* But has no intention to do anything about it, of course. But that kind of thing always looks good in the eyes of gullible Western aid donors…
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai called Saturday on his countrymen to stop forcing their under-aged daughters to marry, especially to men several decades older, and to allow them to be educated.
Speaking at a ceremony in Kabul attended by about 300 women to mark International Women’s Day, Karzai also said threats from a Taliban-led insurgency were keeping girls out of school.
“I call on religious leaders, tribal elders and particularly men: stop forcing your under-aged girls to marry, stop marrying them to old men,” he said, adding later he was referring in particular to men aged above 50.
Up to 80 percent of Afghan women face forced marriage, and nearly two-thirds are married before the legal age of 16, according to the United Nations.
Karzai also stressed the importance of educating Afghan girls, who were denied schooling under the 1996-2001 Taliban government.
“In parts of Afghanistan, Afghan girls can’t go to schools because of the terrorism problem,” he said. “In other places, like places without terrorism problems, girls are not allowed to go to schools.”
* That’s right. And Karzai ain’t gonna do a f*kcing thing about it.
Bangladeshi cleric: “The new government policy has mentioned there would be equal property rights for women which is directly against Islam and the holy Koran. We will not tolerate anything that goes against the sharia.”
* Now infidel: if you say that, you will be called a liar and Islamophobe, because your Muhammad worshipping friend (provided you have one) will throw a hissy fit and tell you that women ‘enjoy an elevated position in Islam’, or better ‘Islaaaamm’… you see, ahh, right. That’s better..!
Bangladesh retreats on women’s rights after clerics protest
DHAKA (AFP) â€” Bangladesh’s military-backed government has backed down from a policy to ensure equal property rights to women amid angry protests by Muslim clerics that the move would override Islamic law.
The country’s law minister Hasan Arif said the government “does not have any plan to enact any laws that goes against the Koran and the traditions of Prophet Mohammad,” a government statement said.
Arif gave the assurance to top Islamic clerics and scholars late on Tuesday, after Islamic groups warned of nationwide protests, saying they would not tolerate any law that went against sharia, the Islamic law code.
Sharia is based on the teachings of the Koran, prescribing both religious and secular duties, from prayer to alms-giving, as well as penalties for law-breaking. There are many interpretations of the sharia.
The clerics’ complaints followed a new government policy announced last week which stated women should have equal property rights.
Bangladesh, whose population is 90 percent Muslim, has a secular legal system but in matters related to inheritance and marriage Muslims follow sharia law.
Sharia practised in Bangladesh’s inheritance law generally stipulates that a girl would inherit half of what her brother gets. Women groups have long protested against the disparity and demanded equal rights.
The minister’s comments came after Islamist parties and top clerics called protests across the country this Friday against what they called “laws against Islam.”
The leader of the group Mufti Fazlul Haq Amini said that despite the government’s assurances they would go ahead with protests until the “anti-sharia” provisions were officially dropped.
“The new government policy has mentioned there would be equal property rights for women which is directly against Islam and the holy Koran. We will not tolerate anything that goes against the sharia,” he told AFP on Wednesday.
The government had shown “scant regard” for the country’s Muslims, he said.
But Shirin Akhter, head of one of the largest women’s groups in the country, said she hoped the government would ignore the criticism.
“The policy spells out clearly that women should have equal rights to property, which includes inheritance. Our hope is that the government does not get distracted by any so-called religious group,” Akhter, president of Working Women, said.