Hamid Karzai, "our man in Kabul": law permitting men to rape wives under review

 The Times

 “Our Man in Kabool” Hamid Karzai, who is turning more Talibanish by the day, meets resistance…

President Karzai’s Taleban-style laws for women put troop surge at risk

Afghan women

Video: Taleban flog girl | Persecution index – Afghanistan

President Karzai of Afghanistan provoked international outrage yesterday with draconian Taleban-era restrictions on women and laws that explicitly sanction marital rape.

A leaked copy of the laws obtained by The Times details new strictures for Afghanistan’s Shia minority. Women are banned from leaving the home without permission. A wife has the absolute duty to provide sexual services to her husband, and child marriage is legalised.

Video shows radicals beating girl in Pakistan

ANALYSIS: Karzai is an inconvenient ally

Details of the legislation emerged as President Obama and other world leaders wrapped up the G20 summit to fly to a Nato summit marking 60 years of the alliance. Mr Obama is pushing for an increase in Nato troop numbers in Afghanistan, but many allies have already rebuffed his calls. The new laws may provide an excuse for remaining waverers to join them.

Canada, which is the third largest contributor of forces to the Nato mission in Afghanistan, has already warned that it may rethink its troop contribution if the law was not repealed.

Opponents of the Afghan President accused him of selling out basic human rights for women in return for the votes of hardline Shia conservatives for the presidential election in August. Although the Shia minority, which comprises 20 per cent of the population, is considered religiously moderate, their political leaders are conservative. Community leaders are relied on to deliver their people’s votes and women are presumed to vote in accordance with their husband.

International reaction has been slowed by secrecy surrounding the law, which was passed without a formal debate and signed off by President Karzai this week, but is yet to be made law.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, became aware of it only when it was raised by her Finnish counterpart at the Afghanistan conference in The Hague on Wednesday. She is said to have raised the issue with him but without the full text President Karzai was spared her opprobrium.

Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, said he was troubled by the law and would lobby other leaders to support him in seeking to have it repealed. “This is antithetical to our mission in Afghanistan,” he said. Stockwell Day, the Canadian Trade Minister, who is chairman of the Cabinet committee on Afghanistan, warned that if Kabul did not back down Canadian support for the Government could be imperilled. “If there is any wavering on this point, this will create serious difficulties, serious problems for the Government of Canada,” he told reporters in Ottawa.

Canada has 2,800 troops fighting in southern Afghanistan and has suffered the highest relative number of casualties of any contingent with 116 of its soldiers dead. Britain, with 8,000 troops, has lost 152 in Afghanistan.

Mike Gapes, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, called the law deplorable. “We did not go into Afghanistan to remove the Taleban only to have Taleban-style policies reimplemented by the Government,” he said. “But this raises big question marks about the nature of the Afghan Government.”

The Afghan Government refused to comment until Saturday, which is after the Nato summit. Speaking yesterday both Mrs Clinton and General James Jones, Mr Obama’s national security adviser, denied that they had given up on getting more Nato soldiers for the fight against a Taleban insurgency in Afghanistan.

The legislation is based on the Shia family code first brought before Parliament two years ago, to the horror of women legislators who make up more than a quarter of the assembly.

Under the same constitution, each religious group is to have its own family law. Opponents said that it contravenes the founding charter in many ways — not least Article 22, which enshrines equality of the sexes before the law.

One of the most controversial articles stipulates that the wife “is bound to preen for her husband as and when he desires”.

Later it explicitly sanctions marital rape. “As long as the husband is not travelling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night,”

Article 132 says. “Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband.”

Article 133 reintroduces the Taleban restrictions on women’s movements outside their homes, stating: “A wife cannot leave the house without the permission of the husband” unless in a medical or other emergency.

Article 27 endorses child marriage with girls legally able to marry once they begin to menstruate.

Sayed Hossain Alemi Balkhi, a Shia lawmaker involved in drafting the law, defended the legislation, saying that it gives more rights to women than even Britain or the US does.

Women MPs said that they had been powerless to challenge the passage of the Bill. “The majority of the men agreed to support the laws without any discussion,” said Azita Raffat, an MP from Badghis province. “The law says it is the right of men to have sex — even by force. You can’t complain because they are husband and wife and this is the duty of a wife. This is the belief of all Afghan men.”

Western leaders, including the former US President George Bush, have boasted frequently about the advances in women’s rights since the Taleban were overthrown in 2001. Although millions more girls have been able to go to school and women now sit in Parliament and work, there are fears that these gains may be eroded.

Afghan culture is conservative, with tribal custom mingling with religious law to produce one of the most oppressive social atmospheres for women anywhere in the world.

Women’s rights are a continuous source of tension between the country’s conservative establishment and more liberal members of society, with hardliners viewing them as a social toxin forced on them by Western backers.

The US warned that the law shows how human rights, and not just women’s rights, had worsened in Afghanistan.

Oppression

Taleban rule: 1996 to 2000

Women had to wear a burka and could not leave the house unless they were with a male relative

Girls were banned from school

Women were not allowed to work outside the home

The sentence for adultery was stoning

In 1997 hospitals were ordered to stop treating women and discharge all women employees. This was partially overturned

Now

More than half of students enrolling for teacher training are women

Many Afghan women have their own businesses

A Department of Women and Reproductive Health was established

Women held 121 out of 420 provincial council seats in 2005

Of registered voters, 44 per cent are women

Source: US Bureau of Democracy, Rights and Labour, Amnesty International, UN Development Fund for Women, Times Archive

The laws

Article 27 The age of maturity (and thus marriage) is 15 for boys; for girls it is when they have their first period

Article 132 The couple should not commit acts that create hatred and bitterness. The wife is bound to preen for her husband, as and when he desires. The husband, except when travelling or ill, is bound to have intercourse with his wife every four nights. The wife is bound to give a positive response

Article 133 The husband can stop the wife from any unnecessary, un-Islamic act. The wife cannot leave the house without the permission of the husband

Article 177 The wife does not have the right to the provision of maintenance by the husband unless she agrees to have intercourse with him and he gets an opportunity for doing so

— Obedience, readiness for intercourse and not leaving the house without the permission of the husband are the duties of the wife, violation of every one of them will mean disobedience to the husband

— One provision of the law appears to protect the woman’s right to sex inside marriage, saying that the “man should not avoid having sexual relations with his wife longer than once every four months”

*** Raymond Ibrahim provides context:

Karzai: Law permitting men to rape wives under review

Karzai — another U.S. “friend and ally,” by the way — is being criticized for permitting a law that would make it legal for men to rape their wives. So he said that it will be reviewed and if anything in it contravenes the country’s constitution or Sharia law, “measures will be taken.” Let’s see some of the scriptures the fuqaha (jurists) will be evaluating in their attempt to determine sharia’s take on this issue:

Allah declares: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). 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” — Koran 4:34.

Muhammad said: “If a husband calls his wife to his bed [i.e. to have sexual relation] and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.” – Bukhari 4.54.460.

In another hadith, Muhammad says: “By him in Whose Hand lies my life, a woman can not carry out the right of her Lord, till she carries out the right of her husband. And if he asks her to surrender herself [to him for sexual intercourse] she should not refuse him even if she is on a camel’s saddle.” – Ibn Majah 1854 .

Seems that if this law is going to be reviewed by faithful Muslims out to implement the will of Allah, women are out of luck, as attested by the unambiguity of the preceding scriptures.

“Karzai: Controversial women’s law to be reviewed,” for the Jerusalem Post, April 4:

Responding to criticism from around the world, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that a new law that critics say makes it legal for men to rape their wives will be studied and possibly sent back to parliament for review. 

Karzai said he ordered the Justice Ministry to review the law, and if anything in it contravenes the country’s constitution or Shariah law, “measures will be taken.”

The United Nations Development Fund for Women has said the law “legalizes the rape of a wife by her husband.”

The United States has urged Karzai to review the law, and Karzai said he has spoken with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about it. Canadian officials have also criticized the legislation.

Karzai: Law permitting men to rape wives under review

Karzai — another U.S. “friend and ally,” by the way — is being criticized for permitting a law that would make it legal for men to rape their wives. So he said that it will be reviewed and if anything in it contravenes the country’s constitution or Sharia law, “measures will be taken.” Let’s see some of the scriptures the fuqaha (jurists) will be evaluating in their attempt to determine sharia’s take on this issue:

Allah declares: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). 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” — Koran 4:34.

Muhammad said: “If a husband calls his wife to his bed [i.e. to have sexual relation] and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.” – Bukhari 4.54.460.

In another hadith, Muhammad says: “By him in Whose Hand lies my life, a woman can not carry out the right of her Lord, till she carries out the right of her husband. And if he asks her to surrender herself [to him for sexual intercourse] she should not refuse him even if she is on a camel’s saddle.” – Ibn Majah 1854 .

Seems that if this law is going to be reviewed by faithful Muslims out to implement the will of Allah, women are out of luck, as attested by the unambiguity of the preceding scriptures.

“Karzai: Controversial women’s law to be reviewed,” for the Jerusalem Post, April 4:

Responding to criticism from around the world, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that a new law that critics say makes it legal for men to rape their wives will be studied and possibly sent back to parliament for review. 

Karzai said he ordered the Justice Ministry to review the law, and if anything in it contravenes the country’s constitution or Shariah law, “measures will be taken.”

The United Nations Development Fund for Women has said the law “legalizes the rape of a wife by her husband.”

The United States has urged Karzai to review the law, and Karzai said he has spoken with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about it. Canadian officials have also criticized the legislation.

2 thoughts on “Hamid Karzai, "our man in Kabul": law permitting men to rape wives under review”

  1. Still in the 7th century I see. When the world comes to it’s senses and deals with this human (moronic “male” dominated crap ideology) pathogen. We must keep a museum/zoo for the zealots to remind us that there is always a downside to to Darwins certainty.

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