May 30, 2013 - Pakistan, religion, women    12 Comments

Fatwas against science and semantics

Pakistan is a strange country. Considering the fact that 70% of the population comprise of youth, there is no Council of Youth Affairs to safe guard their rights. A great majority of the population has no access to health & reproductive facilities but there is no council working to ensure that people of Pakistan should be provided with basic healthcare. On the other hand, a good 97% of the population follows some kind of Islam or the other but the country still need multiple councils and other bodies to safeguard the religion. Two such bodies – Federal Shariat Court & Council of Islamic Ideology – regularly come up with suggestions to make Islam even stronger in the country.

The latest in the line is the brand new set of Fatwas and advisements by Council of Islamic ideology (CII) against science and semantics – yes, you got it right – against science and semantics.

The CII has advised Higher Education Commission and other relevant institutions to refrain from using the English translation of “Allah”, “Rasool” & “Masjid”. That is not all; the Council also deemed usage of terms “Holy Book” & “Holy Place” illegal in reference to Quran & Masjid.

The Council also believes that the blasphemy laws of the country are perfect the way they are and should not be touched.

The Council also declared the process of cloning illegal. I am not sure what is their stance on stem cell research or if they even know about it but if they are against cloning, chances are they are against that too. I have a feeling that the minute one of the members of CII loses a limb or a spleen and is assured that they would get a new one made, they will change their tune.

Last but not the least, CII chose to attack the weakest of the weakest section of the society – the raped woman. The latest fatwa by the council says that DNA evidence should not be used as the principle evidence in cases of rape (zana-bil-jabar) and can only be used as circumstantial evidence. As I was unable to fathom the text and logic behind this ruling, I looked around. Nusrat Javeed and Mushtaq Minhas discussed the advisements in their May 29th show of Bolta Pakistan and spoke with one of the members of CII Allama Tahir Ashrafi to clarify the issue. Must point out that Nusrat Javeed pressed the issue as much as he could’ve done considering he is a public figure and lives in Pakistan.

Tahir Ashrafi reiterated that DNA should be considered – at best – a circumstantial evidence on basis of which arrests can be made and further investigations should be carried out. However, a suspect must not be punished on the basis of DNA evidence alone, for that evidence of 4 Muslim male adults is necessary.

Tahir Ashrafi also added that they have doctors in the Council who say that there is doubt in DNA testing (DNA testing is 99.9 accurate) and as the shariah compliant punishment for the crime is very hard, one has to be careful. What I gathered from Ashrafi’s statement on the TV show is that they are concerned about protecting the rights of a person who might be a rapist but are less concerned about the rights of a woman who has been subjected to a gross personal violation and a heinous crime.

The most logical response to that line of reasoning is that most criminals who rape women do it without audience and if somehow we happen to chance upon those elusive 4 Muslim male adults present during the crime of rape, under any civil law they would be considered accomplices to the crime, not morally upright witnesses. If I were a legislator, I would call for making a law that would hand out the harshest punishment for those 4 adult, supposedly pious Muslims men who were silently witnessing a crime as horrible as rape.

The gender bias of the CII is evident from the fact that they have ruled out use of DNA sample as a primary evidence in rape crimes alone and has not barred their use as primary evidence in other criminal activities such as murder.

We are living in 21st century where Artificial Intelligence has made human participation is so many acts redundant. Any function that can be mechanized will be mechanized yet Maulvis is Pakistan are busy ruling science out from every sphere of life, from Ramzan and Eid moon sightings to crime investigation.  Rape is a crime, not a religious matter hence its investigation should also be criminal matter following the protocol of any criminal investigation. Human beings can and do lie but DNA evidence does not, if implicated in a crime wrongfully, most human beings would prefer to prove their own innocence through scientific evidence rather than something as flimsy as another man’s word.

Pakistani maulvis have very selective appreciation for science. They like it when it is used to make air planes that take them for umrah, loud speakers with which they make calls for azaan five times a day, cell phones, missiles, bombs and what not but declare that DNA evidence is not a conclusive proof of rape because science is uncertain and there is a .001% chance of the evidence being incorrect.

As far as legality of things stand, appointment of Maulana Muhammed Khan Sherani who headed that CII session is also illegal, hence all the recommendations of CII should be immediately discarded (if you ask me, the whole council should be disbanded but that is just wishful thinking on my part).  The constitution demands that CII chairman has to be a person with no political affiliation but Maulana Sherani is a parliamentarian, JUI-F’s Senator from Balochistan, which makes the whole council a bit shady.

Clip to Evernote

12 Comments

  • Brilliant …you nailed it..I hope against hope that such words and thinking bring positive change in political and social setup. All the best

  • Excellent piece of writing, Simply I will say, molvi’s brain is not in his head actually its placed in his ass,

  • FATWA BY PAKISTANI AS IF REST OF 90% MUSLIMS OF THE WORLD WILL FOLLOW UNEDUCATED PAKISTANI ISLAM KAY THAEKEDAR.

    IF CALLING IN ENGLISH GOD, HOLY BOOK, MESSENGER ETC IS UNISLAMIC,

    THEN WHERE IS FATWA AGAINST USING WORDS LIKE NAMAZ, ROZA, JANAMAZ, MUSALMAN ETC, THESE ARE SURELY NOT ARABIC AT ALL, THESE WORDS ORIGINATE FROM HINDU SANSKIRIT AND ZOROASTRIAN PARSI LANGUAGES

    IF CALLING ALLAH GOD IS UNILSAMIC THEN HOW CALLING KHUDDA IS NOT UNISLAMIC, WORD KHUDDA ORIGINATES FROM PARSI (FIRE WORSHIPERS) LANGUAGE KHUDAWARD MEANING “LORD OF THE UNIVERSE” WHICH IS NOT ARABIC AT ALL, SO WHERE THE FATWA

    WHERE IS THE FATWA THOSE WHO USE SANSKRIT BASED LANGUAGE URDU GRAMMAR AS ARABIC, FOR EXAMPLE NAME LIKE “JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI” <—— THIS IS NOT ARABIC AT ALL, IN ARABIC IT WOULD BE "JAMAA AL ISLAMIA" SO WHERE IS FATWA FOR USING SANSKRIT GRAMMAR LIKE -E-

    I CAN GO ON, TRUST ME PAKISTANIS 90% OF MUSLIMS OF THE WORLD DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR JEHALAT AS A MATTER OF FACT THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU EXIST, WANNA SEE YOUR STANDING IN MUSLIM UMMA GO WITH YOUR GREEN PASSPORT TO ANY OF GULF COUNTRY YOU'LL FIND YOUR WORTH LOL

    WASTE OF TIME WATCHING PAKISTANI SHOW, DRAINS ONE'S INTELLECT.

    • They want us to be busy,as they used to be hundreds of years ago.Remember they had been debating if crow is Halal or Ha ram and if Quraan is Kalam or Maqlooque.The Ulemas should explain the wisdom of 4 witnesses.I am sure the rape can not be done even if there are only TWO people are around.

  • With due respect, I think mullahs’ argument in this case does carry weight.See, D.N.A. test can only confirm intercourse by the accused,, but just because there was an intercourse doesn’t mean there was rape. I mean D.N.A test will be positive even if the intercourse happened with mutual consent of both the parties. So obviously it is a circumstantial evidence and it should be used as such.
    Where mullahs are clearly mistaken is the requirement of four eye witnesses which are required only in the case of consensual sex. But our mullahs insist its applicable on rape as well.

  • Aren’t these the same guys who don’t believe in marital rape? Shame on them and shame on anyone who follows what they say.

  • Great article, hope that Islamic council members take some primary school science classes !

  • What’s more important? Punishing the rapist or saving an innocent guy who has been accused of rape?

    I think it’s the second one! Anyone woman can accuse anyone of raping her like this. Plus every rape victim does not have a dna sample of the rapist on her or any other evidence of that nature. Punishing an innocent person of rape is a far greater atrocity than letting a rapist go(which offcourse is wrong nonetheless).

  • What’s more important? Punishing the rapist or saving an innocent guy who has been accused of rape?

    I think it’s the second one! Anyone woman can accuse anyone of raping her like this. Plus every rape victim does not have a dna sample of the rapist on her or any other evidence of that nature. Punishing an innocent person of rape is a far greater atrocity than letting a rapist go(which offcourse is wrong nontheless).

  • “She has worked as a journalist, teacher, salesperson, activist, tour guide, election observer, fruit vendor, copy writer and television producer in the past”

    Couldn’t see a degree in science on your cv. You should better only talk about issues which are directly or indirectly related to your field of expertise, such as salesmanship and fruit vendorship. Else, you should embark upon a frighteningly complex and intricate journey of studying subjects like philosophy and history of science and religion before trying to bad mouth any one of these. Emotional rhetoric seldom takes one in any direction.

    love from pakistan.

  • Don’t mean to rude, but does the author understand the difference between tazeeraat (penal code) and haad (Shariat)? Evidently, not.

    DNA evidence is admissible under the Pakistan penal code. That means that someone can be sentences to 5/10/15 years of prison for rape based on DNA evidence.

    The issue before the CII was whether DNA can be used to apply ‘haad’. They said ‘no’, arguing that the rules of evidence for ‘haad’ in this case are prescribed clearly in the scriptures.

    So, what is your disagreement here? Do you disagree with the very idea of having laws based on religious teachings? Or, do you think that Shariah allows for ‘haad’ to be applied even when only DNA evidence is available?

    These are two entirely different questions — legally and politically.

  • Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

Got anything to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!

Protected by WP Anti Spam

``