Western Governments Attack Islamic Marital Law but Ignore Plight of Women under Liberal Democracy
Western governments have lined up to condemn a proposed law currently going through the Afghan parliament related to the rights of women within marriage. Puppet governments in the Muslim world have a track record of implementing faulty laws, incomplete Islamic systems, and a failure to implement Islam’s framework of solutions that prevent problems arising.
The details of the proposed law that is causing this controversy cannot be properly known from western media sources. It is reported that it would oblige a wife to fulfil the sexual desires of her husband and that she cannot leave the house without his permission. However, whatever the specific details of this law it has unquestionably become yet another excuse to attack the Islamic social system.
Islamic marital law places importance upon strong marriages and consequently strong family units. It is also indicative of the high status Islam has afforded the woman in society that it obliges the husband to ensure her security and well-being when she leaves the home.
Regarding the proposed law, President Obama said, “I think this law is abhorrent” and Gordon Brown said it, “risks putting Afghanistan back to its past rather than towards a democratic future where men and women are treated equally.” Terms such as “legalization of rape in marriage”, “sexual enslavement”, and “women’s imprisonment” have contributed to the highly charged and emotive language fuelling the hysteria surrounding these proposed law.
Islam has a quite distinct view on the respective roles of men and women in marriage. Islam places great importance upon strong marriages and consequently strong family units, gives a woman a high status in society, and obliges wives to fulfil their marital roles as well as husbands to ensure the security and well-being of their wives when she leaves the home.
While attacking individual Islamic laws, Western leaders seem to ignore the “abhorrent” epidemic levels of abuse, violence, and rape facing women within their own liberal secular countries. In the UK, 1 in 4 women face domestic violence and 1 in 20 have been raped. In the US, a woman is sexually assaulted every two and a half minutes.
Furthermore, Western governments conveniently ignore the plight facing the vast majority of Afghan women following the introduction of a liberal democratic system in the country. Eight years post-invasion, millions of women in Afghanistan face lives of abject poverty, increasing violence and miserable living conditions. Prostitution has increased in the country, resulting from the dire poverty facing so many women “Sex for bread” has become a familiar term in the country.
Rapes and abductions are at epidemic proportions. More than 70% of Afghans are chronically malnourished. Over 80% of Afghan women are still illiterate. Girls continue to be married off to settle debts or tribal differences. The country boasts the 2nd highest rate of maternal mortality in the world with the Eastern province of Badakshan having the highest recorded rate in history. Afghanistan has the highest child mortality rate in the world with 1/5 of children dying before the age of 5. It also has the highest number of widows (proportionate to the total population) in the world due to armed conflict 1.5million out of a 26.6 million population. Self-immolation has become an increasing problem in the country with women setting themselves alight out of desperate misery due to wretched living conditions and abject poverty.
Regarding this controversy, Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, Women’s Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain said, "Western governments are presiding over a social and family meltdown within their own countries, just as they are trying to deal with a financial meltdown, with escalating levels of divorce, adultery, teenage pregnancies and broken families. The “freedom-loving” culture of liberal values has nurtured a hedonistic and care-free attitude to life based upon the pursuit of carnal and individual self-interest, rather than creating a mindset of responsibility. Furthermore, the rhetoric of “Gender Equality” in defining rights and responsibilities of men and women in society and family life has not stemmed the tide of abuse facing women within secular societies nor eradicated the oppressive treatment of women in the Muslim world due to traditional culture.”
“As for accusing Islam of “ female sexual enslavement” in marriage, this is farcical coming from leaders that govern over systems that have legalized the “sexual enslavement” of women under the guise of “liberty”, through accepting pornography, brothels, and the exploitation of women’s bodies in the advertising and entertainment industries. Western governments are therefore in no position to attack Islamic family law. Nor do they have any moral ground to preach “women’s rights” to the Muslim world.”
“Women in Afghanistan and across the Muslim world are fully aware of the disastrous impact of liberal democracy upon their lands. They recognise that the democratic system has not guaranteed for them their security, basic needs nor eradicated oppressive traditions from their societies. They realise that simply enshrining “gender equality” into their constitutions or symbolic gestures such as fixed quotas for women in their parliamentary systems, do not translate into an improved standard of living for ordinary women. They acknowledge that the selective – rather than the comprehensive implementation – of Islamic laws will not secure the rights Islam ordained for the woman. It is understandable then why millions of Muslim women across the world look forward to the establishment of the Khilafah state a true alternative to the decrepit systems that currently plague their lands. It will be a system that will raise their status in society, eradicate oppressive tribal customs, provide their basic needs and guarantee a life free from a fear of violence.”