Friday, August 8, 2008

U.K. Muslim Feminists try to Rewrite Sharia Law

Muslim feminists in the United Kingdom have written a new legal contract aimed at protecting women and children in Islamic marriages. The contract goes against traditional Sharia law. But out of this questions arise. Will Muslim men accept this, will any Muslim women be brave enough to ask for this type of marriage and what is to stop them from completely ignoring this and getting married on their own under true Sharia law in a neighbourhood Mosque? I have always said that if the women of Islam would rise up, Islam would implode and I believe that Muslim men know this. Personally I do not think this contract will have much effect, but it will be interesting to see the future reaction of the Islamic community.

Is this the beginning of a new European Islam?
Friday, August 8, 2008, 10:52 AM GMT [General]

Today’s news that Muslim women in Britain will be guaranteed equal rights in Islamic marriages has wide ranging consequences, not just for women but for a new model of European Islam.

For the first time, a woman undergoing a Muslim wedding will have written proof of the marriage. The bride will no longer need a ‘marriage guardian’ (wali) and she will have an automatic right to initiate divorce (talaq-i-tafweed) retaining all her financial rights as agreed in the marriage contract. Furthermore, the contract requires "two adult witnesses of good character" as opposed to the traditional insistence on two Muslim men.

The contract itself is very specific . The husband has to agree not to:

• abuse his wife/child(ren) verbally, emotionally, physically, or sexually

• be absent from the marital home for more than 60 days unless by agreement

• withhold money towards his wife/family

• transmit disease

• interfere with the wife’s property

In return, the wife agrees to abide by all of that as well - except for the provision not to withhold money from the household.

There are also some special conditions - for example, the rule that the husband’s duty is to procure independent accommodation separate from his family home, and that the husband delegates his power of divorce to his wife.

Within sharia law, these changes are an enormous step. Just ask any Islamic feminist who continually challenge traditional interpretations of the Quran.

For example Surah 2 Verse 228 of the Quran can be translated as: "And woman shall have rights similar to rights them, according to what is equitable. But men have a degree of advantage over them."

Islamic feminists like Riffat Hasan have constantly said that such verses should be studied in the historical context in which they were revealed and we need to update the translations.

The fact it took 4 years to agree this text gives some idea of the lengthy consultations that had to take place with women’s groups and religious leaders.

Anne-Marie Hutchinson, a family lawyer, welcomed the new contract: "Most importantly it will provide civil law protection to many women and children through the obligation on the parties to enter into a binding civil marriage. All too often spouses have found themselves marginalised and cut off from the legal and financial protection afforded by the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1973" she said.

Obviously, we’ll be able to gauge opinion after the contract has been in effect for a while and it will be interesting to monitor this.

The most important thing is that we have a modification to sharia law which reflects the reality of a modern and European population. Contrary to what militant secularists say, it is actually possible to modify ancient religious rulings to adapt to a modern setting. As Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, Director of the Muslim Institute and one of the authors of the contract, said: "This contract is revolutionary and will lead the way in addressing problems that exist under sharia law. Although it is only the tip of the iceberg, it is a revolutionary step, nothing like this has happened in 100 years. The adoption of this model will change everything and force people to talk about the issues."

The controversial academic Tariq Ramadan has made calls for European Muslims to evolve nothing less than its own form of Islam "We need to separate Islamic principles from their cultures of origin and anchor them in the cultural reality of Western Europe." With 15 million Muslims on the Continent, Ramadan believes it’s time to abandon the dichotomy in Muslim thought that has defined Islam in opposition to the West. "I can incorporate everything that’s not opposed to my religion into my identity," he says, "and that’s a revolution."

Perhaps this development is a move towards an independent European Islam.

Link to Article


Shaykh Rattle 'n' Roll said...

Aww, so sweet! Not only have the authors of this contact inherently decided that Muslim men cannot be trusted, they’ve also decided that Islam isn’t good enough for them. The “default” marriage contract - the nikah - seemingly needs additional provisos and conditions added to it; those provided by Islam aren’t enough.

Amusingly, this is being described as “equality”, but even with these new changes, the woman isn’t expected to provide financial support to her family; that’s the man’s problem.

The usual slew of MPs and feminists have crawled out to say how they support these wonderful revisions to Islam. However, the best part is that this contract wasn’t the product of a drunken night, but took four years to compile. After four years, they have produced something that tarnishes the Muslim man, and doesn’t for even one second address the underlying problems in some marriages. I mean, seriously, who is going to be “nice” just because some contract says so? Does that work for non-Muslims?! All that stuff about “loving, honouring, richer, poorer” still leads to a lot of battered women and broken homes. This doesn’t solve anything, it just makes us look pathetic.

We do have good and bad marriages amongst Muslims, but basing a marriage on Islam, i.e. actually practicing what was proclaimed by the prophet Muhammad (saw) is the ONLY solution for a successful productive Muslim marriage.

So there it is: these people have decided that our Islam has been too Qur’anic, and our methodology based too much upon the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (saw). They want to add in a little of their own spices to make it taste better. Yummy.

Christopher Logan said...

Any person that is not brainwashed by their Imam, knows that Islam is not good for anyone. All one has to do is look at life in Islamic countries to see that.

Shaykh Rattle 'n' Roll said...

That's quite funny!

You really ought to watch a little less TV. Imam?! That's a bit of a common misunderstanding and misconception. I don't have an imam, and I don't think I know anyone who does. The imam at best is a person who fills a singular role: leading the prayer. In that sense, I'm the imam whenever I've lead the prayer.

Amusingly, I'm left with describing you as an extremist: you've decided that Islam couldn't be good for anyone. I presume you've taken all eventualities into account? For every one of the more than a billions Muslims? For me to believe that would require me to be brainwashed...

Christopher Logan said...

Big deal there are one billion Muslims. They are forced into it from birth and yes brainwashed from birth in Islamic countries. They are scared to death to leave and prosteltizing of other religions is against the law in most if not all Islamic countries. OBVIOUSLY Muslim leaders are scared to death of other religions, such freedom.....

As far as your opinion of me............I do not give a damn what you think of me.

Anonymous said...

Admin, for you and others to boast about 1 billion muslims is like a child boasting he won against an adult.
Islam/Muslims are like children, whilst the rest of the religions are the adults in this scenerio.

A child playing a game with an adult will take handicaps, like their choice of the board, extra turns, they are allowed to play on the adults side, but the adults have to stay to their own side. Then when the think they've won, they boast etc. What a shallow victory.
Just like Muslims and Islamic countries who don't allow "other religions" to practice their religion, nor are they allowed to build places of worship, nor are they allowed to teach muslims or others who want to learn about their religion. So, we can't play on your side of the board. But you get to play on ours, you take extra turns by constantly complaining about any little criticizism about islam, sharia, mohammed, cultural differences, human rights abuses perpetuated by muslims and/or islamic countries.
So excuse us if your boastfulness is completely shallow to us. That all your whining reminds us of children and not the adults you propose to be, adults know how to take criticism and improve themselves or their religion. Muslims aren't adults they are a bunch of whiney children!
C ya

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christopher Logan said...

Lotus for President!!

Anonymous said...

'admin' did not notice that while women do no have to contribute financially to the house hold, they are the ones who get pregnant. & practically the ones who take care of children & the house hold.
women are not slaves & their labor in the house hold should be acknowledged, centuries of free service is more than enough!

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