Saturday, August 26, 2006


Pakistani
Reforms
Of
Medieval
Rape Laws
Meet With
Backlash


President Musharraf attempts to drag his country kicking and screaming into the modern world, but they will have none of it:


President Pervez Musharraf has opened a new and especially bitter confrontation with radical Islam by trying to rewrite Pakistan's controversial rape laws.

These place an almost impossible burden of proof on women by compelling them to produce four "pious" male witnesses to prove rape or risk being convicted of adultery and face 100 lashes or death by stoning.

This law, known as the Hudood Ordinance, has been regarded as untouchable since its passage 27 years ago.


This news story was originally from the London Telegraph. For some reason they did not point out that this "Hudood Ordinance" is stipulated by the Koran. It is part of Sharia Law.

Robert Spencer comments:


After Muhammad's favorite wife, Aisha, is accused of adultery, he exonerates her with a revelation from Allah requiring four witnesses to establish a sexual offense: "Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they produce not witnesses, they verily are liars in the sight of Allah" (Qur’an 24:11). The adoption of this law was part of the long, slow abandonment of secular law by Pakistan.

It also sets no minimum age for sex with girls, saying only that they should have reached puberty.

This too is based on Muhammad's example. According to a hadith attributed to Aisha herself as the source, "the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years" (Bukhari, 7.62.64).

A powerful militant Muslim lobby regards this code as sacred and based on Koranic texts and sharia law. No previous Pakistani leader, not even the country's first female leader, Benazir Bhutto, dared reform it.

But Gen Musharraf's allies in parliament sparked the fury of the militant opposition by introducing a Women Protection Bill. This would remove the requirement for four male witnesses to prove rape and set 16 as the age of consent for sex with girls.

When this measure came before parliament, Islamic radicals responded by tearing up copies of the bill and storming out. "This bill is against the Holy Koran," said Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of the militant opposition. "We reject it and will try to block it in any possible manner." Other MPs chanted "death to Musharraf" and "Allah is great."

Liaqat Baluch, the deputy leader of an alliance of six Islamic parties, pledged to mount a public campaign to show that "under the garb of this bill and women's rights, the government is deviating from the Koran".