17 August, 2017

The Unfounded Cry For Equality; Perspectives On Article 16 (1) And Muslim Marriage & Divorce Act Reforms

By Mass L. Usuf

Mass Usuf

Mass Usuf

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female, and have made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Indeed, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted” ~ [Quran 49:13]

This is a universal statement that clearly wipes out discrimination of all forms. A man or a woman is honoured not because of gender, nationality, colour, race, creed, caste, language or ethnicity but for his/her Righteousness. In Islam, there can never be discrimination between the sexes in relation to their rights and duties. Ipso facto the claim from some quarters about gender inequality is not sustainable.

Prima facie the Western feminist ideology from which even our folks derive inspiration may look attractive and promising. A deeper scientific analysis involving physiology, psychology, morality, socio-economy and other disciplines would reveal some of these ideals as superficial embellishments lacking in real substance. One of the fundamental weaknesses in this development is the lack of proper understanding and appreciation of the differences in the natural dispositions of each. In fact, the struggle in the West is for identicalness or uniformity between man and woman. It is this thought that has been given credence world over under the wrong label ‘Equality’.

Equal or Identical?

One has to distinguish between the terms equality and identicality. To illustrate: The value of two five hundred rupee notes equals a thousand rupees. But, the two five hundreds are not identical to a single thousand rupee note.

Man and woman are equal as human beings but they are not identical. Their individual nature and dispositions are all not the same. These facts have to be recognised and acknowledged when speaking about the rights and duties of women. If not, it will only do harm to the woman and the society at large. This is one area where the Islamic viewpoint on gender equality or women’s rights differ from the Western idea. It is through the appreciation of this distinction inter alia, that Islamic law has based its notion of the rights and duties of woman and man. From this perspective it is fair to say that Islam has not ignored the concerns about the status of women.

Nobel Laureate and world-famous French physiologist, surgeon and biologist Alexis Carrel in his well-known book he acknowledges the fact that men and women, according to the law of creation, have been made differently, and adds that these differences and dissimilarities make their duties and rights dissimilar.

“ …[B]etween the two sexes are irrevocable differences. And it is imperative to take them into account in constructing the civilized world.” (L’Homme, cet inconnu – Man, The Unknown, 1935).

Under the title “Men and Women”, Will Durant writes “The function of the woman is to serve the species, and the function of the man is to serve the woman and the child. They may have other functions also, but wisely subordinate to these; it is in these fundamental and half unconscious purposes that nature has placed our significance and our happiness…. The woman’s nature is to seek shelter rather than war; and in some species the female seems quite without the instinct of pugnacity. When she fights directly it is for her children.” (ibid. p.119)

Harmonising Sensitivities

The relevance of Article 16 (1) (see below) of the Constitution is complex and has an impact on several substantive legislations and Personal Laws predating the 1978 constitution. Therefore, it is a legal provision which cannot be simply ignored without broader consensus. The constitutional pundits are busy debating that Article 16 (1) undermines the supremacy of the constitution. Others are engaged in finding an equilibrium between constitutionalism and a heterogeneous society nurtured on centuries of customs, traditions and a self-identity.

The harmonisation of customary laws, personal laws and gender equality is a delicate exercise. It may even extend to the conflation of a number of different sociological, economic, political and community issues. A precise mechanism, respecting cultural sensitivities, community histories and relationships, will have to be developed with care and caution.

When linking 16 (1) (see below), as advocated via the media, to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1951 (MMDA) some factors of greater relevance have to be identified. Firstly, not to constrict it to a ‘Muslim’ only view but to a broader national level concern. Secondly, taking cognisance of the sensitivities of the historical, cultural, customary and traditional beliefs of other communities viz. the Jaffna Tamils and the Kandyan Sinhalese. Thirdly, the MMDA and the much hyped gender inequality.

Distinct Personal Law

The Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act has to be distinguished at the outset from the other two Personal laws namely, The Thesavalamai Law and the Kandyan Law. Of the three, the MMDA is the only personal law that is derived from the principles of another jurisprudence, the Islamic Law, eclectically incorporated into the MMDA along with some customs e.g. Kaikuli (Section 97 of MMDA). So the MMDA is not a totally pure representation of the Sharia law relating to the subject. While harmonising the personal laws by themselves present enough complications, to find a workable solution between two divergent jurisprudences compounds the efforts.

Without indulging in a constitutional evaluation of Article 16 (1) (see below), it is relevant at this point to address some of the concerns raised by those who feel that their gender equality rights are being violated by the MMDA.

1. Women are often mistreated by incompetent Quazis and the jurors of the courts; Women are verbally abused and threatened. Quazis are sometimes biased against women.

This is a valid grievance. In fact, many a times even men are abused by them. Some of the Quazis are unfit to serve in that capacity which according to Islamic law is a highly responsible and dignified position. One wonders if the Judicial Service Commission which appoints Quazis is aware of this? However, it is not the end of the road for the women. There is an appellate procedure starting from the Board of Quazis up to the Supreme Court. Moreover, under Section 43 of MMDA, the Board of Quazis have the power to call for the records of the proceedings and examine it for any illegality, impropriety or irregularity. There are several instances when the order of the Quazi has been quashed upon appeal. For example, in Mohamed Afzal v Saeeda Banu BQ/4439 (2009) a de novo inquiry was ordered because of the likelihood of bias on the part of the Quazi as he was related to the Respondent. Ironically, in this case the bias was against the man.

Verbal abuse and threatening are more of an ‘administrative’ issue. Even in the Police Station such harassments take place. In fact, men are more harassed than women. Whether in the Quazi court or the Police Station such acts should be condemned. The victim can make a complain to the Judicial Service Commission.

Article 16 (1) of the Constitution states:

“All existing written law and unwritten law shall be valid and operative notwithstanding any inconsistency with the preceding provisions of this Chapter.”

It is not written or unwritten law in the MMDA that a woman may be mistreated by Quazis and jurors. Nor is it the law that a woman can be abused or threatened. As such, 16 (1) is no bar for the assertion of anyone’s rights. There is clearly no violation of any gender equality rights. If one can establish sufficient, valid and substantial grounds, even the prospect of an infringement of fundamental rights application can be explored.

2. Another grievance is that the Act does not stipulate a minimum age of marriage.

Marriage of those under 18 years may raise eyebrows. This is the emotional response to it. Let us analyse it realistically and objectively. It is clear that sexual maturity should determine readiness for marriage and not the age. An immature 18-year-old girl is not fit for marriage while a matured 16-year-old girl would be eligible for marriage. Matured or immatured, how many girls under 18 years have had sexual encounters with friends, relations, neighbours, even incestuous relationship. Is not this the reality? In this case, which is the better option illegal sexual intercourse with no rights whatsoever or a legalised relationship which also gives her rights and protection of the law. In addition, they get social recognition and the reputation of the family safeguarded.

In the United States, 46 percent of all high school age students, and 62 percent of high school seniors, have had sexual intercourse; Almost nine million teens have already had sex. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, USA in the years 2011–2013, 44% of female teenagers (4.3 million) aged between 15–19 had experienced sexual intercourse. UK ranks first and has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe. Number of birth rate: 30 per 1000 population.

Love Affair And Pregnancy

Take for example a girl 15 years of age and a boy nearly 18 years. They had a love affair which culminated in sexual intercourse. Now the girl is pregnant. Both parents come to know about this and want them to get married. American colloquialism would call it a typical shotgun wedding to avoid embarrassment. Though both their parents and families are willing to take care of them and support them tragically, the law will not allow them to get married because they are not 18 years old.

The law is not only denying this young couple the opportunity to legitimise their relationship but also depriving the baby to be born from being a legitimate offspring. How can the mental state of the boy, the girl, their respective parents, their friends, relations and the society be reconciled when the law is standing between the boy and the girl? The Appeal Court case of Gunaratnam V The Registrar General (CA NO. 1031/01) would be an interesting read.

If they were Muslims, they could have married under the MMDA which does not specify a minimum age of marriage. Which law is then more beneficial? However, Section 23 of the Act prohibits the registration of marriage of a Muslim girl below the age of 12 years except with the approval of the Quazi.

In a report submitted by Sri Lanka to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women – CEDAW) it states: “On a positive note, although there is no minimum age of marriage recognized by statute (MMDA) under the Muslim personal law, instances of child marriages among the community are not known to be frequent in current times. Between 1996 and 2003 there was a steady decline in the number of Muslim females under 16 years who contracted marriages. (13 November 2009, CEDAW/C/LKA/5-7)

In fact, in 2003 out of 17,593 Muslim marriages only 80 were 16 years of age. Percentage wise it is much below 1%. In fact, not even 0.5 %. (Source: Registrar General’s Department)

Child Marriages

A study on, ‘Post war trends in child marriages in Sri Lanka’ lists several causes namely: Adolescent teenage pregnancy, poverty, breakdown of the social structure, multiple displacements and communities in IDP camps. (Fokus Women, January 2015). The special interest category for such marriages are love affairs. A study conducted by Viluthu showed that 62.9% of underage marriages stemmed from love affairs between the couple.

It is relevant to note that all of these marriages are not from the Muslim community. Nor does the non-stipulation of minimum marriageable age in the MMDA anything to do with this. This is a purely socio-cultural phenomenon evolving based on the need and circumstances of the different communities. It also has nothing to do with religion. In passing, the 62.9% underage romantic couples in the above study were all not necessarily Muslims. As per the study, 12 percent of unmarried males between 15 and 17 favoured pre-marital sex.

Some people are painting a demonic picture about the MMDA under the guise of gender inequality. MMDA reforms, is it required? Of course, it is required. More about reforms will follow in the next part.

To be continued…

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Latest comments

  • 12
    1

    Mr. Usuf:

    Read below. You say, that muslims work only according to the quran and both men and women are equal infront of the god. See the bews below, one womn is beaten for having an affair.

    How many muslim men had 100 lashes for adultary ? did a man ever have at least one lash for adultary ?

    Four men from Nallandaluwa, Puttalam were arrested for beating a woman 100 times with a coconut frond.

    The twenty-five-year-old woman said she had been asked to come to the mosque in Nallandaluwa and beaten by the men, who said she was being punished under Sharia law for infidelity.

    The men had accused her of having an affair with man.

    Puttalam Police arrested the four men and produced them before court.

    • 10
      2

      jim softy

      “The men had accused her of having an affair with man. Puttalam Police arrested the four men and produced them before court.”

      Not only the Four men, the Trustees of the Mosque and the Imam of the Mosque should also be charged as co-conspirators, and charged for the crime.

      What Mr. Usuf is advocating is tribalism, and Double standards, as the men are usually not punished.

      They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law under the Sri Lankan Penal code.

      • 4
        2

        They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law under the Sri Lankan Penal code.

        Amarasiri: then you muslim blam Sinhala buddhists and BBS.

        • 6
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          jim softy, Dimwit, Nitwit, Blockhead.

          “They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law under the Sri Lankan Penal code.”

          Stick to the subject under discussion.

          This has nothing to do with Sinhala Buddhism. It is a Citizen’s rights, constitutional rights issue, with equality under the law.

          Only the British punished those accused of crimes. Despite all their shortcomings, they generally followed the rule of law, their law, and the law of the land. Unfortunately, after independence even though the laws were in the books, it was not followed, in Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho occupied by the Paras, dominated by the Para Sinhala “Buddhists”.

          The Sri Lankan flag shows a lion(a myth) holding a sword, trying to kill. Did Buddhas talk about a sword and killings? No. Only Sinhala “Buddhists”, do that, and they practice Sunday Night Sil and Monday Night Kill. Is this Buddhism?

          The Indian Flag shows the Asoka wheel representing the Asoka edicts, inspired by Buddha, and the country is secular and generally follows the Law of the Land and implements it, better than Sri Lanka.

          Getting back to Usuf, what he wants to do is impose the Wahhabi Hegemony and Tribal values on the innocent Muslim women of Sri Lanka.

          He calls it “The Unfounded Cry For Equality;”, to impose their Wahhabi Mullah and Ulema Hegemony.

  • 3
    1

    Mass L Usuf
    This looks like a good attempt to defend the MMDA (as you abbreviated). You took examples from western and srilankan populations and used it to support your theory of non suitability of minimum age for marriage.

    It would have been better If you quote the divorce rate among Muslims in Srilanka and the root causes of those scenarios.

    Please leave the topic gender equality alone. Otherwise you are going to get hammered in CT forum.

    On a lighter note Amarasiri may tell us on the IQ of Para Muslims!(This has nothing to do with my muslim brethren)
    This has nothi

  • 4
    1

    While sexual maturity is without question a necessary condition for marriage, it definitely is not a sufficient condition.

    A girl has to be both sexually as well as emotionally mature before she enters the bonds of holy matrimony. A girl is not merely a ‘baby factory’. Just because she is aware of ‘the birds & the bees’ it does not mean she is ready for marriage. She should have achieved the state of mind that will enable her to identify, accept and discharge her responsibilities as a wife and mother effectively – that will enable her to be an equal partner to her spouse as they travel together through life.

    The difficulty is in deciding as to whether a particular girl is sufficiently mature emotionally for marriage, since there is no basic, widely-accepted minimum measurement for this phenomenon. It is the absence of such a minimum measure that has led to the setting of ’18 years’ as the age of adulthood. The Muslim community should follow this general rule.

    Lowering the minimum age of marriage for girls will only serve to increase the possibility that many sexually-mature but emotionally-immature girls will (or will be persuaded to) enter the bonds of holy matrimony.

    The Muslim Lawmakers must take cognisance of this possibility and the adverse impact it could have on the family. Hypothetical situations and anecdotes should not be the basis for the advocacy and promulgation of Muslim marriage laws. Responsible adults must ensure that they do not create space for young girls to find themselves in situations that they are not able to cope with or even worse where they end up being emotionally-dependent on their husbands for the rest of their married lives.

    • 3
      2

      Well said Ekellbroom,

      The Muslim baby factories are in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria, Egypt. The consequence of baby factories is very sadly poverty breeding machines, mass poverty, slum countries.

      Mass exploitation of labour (child and adult)almost always women.

      [Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia were formerly predominantly Buddhist countries until Islam came and ruined them].

      Same applies to the Catholic countries; Phillipines and just about all Latin American and some Catholic African countries. Here the motivation was to get the indigenous people to reproduce with out family planning, birth control etc so that there is a constant source of cheap labour for the Spanish/Portuguese overlords to clean their toilets, send down dangerous mines (see Potosi silver mines), work in banana, sugar and coffee farms. ie Farming human beings for cheap labour.

      • 3
        0

        I am not sure about ‘baby factories’ of other countries, here in SL we do produce more babies but at the same time we educate them, feed and dress them with best and involve them in every aspect and socialize them. End result is that we contribute to the country’s development by various ways more, rather than being burden of state job demanding tax-payers money wasting uncreative segment that is only capable of overloading public buses and trains and inflicting the entire environment nauseating with their foul smells.

        Understand that a family having more babies or members is a good deal for the government in terms of tax revenue than of a family with a kid. Think of it this way, a family paying more taxes while being much less dependent and demanding on what the government has to offer is really doing good to the nation.

        On the other hand, being less dependent on state sector makes an individual more productive or brings out entrepreneurship in them or help build country’s economies with a business of any size or at least contribute to SL’s foreign remittances – So Muslims are not cost centers to the government despite making more babies.

        By now, you might have understood who are less contributing to nation’s development and cost-centers? Lastly, family planning is not the only way to be successful in life. I remember recently a well known Buddhist monk in SL urging his community women to become ‘baby factories’ as in your terms, is a good reason to support that having more children is good as long as you can support them

    • 3
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      ekelbroom

      “A girl has to be both sexually as well as emotionally mature before she enters the bonds of holy matrimony”

      You have missed few other important hazards

      Physical health, organs are not quite ready to cope penetration.

      Children should be children, they should be allowed to grow up at their natural pace.

      There are hundreds of other reasons.

  • 6
    2

    Mass L. Usuf –

    RE” The Unfounded Cry For Equality; Perspectives On Article 16 (1) And Muslim Marriage & Divorce Act Reforms

    //”Some people are painting a demonic picture about the MMDA under the guise of gender inequality. MMDA reforms, is it required? Of course, it is required. More about reforms will follow in the next part.”//

    Are Reforms required? Yes, because the MMDA is Satan Inspired to deny rights to Muslim women.

    1. Just because Wahhabis, Salafis, and Their Clones such as ISIS, Taliban etc, claims that reforms are not required, reforms are required.

    2. The Norse religion and Mayan religion required Human sacrifice to the various Gods usually young women. Should all Muslim women be subjected to abuse in Sri Lanka by Muslim men to be Muslim women, to believe in One God, Allah, per belief. Where in the 5 Pillars of Islam dies it say that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act is Required?

    3. In many Muslim countries, Turkey, Bangla Desh etc. the there is no MMDA. Why only in Sri Lanka?

    4. Furthermore, the MMDA is against the teachings of the Quran, sas somebody pointed out earlier.

    5. MMDA is an attempt to continue the Tribal Customs, Wahhabism and its clones, not Islam.

    6. Wahhabi and Their Clones, Follow the devils, follow Iblis, Satan, Devil as per Hadith of Najd. It is from the Najd region that the Wahhabis originated in the 17th Century.

    6. Wahhabies and their Clones such as ISIS, Talinan etc, wants to Kill Sufis, Shia, Ahmedia and even non-Muslims, which Muslims are not required to do.

    Therefore, the MMDA (and Wahhabism and its Clones) is Devil, Dayan, Iblis inspired, not God, Allah inspired.

    Reference:

    Hadith of Najd

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

    The Hadith of Najd is a famous hadith with several chains of narration about three geographical locations. While all Sunni Muslims accept the group of hadith as authentic, the exact location of the area referred to as “Najd” is disputed.

    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.” In a similar narration, Muhammad again asked Allah to bless the areas Medina, Mecca, Sham, and Yemen and, when asked specifically to bless Najd, repeated similar comments about there being earthquakes, trials, tribulations, and the horns of Satan.

    • 3
      2

      Mass L. Usuf –

      RE” The Unfounded Cry For Equality; Perspectives On Article 16 (1) And Muslim Marriage & Divorce Act Reforms

      What Stopped Middle Eastern or Islamic Scientific Progress (Neil deGrasse Tyson)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2YUVITEVpo

      Mass L Usuf, Give up youe Wahhabism, Salafism and its clones Satanic, Ilisic Ideology, and get Civilized.

      Don’t you get it?

  • 3
    2

    Make hay while the sun shine, as long as you alive repent in the middle of the night, so that you will be forgiven.

    • 0
      0

      Is this a death threat against the author? Is CT moderating comments?

  • 6
    1

    Mass L Usuf

    Man is intelligent enough to make law for him so why should he slavishly follow something prescribed by non-human, God or Allah.(whether he created or not is a different matter)

    Women also have brains so isn’t it good to let them decide things like how many husbands, how many children, how to dress, who/how/when to marry, how to get education, when to divorce, to give dowry or demand a dowry etc,etc.

    Isn’t it a shame for men to dictate on their matters.

  • 6
    1

    Muslims world over are a lost lot. To start with the Prophet’s biography has been written 100 years after his death. The Quran was carried verbally for generations (they say) before it was written down. The sharia laws are a set of interpretations of Abdul Wahab (the Wahabi) who helped King Abdul Aziz to legitimize his hold over the two holy places of Islam when he formed Saudi Arabia in 1932. The MMDL was the Jinna style solution for the Sri Lankan Muslims by the British. It is despicable and demeaning. But who is there to rewrite for them. They are stuck in a set of laws set out for a Bedouin lifestyle in the Desserts 1400 years ago. We can only pity them unless the intelligent lot in the society try and interpret the Quran and the Sharia for the modern times. Otherwise it is Allahu Akbar before slitting someone’s throat. In reality when it just means God is Great. How sad and pathetic.

    • 3
      2

      Mass L. Usuf

      “How sad and pathetic.”

      Yes. The Wahhabis, Salafis and their Clones follow Satan, Iblis.

      They want to kill Sufis, Shia, Ahmedia, non-Muslims, as well as Sunni Muslims. They love death, a sign of the Devil, Satan.

      Hadith of Najd

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

      Wahhabi sack of Karbala

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

      The Wahhabi sack of Karbala occurred on 21 April 1802 (1216 Hijri) (1801[1]), under the rule of Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad the second ruler of the First Saudi State. Approximately 12,000 Wahhabis from Najd attacked the city of Karbala.[4]:387 The attack coincided with the anniversary of Ghadir Khum event,[3] or 10th Muharram.[2]:74

      Wahhabis killed 2,000[2]:74–5,000[3] of the inhabitants and plundered the tomb of Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad and son of Ali ibn Abi Talib,[2]:74 and destroyed its dome, seizing a large quantity of spoils, including gold, Persian carpets, money, pearls, and guns that had accumulated in the tomb, most of them donations. The attack lasted for eight hours, after which the Wahhabis left the city with more than 4,000 camels carrying their plunder.

      Ottoman–Wahhabi War

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman%E2%80%93Wahhabi_War

      The Ottoman–Wahhabi War also known as the Ottoman–Saudi War, was fought from early 1811 to 1818, between Egypt Eyalet under the reign of Muhammad Ali Pasha (nominally under Ottoman Empire rule) and the army of the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State, resulted in the destruction of the latter.

      All Wahhabis Salafis and their clones will end up in hell along with Iblis, Satan as per Islamic Theology.

  • 5
    5

    I suggest to M Usuf not to publish such articles quoting Quran in CT or other Public Media as it invites adverse comments from xenophobes. It is not possible to explain religon through such short articles and ends up with people ridiculing and attacking each others religons.

    • 3
      2

      AliPasha

      “It is not possible to explain religon through such short articles and ends up with people ridiculing and attacking each others religons.”

      No. it is possible if religion is not full of Myths.

      It is the Myths that makes it impossible. Therefore they are like fairy tales for Children.

      Has anybody reported back from Hell, Heaven, Apaya, Purgatory, or Nirvanna? No, not yet!

      Why? Because they all are based on Myths.

  • 0
    4

    Well presented article which has all the basic facts.
    [Edited out]

  • 8
    0

    About quazies. What is your position regarding the appointment of females as quazies. There are women including Muslim women who are holding high position in the judiciary. I need not mention names as you all are aware.

    There were over 10 Muslim women as heads of state. We had two women as heads of state in Sri Lanka. Their performances were equally good and bad like our male heads of state.

    Waiting for your second installment.

  • 8
    1

    Usuf, your pen is lying when you write, “Man and woman are equal as human beings but they are not identical.” Your religion can’t treat men and women equal because the ‘Dharma’ your prophet has preached is violently anti-women.

    For example, remind yourself of the following quotes from Quran:

    (2:223) – “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will…”
    (4:3) – “Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four”
    (4:11) – “The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females”
    (4:34) “… So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them.”

    These are only some of the quotes.

    Compare these with the enlightened views of Buddhism, preached 3000 years ago in the Suttas of the Kosala Wagga.

    Humans can’t be civilised until they believe in mythical, unenlightened violent philosophies Judaism and Islam. they’ve got to change.

  • 0
    0

    The article focus on Islamic Principles however the oppose group take from Muslim where Muslims don’t honor what it is.

  • 3
    1

    A well-written article.

    But the author ignores the fact that under-twelves have been married off to much older men and Muslim women’s rights advocates have produced them at hearings on modification to the Muslim Marriage laws. The matter goes to the heart of the idea of personal consent to marriage. Do under twelves consent to these marriages? Can their parents consent on behalf of their children? I am aware of a few near-thirty Tamil women going to their marriages in tears because the parents felt it was getting to be late and it was now or never. I have seen affairs broken off by parents because of caste-mismatch and the girl being forced into a marriage to effect a break. The point I make is that parentally forced marriages are not exclusive to Muslims. When it comes to under-eighteens, the question is whether the state should play a role in protecting them. Who has higher authority over a child: the parent or the state?

    The author’s claim is misplaced when he says “In fact, the struggle in the West is for identicalness or uniformity between man and woman. It is this thought that has been given credence world over under the wrong label ‘Equality’.” The theology of the Catholic Church on marriage makes clear that in a major section of western thought, men and women are equal but have non-identical functions.

    Crude forms of punishment like lashing are distasteful to most of us. But can the pot call the kettle black? In India it was just two years ago that a Panchayat ordered a couple having a cross-caste affaire to pay a fine and when they could not pay the fine, the men of the village were ordered by the Panchayat to rape the girl. Those in the US would have read of several cases where executions by drugs and electrocution went wrong and witnesses were subject to a horrific sight.

    .

  • 3
    1

    Oy Usuf

    Stop hiding behind the Quran,
    Why is it that only women get convicted and stoned to death by males for having sex?

    There are big issues in Quran as well as in bible

    It is thanks to liberal thinking people that shaped the western world today to it’s relatively decent civilised form.

    Bible holders also ran havoc killing thousands of innocent and discriminated women.

    Educate your daughters, treat them with dignity!

    Any form of extremism must be condemned including the poison sold by hora ganayas

  • 3
    0

    Who the xxxx is quasi to approve a marriage of under 12years?

    Man what have you learned from the free world?

    How can a religion makes people this stupid?

    When would world stop this nonsense!

    • 1
      1

      Srinath.gunaratne

      “How can a religion makes people this stupid?”

      Good people do Good things, bad people do bad things and stupid things.To get good people to do bad things and stupid things, it takes religion.

      Sinhala Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism are about the same. The historical data supports it.

      Mahavamsa- An Insult To The Buddha!

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mahavamsa-an-insult-to-the-buddha/

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 3
    2

    Srinath.gunaratne

    “How can a religion makes people this stupid?”

    Please ask the Sinhala/Buddhists, who are the embodiment of religious/racial stupidity.

  • 1
    1

    Mass L. Usuf,

    Do you really believe, I mean really believe there is equality between the sexes in Islam.

    Just for the sake of the exercise, wear the hijab just for one year and then rewrite this article. You get my point.

    Islam like all other religions including Sinhala Buddhism is arcane, shaped by myths and animism, based not on reason or logic, a tool of control amongst other equally untenable ideals.

    Sadly the Sri Lankan polity is not mature enough to understand that the people of the country will be better served via a purely secular approach.

  • 1
    1

    Ekelbroom

    You are 100% right.The writer has missed the boat taking only sexual maturity into consideration.

  • 1
    1

    any decision pertaining to muslim community, be it is related to marriage age of girls or anything for that matter-should be left to the muslims themselves. others should not interfere with their laws and customs.it is totally unnecessary.let them decide their own destiny.
    -dayal

    • 0
      1

      So are you asking in the name of ….,
      You want to legalize child abuse?
      May be you have had too much inbreeding so your brain doesn’t function correctly.

      • 0
        0

        srinath.gunaratne

        “So are you asking in the name of ….,
        You want to legalize child abuse?”

        It is called child abuse, women abuse and girl abuse in the name of religion. Sinhala Buddhism does the same, like the other Myths.

        The Child abuse Club.

        Child Abuse by a Monk in Habaraduwa

        Uploaded on May 29, 2010
        She sent her grandson to school with the idea of providing him with proper education to make him a good person. The Buddhist monk in charge of the temple asked her to send the child to the temple and she sent him there because they were poor. There was no possibility for them to pay the money for tuition fees. That was the reason why they sent the boy to the temple school.When the child began to refuse going to the temple school so adamantly, grandmother had to look for the reason. It was then only that she discovered that the child who was sent to learn good behavior, ethics and Buddha’s Dharma from the monk had in fact been abused by the monk.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

        Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 1

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNOfTGSADdY

        Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 2

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clcs2PSze0I

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          Couldn’t agree more, That is why I said in the beginning, ‘including hora ganayas’.

          They are the biggest bunch in the country that we need to medically castrate!

          Our people are not following Buddhism, They are worshiping a tooth!
          This is where we have to start.

  • 1
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    Arabic primitive garbage or GSP+

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      Do you know what GSP+ and its requirements are? Do you know we had GSP+ before, and why we lost it?

      We lost of for Human Rights violations (especially during of war) and Factory owners violating labor norms. And still SL is not out of HR case.

      Let’s say we get it, what if EU comes back and says, to retain GSP+ provide equal opportunity among minorities to state sectors. What sort of political issues it will create? And how many will stop memorizing books to pass exams (LOL)?

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    There is a mechanism called ‘Ijtihad’ in Islam Religion to upgrade/update primitive and limited understanding and interpretations of the religious texts. Unfortunately the SUNNI/Wahabi schools shunned Ijtihad in order to protect their tribalistic hegemony, Knigdoms, Royal courts and all other crimes of corrupt rulers and warlords and gangsters. Shias and Ahmedis who maintain this mechanism are branded as kafir, (even in Sri Lanka) and excommunicated. Government school texts books in Sri Lanka teach students that Shia and Ahmedis are deviated lot. Ijtihad mechanism if revived, Islam can be the best solution, as they claim, for the problems of world.

  • 16
    4

    Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Focus your comments on the author and the subject of the articles, not on religion; in this case is Islam that, not many people commenting here have understood even the fraction of the great religion, though trying to play fast and loose with facts, copying and pasting Internet blogposts of those anti-Muslim lobbyists.

    Every religion on earth is based more on faith than facts, and mixed up with myths. No religion in the world without divisions or is perfect. One religion’s belief is usually others’ myth, and sometimes instigated by one’s own inferior feelings. For instance, while Mahayana Buddhists might believe in that Buddha went to outer space and spoke to angels, others might called it a myth or traditional Buddhists’ belief in reincarnation a myth to non-believers. Similarly, when believers call it miraculous birth in Christianity, others call it a myth. Likewise, many things that are belief of Muslims look myths to others.

    Best is to get your facts right first before talking about a religion that you don’t know about. What more, even Muslims themselves haven’t funny understood their religion.

    On another note, though I am not sure about ‘baby factories’ of other countries, here in SL we do produce more babies but at the same time we educate them, feed and dress them with best and involve them in every aspect and socialize them. End result is that we contribute to the country’s development by various ways more, rather than being burden of state job seeking tax-payers money wasting uncreative segment.

    Lastly, family planning is not the only way to be successful in life guys.

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      By design having many children and bringing them up as good citizens is also family planning — not just taking pills or aborting.

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      Well said Ahmed. Pointing finger at a community and saying “they make more babies” is childish, and only idiots and wimps would do that.

      Is it not how many kids you have, is a question. How worth is your kid to the nation is the question. What is the use of one’s education, if all what their studenthood ambition and dream are to secure a job in state enterprise and be a burden on others’ hard-earned tax money?

      Are these uncreative, lethargic people really worth what Govt spend on them from my tax money? What are they give in return to the nation, or their inefficient state enterprises’ contribution towards our national economy?

      Unfortunately, they are not in a state to accept a change or even reform themselves for the country’s betterment as long as they know that their jobs are secured, periodic pay hikes and traditionally a kith would inherit in cases of their demise. Even RW hinted on the issue a few times, but unfortunately there is very little a Govt can do since their vote-based is concerned.

      Now please tell me, I have come up in life after a long struggle. Running my own business with employing others. Me, as a tax paying SL citizen, should I not concern about these people enjoying perks from public money while returning nothing to the nation?

      Quantity is best when with quality. Quantity is worst without any quality.

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