and children in their own community? How could they be so thick skinned? How are they failing in their leadership to demonstrate that Islam is in fact a just way of life? Do they not realise how the failure to provide solutions through legal reforms has negatively impacted so many lives or does their reputation among male religious leaders over ride their humaneness?

Will the renowned lawyers and “progressive” Muslim rights activists of this reform committee stand up to backwardness and cowardly acts of certain faction of the community and deliver to the Muslim women their rights to be treated equal before law? Or are they going to turn a blind eye and succumb to conservative and religious fundamentalists?

For the Muslim community, religious and political leaders who think they are ‘protecting’ Islam by supporting discriminatory provisions in the MMDA, please check your privilege. Are you really trying to justify discriminations in the name of Islam? As a Muslim woman I believe in an Islam that is just and talks about compassion and dignity irrespective of one’s gender. It is painful to see increasingly the Islam and the Just God I love, has been hijacked by authoritarian forces and has been turned into something that I cannot connect with anymore. Unjust laws and practices in the name of Islam are untenable and lead to more inequality among Muslims.  The quest for equality and justice for Muslims in Sri Lanka, should begin at home.

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Latest comments

  • 3

    We all know that Muslim ladies should have their own rights as stipulated by the Qur’an and Hadith. Women got their rights in Europe only a few decade ago.
    Read more about then women got their voting rights; divorce rights; inheritance rights and many more rights in Europe only recently but Islam them all rights 1400 years go.
    In pre Islam..if girls were born they were buried alive ..
    Girls were treated like slaves for sex ..
    Then Islam liberated them ..
    Gave them inheritance rights; rights to own wealth; rights to education; rights to choose husbands; right to reject proposal of marriage; right to divorce Husband; rights to earn money and wealth …right to ask husband all expenses of house; money to spend for all house expenses and so on..
    In fact; if Muslim ladies know their rights as Islam has given them and if there applied today Muslim ladies could live like queens at home.
    They do not need to go to work;
    They do not need spend their own salary for house expenses
    Husbands should be fully responsible for all houses hold expenses..
    It is good that Muslim ladies do not know their rights in Islam otherwise no Muslim man will be able to marry in Sri Lanka..
    Thanks to bad practice of islam in Sri Lanka..
    Thanks to man domination in Islamic teaching in Sri Lanka..
    Now poor Muslim ladies are confused about their rights.
    Some think that they want to literate themselves as Tasleema Nasreen said ..she wanted to have right to have sex with any one ..
    Right to be lesbian and right to go out with many men outside marriage.
    If these Sri Lanka Muslim ladies want all this …they are utterly wrong ..Islam have freedom and rights within Islamic teaching not as each and every devil wants

    • 19

      Singhalese Pundit aka Apologist for Islamic Lunatics,
      “Islam have freedom and rights within Islamic teaching not as each and every devil wants”..
      Oh good! Apply all that crap to your own life, privately. Who the heck are you to tell other people born free, how they should live their lives, Muslim or not? A woman or a man can decide themselves with whom they have consensual sex with as adults. Just as you are free to masturbate as many times as you wish per day, if you so choose. Who are you to preach or judge other people? May I also remind you, Islam may have seemed progressive 1400 years ago in primitive Arabia. When people did not know where the sun disappeared to at night. When people thought the Earth was flat. When the most modern transport was camels. It is high time for primitive religious fanatics such as yourself to recognize that the 21st century is here. If you don’t, let Tasleema Nasreen lead her life the way she wants. Free of unsolicited involvement in her life from Islamic fanatics like yourself. GOSL, show some backbone! DISMANTLE MMDA NOW! Rescue Sri Lanka’s Muslim daughters from religious devils. Cheers!
      PS: Where are those fake Islamic HR activists on CT, who go to town on a regular basis, shedding crocodile tears about rights of the Rohingya? They hardly utter a word about the plight of Sri Lanka’s own Muslim women. Going on for 70 years. Loony Islamic Piety! Naked Hypocrites! Con-Artists!

    • 7

      Dear Ms. Shreen Abdul Saroor and Sri Lankan Muslim Women,

      If the Justice Saleem Committee is unable to issue a Report after nearly 8 years of consultation (shoora), then there will never be any meaningful consensus among the members on key matters of importance even after another 8 years, because what they agree is to delay and postpone the issue for ever. Why?

      The Ulama Mullah, Moulavis, Imams, the pedophiles and men can continue to abuse the women. The will have rights to marry 12 year old girls, without the girls consent, ( they do not sign the marriage certificate-contact)as she is a chattel of the male guardian, and no permission is needed to get additional wives from former wives. Furthermore, they will inherit only half of what men get and furthermore, theur evidence is only half as good as that pf a man.

      Women are chattel in Islam, whiter married, unmarried or slaves.

      This is against the constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

      ISIS and the problem of the Wahhabi and Salafi Ideology. The Hadith of Najd.

      [Wahhabism is] sort of an extreme orthodoxy that historically has not been shared by a majority of Muslims, particularly nobody outside of the Arabian Peninsula.Wahhabism has been Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith. Strict Wahhabis believe that all those who don’t practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies. Critics say that Wahhabism’s rigidity has led it to misinterpret and distort Islam,


  • 10

    IS there a Clause in the Sri lankan constitution which says, People cannot be discriminated based on religion. IT should be there. If not it is against the UN conventions. Women should sue the govt as well as the religious authorties. Make the fight informrd to everybodt to inform any haressments by muslims fanatic and mullahs. there should be courageous female lawyers. collect some information females got married against their consent, under the age and now are struggling to be human.

  • 13

    Enough is enough. The distinguished members in the panel, should stop dragging their feet, not get intimidated by those who still dwell in caves, and do what is right for Muslim women. Many of them might have got the help they desperately needed, when it came to divorce, rights, and little girls protected from many primitive laws,
    had the panel done the right thing years ago. What is this delay? Every day that passes a Muslim woman is under threat, or losing her basic rights, unlike what all other women enjoy in our country. The members of this panel are fathers, brothers, and husbands, and need to understand this is a crucial matter, even a matter of life or death, and should act now.

  • 5

    They want to breed like pigs to over take sri lanka , blind vision look at muslim countries in Africa so on , poor and don’t even have food , what the point of life if you don’t have basic facilities to survive on , muslim women soouh have a much better life with proper education and having kids when they are ready , having so many uneducated hungry and poor kids will not help the world, or Personal health of Muslim families enjoy life you can not take over the work by breeding , some sort of ill nedd will kill you all, if you have poor uneducated bunch of religious population

    • 6

      The Colombo Telegraph should monitor ugly comments like above, and prevent racist commenters from contributing, and spreading of false anti Muslim propaganda. This is as bad as saffron robed thugs running about and making anti Muslim threats. There is no room for racism in our country, and that goes for websites too.

      • 6


        If you want only your side of the story heard, you might as well create your own forum and keep writing until the cows come home.

        Don’t you agree that Muslims breed like rats to alter the demographics? 20 years ago, you can walk around Colombo and take a picture of the beautifull places and people smiling. Now, if you capture a single photograph in Colombo, you will see a Goni Billa amongst the crowd.

        God I hate that Burqa. That needs to be removed the first thing from those women like up there in Austria and Belgium.

        If I lived in SL, I will never tolerate this type of nonsense. And I am a decorated soldier of the Sri Lankan armed forces.

        • 2

          Did you read the statistics??? On what basis you can argue Muslims breed like rabbit? Are Muslims to blame for many Singhalese buddhist males becoming monks. Stop believing in fake news and what is d percentage of Burqa wearing among Muslim population.

    • 1

      sam ,

      “They want to breed like pigs to overtake srilanka….”
      The first official census conducted by the British in 1871 , recorded
      a total population of 2.8million in Ceylon . Between then and the
      1980s , the population increased to six fold. And it is predicted that
      if 1980 trends continue , the population will double in forty years !
      And by the way , is it not fair to ask your mum or dad or both
      whether they are Muslims ? You should have a reasonable doubt
      at the rate our country’s birth rate have shot up ! Who else is
      capable of championing such a mammoth task Mr Sam ? Breeding
      like pigs ? I know , your men and women are only vegies and lack
      energy for the job !

  • 7

    Thank you Shreen.

  • 6

    I studied all that had been written a year ago very carefully. It is basic Human rights that you have been calling for, and it is the Sri Lankan State that I blame for the delay in not ensuring that justice is done by having a carefully reformed Act of Parliament in place.


    In the present environment (where owing to political reasons world-wide it would be true to say that there is this phenomenon referred to as Islamaphobia) I know that it is particularly important that what-ever we Non-Muslims state has to be very carefully thought out. Let me confess, that my own comment has not today been preceded by careful study of the article. I’m neverthelesss posting this; I hope I’ll be forgiven if this response is too hasty.


    To repeat, the persons to blame for the delay are all the citizens of Sri Lanka for not putting sufficient pressure on our Government which is fast acquiring a reputation for procrastination.

    • 5


      “and it is the Sri Lankan State that I blame for the delay in not ensuring that justice is done by having a carefully reformed Act of Parliament in place.”

      Yes. The Sri Lankan State allowed the Ulama, Mullahs, Imams, Moulavis, Pedophiles and other men, to be able to discriminate the Sri Lanken Muslim women. Yes, the State must correct this injustice, and the Ulama, Mullahs, Imams, Moulavis, Pedophiles and other men will NOT reform or correct it.The state must—————-

      One definition of stupidity is repeatedly doing the same thing, for 8 years, when it is very clear that the results would be the same. —————————————–
      They need to go to the Parliament, and bypass the Ulama, Mullahs, Imams, Moulavis, Pedophiles and other men,

  • 8


    Can a woman born to a muslim family renounce that religion on her own, without getting approval from her father/husband/mullah?

    • 5

      forget the religion. If she gets frinedly with a boy from another religion, she has to run away and hide. IF not she is not taken to mosque and beaten to pulp.

      • 2

        Jimsofty ,

        Who do you think Ravi K’s wife is ? Another name I can add is
        one time popular shirt maker’s son married a Muslim girl . I
        know more cases to prove you wrong . Inter-racial marriage
        itself is not very common in that Muslim girls choosing non
        Muslim boys is of course rare but do happen even without
        parents’ blessings . Is same religion but cast issues over in
        Srilanka ? Read Observer marriage proposals mate ! In other
        parts of the world where Arab girls enjoy freedom , marry
        Western men , French marry Moroccans for example. You
        got to come out of your box Jim .

  • 4

    Shreen Abdul Saroor,

    RE: Realizing Muslim Women’s Rights – When Is The Right Time?

    Realizing Ulama and Mullah, and Men’s Rights – When was The Right Time? Immediately after independence in 1948 for the Ulam, but it time to change Now!

    Now, Realizing Muslim Women’s Rights – When Is The Right Time. It is Now, Now and Now.

    Push it through with the help of the non-Muslims, who know about human rights, and the Sri Lankan constitution. and let the Ulama, Mullahs, Qazis and men pea in their pants, sarongs and underwear.

    Tell the Ulama, they evolved from primates with 48 chromosomes, even though they only;y have 46 now, with chromosome #2, from two primate chromosomes.

    Ken Miller on Human Evolution


    Dr. Ken Miller talks about the relationship between Homo sapiens and the other primates. He discusses a recent finding of the Human Genome Project which identifies the exact point of fusion of two primate chromosomes that resulted in human chromosome #2.

    • 2

      AMARASIRI: Are you suggesting that muslims also were evolved from Primates ?

      • 0


        “AMARASIRI: Are you suggesting that muslims also were evolved from Primates ?”

        According to the chromosomal data, the human Chromosome # 2, was from Primates by the fusion of two Primate chromosomes. What was the religion of the Primates several million years ago? Sinhala Buddhists, Para-Sinhala “Buddhists”, Para-Tamil, Para-Muslims etc? These are new differentiations. Of course they all evolved from Primates.

        You can get yourself tested and see if your Chromosome # 2 was formed by the fusion of two primate chromosomes, to see if you are an exception. At the same time you can test to see of you are a Para from Bengal, Bihar, Orissa,(Kalinga) or South India.

        Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations

        Journal of Human Genetics 59, 28-36 (January 2014) | doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.112


        Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

  • 7

    The Muslim Community has for a very long time ignored the costs that would accrue to the community for not taking cognizance of and for failing to invest in 50% of it’s intellectual capital – it’s female members.

    Clearly, this state of affairs can continue no longer.

    The Muslim Females are straining at the leash for opportunities to demonstrate that they have realized or are beginning to realize their full God-given potential as human beings, as wives, as mothers, as daughters and most importantly, as intellectuals and professionals. They have begun to ask meaningful questions and the stony silence that follows Is a sad reflection of the depths to which the community in general and it’s males in particular have descended – especially over the past 5 – 6 decades.

    It is a clear indication of the results that will follow when a strategy of ‘blind, unquestioning obedience’ (taqlid) is forced on a community. They are reduced to ‘sheep’ and naturally look to the ‘shepherds’ (in this case, the local Islamic scholars) for guidance and direction. The situation is one of the blind stubbornly leading the blind. The Daughters of Allah are only requesting that they be granted what the Almighty has decreed in the Holy Book. Nothing more.

    Muslim Civil Society has abdicated it’s responsibility to the community for far too long in favour of theologians and politicians.

    Enough is enough.
    The time for the emancipation of the Muslim Wife is here.
    It is now.
    It is not tomorrow.

  • 4

    Anybody (Men, Women or Animal )have rights in the Muslim World?

  • 2

    If the Justice Saleem Committee is unable to issue a Report after nearly 8 years of consultation (shoora), then there will never be any meaningful consensus (ijma) among the members on key matters of importance even after another 8 years. Is there any purpose in keeping such an ineffectual committee alive ? It only serves to highlight and magnify the divisive and ambiguous nature of Islam to our non-Muslim brothers and sisters.

    The Guardians of Islam in Saudi Arabia were recently brought to their knees when they finally permitted females to drive, thereby admitting tacitly that they were previously wrong in preventing females from driving for ‘Islamic’ reasons. Our local ‘Guardians’ should pay heed to such developments instead of stubbornly adhering to outdated religious interpretations.

    Are the local ‘Guardians’ totally devoid of empathy and compassion ? Are they incapable of putting themselves in the shoes of Muslim females experiencing the trauma of marriage and divorce proceedings in accordance with the current, outdated laws ? Do they not realize that their actions could possibly have an adverse effect on ibadat among the traumatized Daughters of Islam ?

    • 3

      I agree. If this Committee is unable to conclude this 8 year quest to give Muslim women the same rights as all others in Sri Lanka, then they should be disbanded, and a new panel consisting on open minded persons, willing consider all voices, and unafraid of those oppressors, who try to keep women powerless.

      • 1

        There is no need of a new panel. How come when UN talks human rights and democracy, when the majority is buddhist, there are two marraige laws and one is discriminating women and treats them far lower than animals. Just abolish the seonf marriage law. how come they have favouritism over the others ?. Why others are second to them ?

    • 4

      The Guardians of Islam only weeks ago changed their primitive policies regarding women driving, because they know they have a very bad image in the world, and most probably hiring expensive consultants, to change it. If only they realize that they are also disliked, for the bombing of Yemen, and conspiring with the US and Israel, to cause mischief around the world. It is time for Saudi Arabia, to show the world that they are letting go of all their primitive laws, the stoning to death, the inability for women to be independent, and walk freely in their own cities, and have equal rights like the women in other nations.

      • 2

        Saudi Arabia’s primitive laws are not for guarding Islam. Islam is only a pretext and the laws are to guard their monarch and the king’s family. Imagine they demand Qatar to close down Al-Jazeera news channel in fear of another Arab-Spring..

        Not much different from SL, religion is just a political tool there too.

      • 1

        Chitra ,

        Saudi is not the guardian of Islam . Islam is not head
        quartered in any part of the world . Saudi simply is a
        tool of world politics to hoodwink the non – Arab
        Muslim world thanks very much to the birth place of
        author of Islam located in their land . Saudi means
        oil to the world and its oil wealth provides jobs for the
        third world Muslims and so do the other Mideast oil
        countries . And don’t forget more Arabs and non-Arab
        Muslims are living in the West in quite large numbers.
        Primitive laws are what keeping the oil flow smooth
        and affordable and suppose you let them loose with
        a system like Democracy ? Keep guessing !

  • 10

    No matter who writes what, or who campaign for what. It is every ‘naturally greedy’ Muslims who must think of their own change. The community has to think how behind they are among others in SL and act to change themselves.

    To start with, they need to change their selfish attitudes, greediness and acting cheap for individual’s own gains. And they have to live scattered among other communities to learn some decency and good things. So far, I have seen the worst among all Muslims are the ones living in so called “Muslim Areas”.

    Me, being a Muslim, I curse my own community on a daily basis and ashamed of being a SL Muslim. I have fought with many Tamils commenting calling Muslims are “cheap Indian low-class Dalits conversion to Islam”. But observing Muslims’ behaviour closely on a daily basis, I guess they are right. I have been to many Arab countries and Arabs don’t behave like SL Muslims or selfish as this bad.

  • 3

    Ms. Saroor,

    Are you kidding? retired former Justice Mr. Masroof and Mufty Rizvi are very busy sharing facebook posts and writing comments on really unwanted things, just check their facebook page for yourself. So forget about them, get help from outside and get the job done as quickly as possible, otherwise it would be dragged for another 50 year, if not forever.

    • 0

      Ms. Saroor, RE: Ahmad Nadvi Comment

      “Are you kidding? retired former Justice Mr. Masroof and Mufty Rizvi are very busy sharing facebook posts and writing comments on really unwanted things, just check their facebook page for yourself.”

      Yes.Don’t waste your time with the Ulama and former Justice Mr. Masroof and Mufty Rizvi . They want to delay and the issue to go away, si that they can legally rape girls, and get extra wives.

      Strongly suggest you contact All non-Muslim organizations, Buddhist, Christian and Hindi, and explain the injustice happening to the Muslim girls and women, and ask for their help with the non-Muslim MPs to pass legislation to reform MMDA. Suggest you contact the Sri Lanka Mahila Samithiya, the Women’s Organization, and get their help.

      Did the Quran say, man and omen were created equal? ( Put on hold the theory of evolution for the tome being, until MMDA is reformed)

      Regarding the former Justice Mr. Masroof and Mufty Rizvi .and the Ulama, ask them, to focus on sending people to heaven, after they are dead, and not send Muslim girls and women to hell while they are living. on Earth.

  • 5

    Now! It’s long overdue.

  • 1

    Muslims are killed all over the world – Iraq, Afganistan, Myanmmar, Libya, etc.

    We are so concerned about a issue in the law, but conveniently issue a MAJOR issue affecting Muslims, including innocent women and children, around the world.

    The question I like to ask is – What did you do when BBS attacked the Muslims, including women and children, in Aluthgama?

    If you didn’t do anything other than rave and rant like what I did, it’s time for do-gooder Muslims to take their marbles and go home. Stop going after soft target.

  • 1

    Shreen Abdul Saroor ~ “Realizing Muslim Women’s Rights – When Is The Right Time?”
    It is now now now Shreen. It has been “Now” from the day MMDA1951 got into the Lankan judicial system.
    For obvious reasons the reforms must be presented to Lankan by a Lankan Muslim MP. From then on it will be near unanimous support – dissenters like Wimal are nobodies. Unfortunately the Muslim MPs are bigots.
    Activists like Shreen will succeed and then the Lankan Muslim MPs will join the gravy train.

  • 1

    Sinhalese Buddhist.
    Islam is not a blind religion like any other.
    You are Buddhist because your parents are Buddhist.
    You are a Hindu because of your parent.
    Ms shaheen is not a Muslim lady because her parents were Muslims.to be ideal or true Muslim ms shaheen should have learn Islam thoroughly..
    Otherwise she is a Muslim for name shake ..
    So do not take what she days .
    It is all half baked .

    • 3

      Lankan No 03

      “It is all half baked .”

      Half baked, Muslims are Wahhabis, Salafis and their clones, who follow the Devil, Satan, Iblis.


      Al Azhar Scholar: ‘Wahhabism/Salafism is a Satanic Faith, the Horns of Satan’

  • 4

    Shreen Saroor
    Thank you for articulating your thoughts so lucidly. You have made out a cogent case for the liberation of Muslim women, which cries out for immediate action and resolution.

    But, Shreen, it is better if the initiative could come from the Govt and the progressive sections of the Muslim community. The campaign should not become a catalyst for communal tension. The direct involvement of “outsiders” may complicate the problem – may camouflage the real issue and provide ammunition to the ultra-orthodox antagonists among the Muslims to cry foul and deflect the direction of the campaign.

  • 0

    This is essentially a problem that we want the Muslims of Sri Lanka to sort out among themselves. However, Muslim men just won’t allow this to be done:


    The link that I have given above is to an article by a very decent, intelligent, educated and good Muslim man. But just see what other Sri Lankan Muslim men are saying. That article is still open for comments, although it’s been written before THIS article by a Muslim (significantly Malay) lady.


    I was challenged by a Muslim man to say all that I wanted to. I have done so, in what I think readers will find is sane and rational language. I have now challenged those Muslim men to comment on what I have said. No response from them, because what I had written was decent and rational, and I did not exude Islamophobia. Had I done that, they could, of course, have torn me to shreds. Most of the time, they have other, more effective, but cruder red herrings to draw across.


    Both here, and in the comments on the other articles, aspersions are cast on the piety of liberal Muslims. It gets worse: it is overtly stated that we want to turn Muslim women (also!) in to prostitutes, and that we want to win lesbian rights for them. We can’t keep repeating things ad nauseam. I have stated clearly that what we want to win for Muslim females is just one thing: the right to refuse marriage until they are 18 years old. Personally, I’d be happy if the minimum age is made even 16, but why do Sri Lankan Muslim men want to have no lower age limit? Why? Because they want to lord it over their women. At least occasionally there must be girls of 10 married off to men of 40. If that is not the case, how come none of these cads has agreed to have something like 14 years as the minimum age for the marriage of girls.

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