Saturday, 27 July 2013

Lebanon: Muslim Misogyny Still Rocks!

... Baby I Know
... The First Cut Is The Deepest!

Two weeks ago, Lebanese women were compelled to recognize once again that they are left to be victims of violence in many forms — including murder — without any legislation protecting them or holding the aggressor accountable. The reason for that is the position of some clerics, who justify these views using religious convictions and concepts.

Roula Yaacoub was the 24th Lebanese woman to be killed in the past three years, and whose murder has thus far gone legally unpunished. It seems that she died from torture and abuse at the hands of a suspect who is none other than her husband. Lebanese laws lack explicit articles that protect women in this regard, under the pretext of religions, which have their own personal status laws in Lebanon and prohibit any modern legislation negating their religious provisions.
Roula’s murder, which took place in the town of Halba in northern Lebanon on July 9, has brought to the forefront the issue of the draft law on protecting women from domestic violence, which has been frozen for four years now and still provokes many absurd religious stances. In 2009, the preliminary draft law was drawn up by NGOs concerned with human rights and women’s rights in Lebanon. Under the pressure of these organizations, the draft law became a serious proposal and was put its last form by the Ministry of Justice’s Consulting and Legislation Committee in March 2009. Afterwards, the law spent years on the agenda of the Lebanese cabinet, which finally endorsed it on April 26, 2010, and referred it to parliament. 
After more than a year, the law made it to a parliamentary subcommittee tasked with studying it. The committee held its first meeting in May 2011, and that was enough to flare up the situation. As soon as the subcommittee launched discussions, pressure from some Muslim clerics showered onto its members to the extent that the stances of some MPs seemed to be a reflection of what their religious authorities dictated.
On June 23, 2011, Dar al-Ifta, which is the religious Sunni authority in Lebanon, issued a statement reiterating the “unequivocal refusal of any draft law that violates the provisions of Islam under shiny titles, such as protection against violence.” The statement said that the law risks “disintegrating Muslim families in Lebanon and preventing children from being raised according to Islam, in addition to causing a conflict of competences between the concerned civil and Islamic courts.”

This statement came as a result of pressure from Sunni clerics who, days earlier, on April 17, 2011, staged a protest in opposition to the law on protecting women. The Islamic Association for Preachers, an organization of Sunni clerics in Lebanon, was the one calling for this protest.

... No One Gonna Honour Kill My Baby
... But Me!

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