11/03/2006

Family law opponents living in the dark ages

  NO. 356      Saturday     11 March 2006

Bahrain is once again making the headlines for hosting the biggest event in racing history - and it is the number one race on the Grand Prix calendar.

While thousands of people are working behind the scenes to make the event a success, a smaller number of locals are openly rallying support for a demonstration to coincide with the race - to call for banning the newly drafted Family Law, which seems to be getting closer to reality by the day.

What is it they are calling for exactly? A race against time and a trip back to the dark ages?

Have we gone totally mad in Bahrain or it is just me getting negative vibes from everything happening back home?

What are the turbaned clerics against exactly? A written codified personal law which guarantees the rights, responsibilities and duties of every member of the family?

Or the fact that the carpet will be swept from under their feet and they will lose the unchallenged control they have over people's life and destinies?

The fact that we are in the year 2006 and there isn't a written law to safeguard family rights is a joke, especially when legislators are busy calling for covering up mannequins and segregating institutes of higher education.

They could have better used their time and our public funds on discussing more worthwhile issues.

Why is a family law such a threat to the clergy and men in general? What are the side effects they are so worried about? How will it upset the family unit in Bahrain?

What will outlining what the duties and rights of the husband, wife and children in line with Islamic Sharia upset the clergymen so much?

And what baffles me is why have so many women gone out on the streets to demonstrate against a law which will finally give them recognition as wives and mothers - and some standing in a court of law, which will have a written code of conduct and not depend entirely on the whims of one man?

Sigh! The future looks bleak indeed if we have reached crossroads where our people are actually rallying behind oppressing women and not giving mothers and children their legal rights, as ordained by the Holy Quran and Islamic Sharia.

*Amira Al Hussaini now lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

         

Comments

I can't agree more..
Well written "opinion"

Haitham

Posted by: Haitham Salman | 11/03/2006

More or less that was my thinking when I saw these Shia people rallying around demonstrating against the laws for women's right. There was no clear message from them as to WHY they were against it. The first thing that came to my mind was that the clergy man wanted to keep their power and have "muta" marriages. That seemed sensible especially since all my friends thought that was the reason.


You see the problem here is that we make our judgments based on what other people say. We gather a little bit information from here and a little bit from there and come up with our opinion without actually looking into the matter.


For some reason, I found this subject quite intersting and went through the bahraini blogs and newspapers trying to find a justification for their protest.


What I found out was that the clergy men were NOT against the family law at all. They actually thought it was a good idea but they wanted one thing to go with it. That thing was that the laws applied today shouldn't be changed unless consulted again with the higher shia clergy men. That seemed quite reasonable to me but not to the people who want to apply the family law for some reason??


Judging by that I would have to say that the clergy man seem to be right (although their method of conveying the reason behind going against the family law should be done more clearly so that people would understand)

Posted by: Jassim | 05/07/2006

Thanks Jassim for clarifying the issue. I was still scratching my head thinking what was wrong with those clergymen. The Mutaa issue really never crossed my mind .. I simply thought they were being arrogant by refusing to confirm to a written law decreed by the authorities - which will mean that they give up their powers to interfere in people's lives and make arbitrary decisions which spell injustice and suffering to those without contacts or support in our hypocratical system!

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