03/12/2005

Stop the fuss and get on with passing a family law

 

Vol XXVIII   NO. 258      Saturday      3 December 2005

Excuse my ignorance but I really don't understand all the fuss over the personal status law. Why is it taking this long to pass a law which is aimed at safeguarding the cornerstone of society, the family unit, stipulating the rights and responsibilities of every member of the family (be it man, woman or child)?

What is wrong with unifying a code of conduct which helps deal with domestic issues in a civilised and organised manner?

Why are some people so opposed to the idea of giving men, women and children their social, legal and religious rights in the form of a written law, which could give people an idea of what their rights and responsibilities are - even if it is only on paper?

We all agree that there are problems in some homes which cannot be solved amicably and which should be taken to another level and we all know how long it takes for our courts to process cases, from petty thefts to gruesome murders.

Divorce, abuse and custody battles take their toll on family life and should be resolved in a systematic manner - not according to the whims of certain individuals.

Why are clergymen so against having a unified written family law in a country like Bahrain, where the population doesn't exceed 700,000 and where the majority of people are Muslim?

And why is the government, which had no reservations in passing the controversial societies and demonstrations and public gathering laws, playing the waiting game and allowing this issue to be blown out of proportion?

It is in the interest of all parties to ensure that families are stable and that people know what their rights and obligations are within the family unit.

I realise the issue isn't as simple as I make it sound. I also understand that there are a few subtle differences in the way clergymen interpret family law in Islam.

But what I can't accept is how can a problem, which has remained unsolved for so long, be blown out of proportion when its declared purpose is to ensure the rights of men, women and children in a state of law.

To all those squabbling factions out there, stop fretting and get down to work. The more time wasted on issuing a law of this magnitude, the more women, children and even men will suffer. Injustice isn't a good feeling to grow up with, not when the next generation is at its receiving end.

Let's set our differences aside and try and settle scores on bigger issues - issues which don't involve breaking homes, slamming of doors and social stigma and scars that the victims of divorce and domestic abuse have to cope with for the rest of their lives.

Comments

The response of clergymen against passing such a law and huge mobilization of the public including large number of women into the streets of Bahrain is just mind buzzling!
Such a big outcry was obviously marketed to the public as fear for the religion and to defend Islam! while the real outcry in my openion was for maintaing their grasp and autherity when it comes to family laws..and you can't immagin how much authority they have when there are no specific written laws to govern them. "We decide according to religion" is fine with me, but put those into specific laws, and the keyward is "specific"..
It is just ammazing to see thousands of women demonstrate in the streets of Bahrain against their own interst!

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