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Your rape culture is not my religion

Published Jul 08, 2011 06:19am


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That reporting a rape is an arduous ordeal is a truth that resounds globally. When braving for police investigations, enumerating the ordeal in court and damaging stereotypical media representations become a norm then the argument for a pellucid approach becomes preemptory.

In 2006, a much-heated debate on the Hudood Laws revealed the anatomy of rape, conflicting legalities involving misinterpretations of Shariah Laws and the deeply engrained distorted public perceptions. For those who followed the debate, there should be no qualms in admitting that it made the inherent flaws in interpretations of the law and the systematic distortion of a society sensitive to violence and abuse evident.

The women protection bill implemented later that year made it possible for a woman to convict on the basis of forensic and medical evidence. Aimed at encouraging women to report the crime, which was deterred due to the farcical ‘four witness’ rule enforced by the Hudood ordinance, the act has been strongly opposed by Jamaat-i-Islami, whose activists and leaders continue to lobby against the act.

In a recent interview to a local news channel, Munawar Hassan of Jamaat-i-Islaami had the following to say:

Anchor: Why did you vehemently oppose the women protection act? Munawar Hasan: Women protection act was not aimed at protecting women instead it is meant to promote vulgarity and obscenity in the society. Anchor: What is the basis of your allegations? Munawar Hasan: On the basis of which we opposed the act. Anchor: The fundamental purpose of the women protection act was (is) to provide women with the right to file cases on the basis of circumstantial and forensic evidence, making convictions of rape easier. Where is the obscenity in that? Munawar Hasan: This bill has been part of law for years, how has that affected the rights of women in Pakistan? What is the one issue that can be pointed out as a success of this law? Anchor: One blaringly obvious problem with the Hudood law was the need to present four witnesses in order to convict a rapist, failure to do so resulted in the arrest of the woman on charges of confession to adultery, that was the main issue. Munawar Hasan: What is the problem in that? Anchor: The problem is this sir, that according to the 2003 national commission status of women report 80 per cent women were forced to languish in jails because of inability to produce witnesses of their rape. Munawar Hasan: The objective of Islam is to discourage such acts, no one can be shameless enough to commit such an act in the presence of four people. Making it impossible to prove such acts, therefore the whole idea is to discourage bringing such acts into public light. Discouraging it to the extent that the act is never quoted. If such a crime occurs and since there are no witnesses than both men and women are suppose to keep it under wraps and not discuss it in public. Anchor: Sir, are you suggesting that a woman should stay silent after she is raped? That she should not report the crime? Munawar Hasan: I am saying she should keep quite if she has no witnesses. If she has witnesses than she should present them. Anchor: What kind of an argument is that? A woman is raped and she has to look for witnesses to prove the crime? Munawar Hasan: Argue with the Quran and not me. Anchor: I am not questioning the Quran, I am questioning your argument.

As it becomes evident, Munawar Hasan makes up for the lack of substance in his argument by accusing the anchor of speaking against the word of God, he then goes thus far as asking the anchor to read the ‘kalima’ and declare his faith. The anchor concludes the argument by suggesting that Islamic laws pertaining to rape should be respected but in the presence of facilities such as forensic study we should not refrain from conviction.

This for me, defeats the purpose of the entire debate. Firstly because the interpretation of the Shariah law as per Munawar Hasan is neither derived directly from the Quran nor is it widely accepted. The Hudood ordinance is based on interpretations of certain scholars; it is neither a unanimously accepted interpretation nor is it logical.

Rape is a crime and criminals tend to prefer committing the crime without leaving evidence or witnesses. The idea of having four witnesses present at the time of rape is irrational and absurd. Can anyone in their right mind imagine witnessing rape and not doing anything to stop or even report it? If not by law than by conscious, would they not feel complacent? Rape is much more than forceful sex. It is a power game; it is a way to overpower the victim both physically and psychologically and derive pleasure out of it. To discourage rape victims from reporting rape is serving the predatory nature of the rapist.

Similarly, the callously flaunted idea that women use rape as a tool for popularity, fame, and money or simply to attack Islamic principles is devoid of logic. For all we know, taking a rapist to court in Pakistan can put you behind bars, after dealing with the severe moral policing of course.

The arguments and logic provided by Munawar Hasan for a vivid example of rape culture. To elaborate rape culture, it is prevalent practices by which despite the rampant increase in sexual violence, rape (and other forms of violence) is condoned, considered a norm or worse considered tolerable. The most powerful tool to propagate such a culture is through moral policing the victim and by reinforcing the ‘she was asking for it’ mindset. To validate and rationalize rape and (or) sexual violence needs a wide variety of beliefs that stem from an inherent misogynistic approach towards the social fabric.

Inconsistent application of law and moral policing the rape victim makes for a steady case for rape culture. Munawar Hasan isn’t the only practitioner and preacher of this culture, if we look at the way the accuser in Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of IMF, is being treated, one can be sure that rape culture is a globally adopted phenomena for which religion, moral, ethics or culture are mere ploys.

This is made much easier when done at the behest of religion and morals. The four witness rule as clear by all available translations and interpretations of the Quran is to be sought in case a woman is accused of fornication. The impossibility of four people witnessing the act was meant to make it tougher for the society to slander a woman. It is indeed heart wrenching to witness it being used to encourage violence against women and cultivate a culture of silence and shame.

I am not going to refrain from commenting on the interpretations simply because the Quran is meant and believed to be a book for guidance for all-alike — not just the scholars. Islam doesn’t preach a method of dependency, in fact the tone carried throughout the Quran addresses individuals directly, the entire concept is a spiritual and personal connection with God. Scholars are pursued to elaborate on various methods of law, but leaving them to impose their interpretations on us is faulty and damaging and works against the very principle of Islam. A faith that is threatened by introspection and one that is scared of evolution is fickle and convoluted.

Munawar Hasan is no ordinary politician; he is the Ameer of one of the oldest religious political party. For him to advocate the culture of silence and shame in the name of religion is a mockery of our beliefs. When we choose to allow scholars to use rhetoric to avoid questions we inadvertently become complacent If we choose to hold back our questions and remain silent in the face of such rhetoric we must brace ourselves to accept full liability of injustice to the victims of rape, all 2,903 of them.

Sana Saleem is Co-founder, and blogs at Global Voices, Asian Correspondent, The Guardian and her personal blog Mystified Justice. She recently won the Best Activist Blogger award by CIO & Google at the Pakistan Blogger Awards. She can be found on Facebook and tweets at


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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Sana Saleem is the co-founder of Bolo Bhi & Stories Beyond Borders.

She's on the board of advisory for Courage Foundation, Edward Snowden's legal defence fund.

She can be found on Twitter & Facebook.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (122) Closed

nasir Jul 08, 2011 12:02pm
what ever we are seeing in the Govt: of Pakistan it is highly comendable and out of humanity works are being done shame on all the parties of Pakistan that makes the claim but never take any action against these happening..
rahul from india Jul 08, 2011 12:04pm
did you know the accuser in strauss-kahn case is a prostitute ? do you think one does not need to be einstein to understand that all the drama she did was for money on behalf of his political rivals? he is believed to be next presidential candidate. you are concerned over how she is treated? are you kidding me ???? the guy lost his chairman post of IMF and may be his presidential candidacy over a false accusation. his wife is standing behind him firmly, for christ sakes. your feminist approach sucks here. thumbs down lady!
ib Jul 08, 2011 12:09pm
Well done sana. You have included a gem of a piece in your blog......the Amir of Jamat-e-Islami advocating not to report a rape and saying it is according to Islam and Sunnah....FYI, in Quran Allah prescribes 100 lashes for adultery and 80 lashes for giving wrong testimony. These religious guys only highlight the first part but never the later one.....criminals !!!!!
Hopeful Jul 08, 2011 12:10pm
In years to come pakistani as nation will remember you,Nadeem f paracha and cowsjee as not great thinker but also as great fighter against not related to any particular religion but as human being but at this point in time fight is on against Islamic extremism and crazy people like Munawar hasan and parties like JI plz keep it up because Trust me you have the support of over whelming majority even though this majority seems to be quite and silent but quitness and silence has more power than million suicide bombers and this silent majority's anger is growing by the day.keep it up and make us proud
umair Jul 08, 2011 12:19pm
Excellent article and very good analysis, but I found your reference to the IMF director's scandal irrelevant.
tanvir Jul 08, 2011 12:21pm
V good argument, but i am sure you could have further expanded on it. Anyhow, would you please try to formulate the same article in urdu, as the purpose is to have wider audience, the one which is really concerned by such subjects. I hope you understand it!
M Rabia Jul 08, 2011 12:21pm
Women! They are so silly! What Mr. Munawwar is saying makes so much sense. A woman should wait to gather 4 witnesses before she is raped. Simple. Nothing complicated about that. Agree? I wonder whether these mullahs make sense even to themselves. Islam is a logical religion. Had the Prophet (may peace be upon him) been alive do you think he would have let anyone trample on Muslim women's rights through a piece of legislation that does not make sense? There is no place in this religion for preachers like Mr. Munawwar and his senseless gibberings.
Omair Khalid Jul 08, 2011 12:28pm
Brilliant article. I was waiting for something like this! "A faith that is threatened by introspection and one that is scared of evolution is fickle and convoluted" - Very very true. I hope more people begin to realize this!
Muhammad Tariq Rahim Jul 08, 2011 12:37pm
Why with all our resources society is unable and totally fail to protect woman in fact with such type of articles and talk shows distrubing minds of women that every where and every time she is in great danger In Islam Four witness means woman should keep herself from such places where such type of crime can occur It is nothing more then weird that after Crime We cried this is wrong but We have to eliminate the chances and protect Woman from Rape Before Not after Rape this is ISLAM
hasan Jul 08, 2011 12:40pm
My sentiments exactly!
aditya from india Jul 08, 2011 12:42pm
I am so shocked to see the persons opinion about women rape cases. He has no respect for women. People make such arguments just to be noticed by media and get media footage. Ask him the question what if someone might have raped his sister. From where he will gather the witness then? Shame on him.
Simple Indian Jul 08, 2011 12:46pm
What a brave lady.. I wish there are more and more such Sana's in each family in your country.. Its time the meek stood up and refuse to let these thing happen in their name. Eeven India needs people like you to tame corruption.. May god keep you safe from harm Rahul from India- I hope you know that this Kahn was a crook who got away only because they made the victim look bad due to her background..What Sana is doing, you wouldnt have the guts to do even in our peaceful & prosperous India. Respect that.
Aimal Jul 08, 2011 12:47pm
@Rahul : What a rubbish argument. It does not matter if the accuser is a prostitute or not - a fact which is still to be proved - the DNA eveidence clearly tells that this family man had indulged in sexual activity with the accuser taking advantage of his power of money. Such activity must be condemned unequivocally. It is simply a matter of great courage and vision that Sana Saleem displays in writing this article. Well done Sana!
BRR Jul 08, 2011 01:09pm
Why is it that whenever a Pakistani writer writes about some bad law or something bad happening in Pakistan, the writer has this compunction to say something bad about the US or India, or say that such things occur in India too, or in US too? Why is there a need to say we Pakistanis are not bad, the whole world is bad too? The writer did not have to bring in Strauss-Khan case, as the US does not have a blasphemy law that victimizes women. It is just pandering to talk about the US in the same sentence as the blasphemy law in Pakistan. Bad writing on a good article otherwise, and depicts an inherent flaw in logic.
Kabeer Das Jul 08, 2011 01:16pm
This 4 witness thing is quite interesting. It means that a woman who could be raped, should always be accompanied by 4 witnesses. What happens if there are 3 witness? Will she be considred only 75% raped? Similarly what happens when there are 3, 2 or only 1 witness. Of course, when there is no witness a woman is not considered raped. And, what happens to a young unmarried girl who is raped without any witness, does she remain a virgin?
Ateeq Khaliq Jul 08, 2011 01:25pm
Rahul..... Word 'Prostitute' does not give any one their birth right to make sexual advances towards a women. If marital rape is treated as an offense then why not you treat this case on the same line? No one has the right to force a women against her wish, be it a Wife or a Prostitute.
Talha Jul 08, 2011 01:36pm
I totally agree to you...this is why women are asked not to leave their houses without a mehram alongside them...Islam has solutions to everything :)
Zara Jul 08, 2011 01:42pm
This is just one clip, but I believe this same interview makes statements about the status of minorities as well. Could you perhaps write about that, too, if possible?
Ahsan Ali Jul 08, 2011 02:06pm
reference to Straus Kahn's case might be irrelevant but please could you illustrate where the flaw in the logic is?
david Jul 08, 2011 02:21pm
If someone rapes you beating your mehram where will you find 4 witness
Raj Jul 08, 2011 02:27pm
What if the woman is raped by a family member??
Syed Rizvi Jul 08, 2011 02:27pm
Munawar Sb brings Quran into the equation that is his (and others like him) triumph card. How can one challenge Quran without being labeled blasphemer?
Muhammad Ahmed Jul 08, 2011 02:45pm
The problem is that she was heard talking about getting monetary gain from the situation which is why prosecutor is considering dropping all charges. She was initially portrayed as a poor immigrant worker who ended up in tentacles of the rich and powerful DSK. Well, this case may not have merit in court but there are many additional accusers within France who came forward with their stories about DSK so he may have to defend himself in those cases. I think regardless of our sentiments all cases cannot be treated equal and Rahoul even though crossing the line of libel by labeling the person prostitute is making a valid point.
Anshuman Jul 08, 2011 02:49pm
@Talha great!!!! how insightful.. So now the solution is... a women must go out only with a Man (husband if Mehran means husband..) And you think this is a solution. I think Pakistan as a nation is lethally obsessed with Islam.
siddique Jul 08, 2011 03:12pm
Why are we surprised at the state of our country when we place our trust and belief in the hands of such clowns? Its time for people to wake up and get rid of the mullahs. I wouldn't use a mullah as a mop leave alone guide my religious beliefs.
Muhammad Ahmed Jul 08, 2011 03:23pm
I think she was trying to make a point about general attitude of people towards such crimes. It helps to provide a strong base for the argument silence should not be encouraged in such cases. Many of the DSK victims prior to this case remained silent about his loathsome attempts because of encouragement of others around them. Such type of attitude should be condemned regardless of geographic location.
imran Jul 08, 2011 03:27pm
Our Nation is being raped the same way and we cant find 1 leader so we should all keep quiet .No We Wont and i support Sana.....Voices need to be raised......
sane Jul 08, 2011 03:32pm
The article was very enligthening more so with the clip of the Jamait talking nonsense. However is this only about religion? no actually it is about how we human beings live and conduct ourselves. The strong will always oppress the weak, the rich will always oppress the poor, the majority will always oppress the minority. the basic funda in life should be to live your life to the highest moral standard, the rest will then automatically follow.
rehmatullah khan Jul 08, 2011 03:33pm
well, most of us have misunderstood the hudood laws.... the Quran says that u need four witnesses for the HADD to be carried out but, as in many cases, if there are not four male witnesses then any other evidence (e.g forensics ect) can be used to convict the rapist under the TAZEER laws i.e now the rapist wont get the HADD for it rather a punishment under TAZEER which will completely depend on the judge and its punishment can even be death sentence and exile. now this is not my understanding rather it is the unanimous interpretation of the ulema.... now there is no problem with it the HUDOOD laws at all, it is the implementation and the criminal procedures that need to be improved in our country and i guess we all know that the criminal procedures in our country for each and every law need to be improved.. jazaakALLAH KHAIR
Gautam Jul 08, 2011 03:37pm
That's an irrelevant argument Rahul; Saana is only referring to the Strauss-Kahn case to make a point; she is not trying to superimpose the characters of one incident on another.
Murgi Chor Mullah Jul 08, 2011 03:39pm
Hallelujah ! I wonder how many Munawar Hasans are out there. God save us all.
Omair Jul 08, 2011 03:44pm
Four witnesses are required if a woman commits adultery and someone accuses her.
Omair Jul 08, 2011 03:51pm
I think Sana has clearly mentioned when four witnesses are required.
fj Jul 08, 2011 03:52pm
Contrary to Islam, our society does not draw a clear line between adultery ( i.e. consensual extra marital sex, i.e. zina) and rape (zina-bil-jabr). The 4 witness rule is for a case in which a third party brings a charge against an adulterous couple not one in which there is a victim and aggressor such as rape. Leave it to the maulvis to twist the meaning of Quranic rulings to aid their own personal agenda and in doings so make Islam seem an unjust religion which it is not.
Mustafa Jul 08, 2011 04:01pm
Shame on who think that Islam promote rape culture and also shame on Ulemas who cannot defend Quran intelligently. Rape culture is worldwide and if see statistics majority cases reported from Africa, India and Far East. It can be reduced only if women do not expose them in the name of modernization and by giving punishment to rapists, if it is proved through forensic evidences or acceptance by accuser through police interrogation, irrespective of 4 witness. However if it is not proved without any doubt, 4 witnesses would be necessary.
dk Jul 08, 2011 04:11pm
I hope you are kidding with what you have written about the rape laws in Pakistan. If not, it is by far the most convoluted thing I have ever read. Even the worst Indian laws are not match for this. and I hope what this chap said was in his right senses. Did someone check if he was high on some stuff before making such crazy statements????? What nonsense is this that you keep quiet and accept a rape. Sick people!!!
Awais Jul 08, 2011 04:18pm
if our men and women would adopt a stirct adherence to islamic laws and if our country was an islamic one there would ideally be very few incidents of rape. But as that is not the case the whole discussion is theoretical and irrelevant.... In order for islamic laws to be implemented we first need muslims who actually practise Islam as a way of life......... Justice to the victims should be provided by any means neccesary, and saying that islam wants the victim to be silent is total madness, well the jungle that we live in and our law enforcement may force many to be just paitent and expect justice from Allah but in an islamic system i dont think that would be the case. In an ideal islamic scenario, A careful implementation for taking advantage of the scientific development while ensuring minimum chances of foul play should be treated as a great success insteade of making it a controversy........
Huma Mahmood Jul 08, 2011 04:20pm
As a Muslim woman I can say with all my knowledge of Islam. A Muslim cannot bring this kind of humiliation to women. It is wrong to blame man for this act; according to Islam Women should not be out there looking for sex or encouraging man to do so. If women in Pakistan obey the Islamic rules and what our nabi has taught us, then this problem were not there. It is solely in the hands of women to stop this menace or they can get corrupt with Zionist or Hindu mentality. That what is happening now, we can blame to others but it is we can stop.
Imran Haider Jul 08, 2011 04:31pm
You both missed the whole point; firstly in 21st century woman just can’t be locked in the house. She has to go out for education or other day to day tasks not for pleasures. What about if woman is the sole earner of the house, she has no choice but to go out to earn money so she can feed her family. Although Mullhas quote Holy Quran where suite them but don’t preach that according to Islam woman should be protected by the society and Islam also equally prohibit injustice to a person. Whether you both like it or not; no Islamic country in the world today where woman is protected as it is in the westerner democratic countries. This is to me a shame.
Headoverheelsjc@gmai Jul 08, 2011 04:32pm
You are implying that if a woman is raped, it is her fault. It doesn't matter what she's wearing, no one deserves to be raped!
Ashar Jul 08, 2011 04:47pm
I am simply too stunned to say anything on what Munawwar Hassan has said about rape. What a complete mockery of my religion by this man. Words simply can't express my shock and anger. I also agree with the writer that where fornication is concerned there the 4 witnesses can come into play because in that situation, normally, neither of the fornicators will themselves bring this issue into public. Someone will be levelling the accusation against the two individuals. How do you bring 4 witnesses to rape? Will Munawar Hassan sit silently if this, Allah forbid, happened to someone in his family?
Ashar Jul 08, 2011 05:04pm
Miss Huma, we are talking about rape here not fornication. How can you justify Munawar Hassan's statement? Islam does not ask you to bring 4 witnesses to a rape.
FAzal Jul 08, 2011 05:06pm
Shame on Mr. M Hassan for his vile thoughts. How can he claim to be a religious scholar on the one hand and then come out with such ludicrous statements? Islam lays so much emphasis on justice. Where is the justice in staying silent Mr. Hassan? Please do not insult my religion.
Arman Jul 08, 2011 05:10pm
Well said Mr. Khan
manulegend Jul 08, 2011 05:14pm
Rahul, Dude, you need to calm down.. dont you remember the Indian court ruling? which says, the profession or action or attire of a woman is not to be considered when rape is committed. Rapists dont need a reason to rape.. for them the woman is just a helpless piece of flesh. Never patronize a rapist as you just did.. Rape is a lewd sexual act where one person is not willing. stop saying the woman is a prostitute. so you say because the woman takes money for companionship, its okay to take advantage of her? whats the difference between you and the anarchic and archaic rules that these mullahs are preaching. worst of all, the interior minister Malik seems to say this too.. Its like as if there is nothing called human rights at all.
Karim India Jul 08, 2011 05:22pm
Islam in Pakistan suffers from wrong interpretation. Women in India- regardless of religion are much free and progressive whereas in Pakistan, such laws take their dignity and freedom away.
oracle Jul 08, 2011 05:41pm
Ms. Huma, don't live in dreams.. just see what percentage of women in Pakistan have to work to earn the bread they can't stay within walls.. as per my understanding 4 witnesses are required if a man accuses a woman of adultery but if a woman reports a rape the judiciary must respect her words and forensic proof can help.. Munawar Hassan is simply a man with closed eyes, ear and brain
Maroof Usmani Jul 09, 2011 12:49am
George Bernard Shaw said, "Islam is the best religion, Muslims are the worst followers." We just make things up to prove asinine points of view. Just read this so-called scholar's comments, we all should hang our heads in shame.
Irfan Jul 09, 2011 01:56am
I am absolutely dumbfounded by the sheer callousness and stupidity of this guy. Thank you sana saleem for having the courage to shed light on this topic.
Texas Jul 09, 2011 01:57am
I have read this with great interest. Women in the US are still reporting only a minority of rapes (according to the FBI) and still face an uphill battle in prosecuting rapists. Over the past 30 years, the situation has improved because women took the fight into their own hands. Police are now trained on how to interrogate rape victims and are not allowed to ignore complaints as they once did. We have rape crisis centers where women can call or go for support and counseling, and victims advocates to support a woman and her family through a trial. It has been a long uphill battle, but things have changed and continue to change. It has only happened because women organized and fought back against attitudes and an institutional system that dismissed rape just as the interviewed religious "leader" does. I commend the author and the women (and men) of Pakistan who are working for change. I also appreciate the elucidation of what the Koran actually says.
saman Jul 09, 2011 02:10am
"with all my knowledge of Islam"... well, that says it all!
Junaid Jul 09, 2011 02:32am
thnx for writing such thought provoking articles
Amjad Cheema Jul 09, 2011 03:31am
Very well written Sana In fact what is being preached as Islam was tribal culture of 7th century arabian peninsula. To survive in 21st century we will have to abandon it.
Salim Jul 09, 2011 03:48am
If 4 men witness rape, then they need to be punished too. So only sensible interpretation is that they witness a consensual sex, and that is a lude act in public, which deserves to be punished. Salim
Ali Jul 09, 2011 03:51am
Folks, The bottom line is that All Islamic Laws are applicable only in an Islamic Society, first establish an Islamic society and start living the Islamic way then establish the laws of Sharia, unfortunately in PaKistan it is the opposite. How can you avoid rape when you have available all the attractions and turn-ons for a rapist to do so. I am confident that if we lived our lives in an Islamic Society these crimes will not happen or will be drastically reduced. The men must protect the women in all the situations whether it is work, school, home, train, bus or hospital environment. The women must do their part in adapting to the Hijab ways of life, the media must not promote sex, nudity and stop using women as a commodity or marketing rules. I can go on and on. Please talk about RAPE PREVENTION and Awareness of this Horrible Crime.
tanya Jul 09, 2011 04:01am
unfortunately Ashar this mock version of Islam suits the male dominated society of ours, just imagine how many ppl follow this lunatic and commit heinous crimes towards women every day and justify their crime sin their sick minds in the name of religion. I am appalled.
Mian Jul 09, 2011 05:09am
Clowns? What would you call those who elect these clowns? And what about those who become rulers without elections? The problem is not with the leaders, my friend, but with the people.
Gharida Jul 09, 2011 05:17am
Not '1' mehram but '4' mehrams.
whatever99 Jul 09, 2011 05:24am
Pakistani Young women and men are either gutless dumb or brain washed by the media. They should look outside world - I am afraid their future is not bright under corrupt politicians, fanatics mullahs and army dictators for the last and next 60 years.
Safar Jul 09, 2011 05:31am
Huma, There is a difference between Zina (Fornification) for which four witnesses are required and Zina-bil-Jabr (Rape) which is a crime of violence against women and men and no such 4 witnesses are required.
Ali Mubarakmand Jul 09, 2011 05:32am
The true meaning of Islam cannot flourish in Pakistan if we don't have proper institutions for religious thought. You can tell by reading from munawars comments that he himself has no idea of the substance and logic in Islam (and he's a religious leader people) and so is he going to teach us our religion. I say stand up against these baboons who have robbed children of there childhood days, disgraced our women and have killed thousands in the name of "Kafir" and "Munafiq" in our beloved country.
sarwan Jul 09, 2011 05:35am
With all due respect huma I beg to differ. I am actually amazed to see such a post and I respect it as your opinion. First of all, rape doesn't only occur in muslim countries. It is a universal phenomena. So your point of a muslim cannot do that to a woman is null... We are talking about human beings in general(remember there are minorities in pakistan as well). Second, you shouldn't blame the women for inciting rape. The way a woman dresses or behaves is entirely upto her. If, at all, it is a business of someone else then I believe it is between her and her God. You cannot blame the phenomena of rape on the way a woman operates in a society. As for following the true injunctions of islam and hole prophet's teachings then I inform you that rape used to occur in prophets time as well. Lastly, I think your argument about zionist or hindu mentality is totally out of context. Uncalled for. I am sorry if I am offending you but it is my opinion. No hard feelings. Thanks.
Nadeem Jul 09, 2011 05:41am
Leave it to our brethren across the border to bring in the India angle when there is none at all. Karim India wold do well to go dwell at why the capital of the country is also called the rape capital of India. More importantly, women in India have a serious problem being born, what with 7000 cases of them killed every day before being born for being the wrong gender. For reference, please refer,, So really, while we certainly have a most serious issue in Pakistan, and the writer has done a great job of bringing it to light, the Indians really are in no position to subvert this discussion and make it an India-Pakistan thing.
Maleeha Jul 09, 2011 06:08am
My dear Huma, what are you talking about? Do you realize the definition of rape? How can a woman stop a criminal from raping her? Do you also realize that relatives can rape women within their family as well? Should women just cease to exist? Your thinking is mind-boggling.
Maleeha Jul 09, 2011 06:11am
And what if a woman is raped by her mehram? I hate to break it to you, but it does happen. Welcome to the real world.
Akbar Jul 09, 2011 06:55am
This is very very crazy for Munawar to say like this.
shahid Jul 09, 2011 06:57am
Long live holy manhood Down with unholy corrupting womanhood
SAMIR Jul 09, 2011 07:03am
Can anyone tell me whether in the eyes of Quran MAN and WOMAN are equal. I want to know the answer from the Mullahs and religious teachers.
K-town Jul 09, 2011 07:10am
i agree with aditya
Raja Murtaza Jul 09, 2011 07:23am
Recent google countrywise report shows pakistanis tops the seraches for sex and porn.
Igloo Jul 09, 2011 08:44am
Why the focus on women. Pakistanis and Indians are very open minded about who they rape - men are just as much victims as women. I would suggest young boys are the biggest victims of sexual predators. Why is this group not mentioned?
Ajaya K Dutt Jul 09, 2011 09:20am
80% of women in Jail were who were raped and could not prove with four witnesses, and since physical evidence was not admitted as per older version Islamic law. Law was modifed to correct this injustice.
Malay Jul 09, 2011 09:51am
This is the tragedy, an woman is supporting the most heinious law, - 4 witness are required to prove that you have been raped, what to comment.
Ghulamali Jul 09, 2011 10:01am
Lets not live in lala land! We have a situation here where the law was given to protect women against false accusition but what is happening is that it got hijacked by men a.k.a mullahs and co. It is okay for them in the Lala land to merry very young women and also four at a time while women has to produce four witnesses to convict her rapist! Mr Amir of Jamat must use his grey matter for a change and he should not hide behind the holy book to protect un-holy Interpretation...
Uday Jul 09, 2011 10:19am
For Gods sake why you have bring the issue of "Hindu Mentality". The issue here is your religion and your (not personal) mentality. The Hindu mentality is good and in India people of all religion are enjoying freedom and personal rights. It is in your "Islamic Republic" ( Jinna's dream country)that this issue is still there. Like all Pak politicians you are dragging the name "Hindu/India" for all your problems created by you(not personal) & your govt & your mullas.
Imtiaz Hussain Jul 09, 2011 10:39am
Mrs. Huma, Rape is not "Hindu" mentality. It has become a Pakistani calture now. See condition of Pakistan today. Hindu women in India are in far better condition than Pakistani women.
Muhammad Aamir Jul 09, 2011 10:47am
One of the most critical issue in the society that has been mistackled/promoted by the religious scholors. Quran does not indicate any thing that promote the injustice in the society, rather it protects the victims and punish the culprits. A slaute the writter for her brave approach towards the issue.
tariq Jul 09, 2011 10:51am
Mukhtaran Mai used to observe purdah. why did it happen with her?
Aziz Jul 09, 2011 11:10am
Would Mr. Munawwar Hassan also please clarify the following: 1. What is the position if a young boy or girl (minor) is raped? or is this "bay-haya-ee" as well? 2. Would he according to his interpretation of the "Holy Quraan" apply the same principle of punishment to murder (without witness). 3. To Bribery , Nepotism and all forms of "haram" activities? 4. What are the most important precepts that the "Holy Quraan" enunciated according to his massive scholarly knowledge. Is it (After tawheed) justice and fairness, halal rizk and halal activities or is it preventing "bay-hayaee". Would he care to define what exactly is it ? I will stand educated
Frustrated Jul 09, 2011 11:19am
I wonder what Munawar Hassan's would feel like if her daughter is raped and fails to produce four witnesses. These people are a blot on the name of islam. Not only do these Mullahs a skewed view of islam but they successfully corrupt the simple minded of society.
Hassan Jul 09, 2011 11:22am
Shame on you.
Hassan Jul 09, 2011 11:26am
By this logic every woman must have four adult me of completely flawless character and reputation (for the testimony to hold up) accompany her whenever she goes out. What if she is raped with only three present. What is she is raped at home?? Shame on you.
Mohammed Meraj Jul 09, 2011 11:26am
In Quran and Hadees it is very clear that we should make an environment where marriage are easy and zina became tough , and there should be no case of zina bil jbr ( Rape) , So if any law is coming to implement this without breaking our other Religious concept , then we all should welcome such Rule, .. ( Ehdi Nassiratal Mustaqim, Siratal lazina An amta alai him gairil Magdubi alaihim walad duallim .. Aamin.)
M Rabia Jul 09, 2011 11:31am
Pakistani women, yell for Mr. Munawwar to be a witness the next time anyone from amongst you finds herself in the unfortunate situation of being molested by a man. I am amazed that the man is literally telling women that they should gather an audience of at least 4 to watch the spectacle. Or may be he expects the rapists to gather an audience of 4? Either way, someone needs to tell Mr. Munawwar that it would not be rape then, it would be porn. A victim of crime should be heard, and the perpetrator of crime punished if there is condemning evidence against him. That is the Islam I know of. Just and fair and simple and beautiful.
zaman khan Jul 09, 2011 11:43am
I would request all my muslim brothers and sisters to kindly go through the tafseer of Sura AL AHZAB and Sura NOOR.They must spend time with absorbing the essence of these suras from tafseer of at least two the four highly respected scholars of their own choice.Then they can form an opinion or offer comments.ALLHA has created all of us and he knows us better than we know our own selves.Like Quran says there is life in Qisas.Now the so called well educated western people often raise objection to the law being implemented by Saudi Arabia of putting the convicts of murders to death.Those who dont believe in Quran and Prophet may say anything as they will have to answer for that at the day of judgement.However it is expected of muslims to understand the purpose of laws given directly by ALLAH ALLMIGHTY. On the other hand there have been and could still be differences in implementing sharia laws.Like the punishment for theft is cutting of hand.But if the state is unable to provide even the basic neccessity of food and if someone is found stealing bread or roti ,should his hand be amputated.We have answers for all such questions howevr unfortunately we dont bother to read the books on these issues.The books,where we can find the answers to such questions we dont read those and what we read like newsweek, times we cannot find answers to our questions.Unfortunately we dont time to read the Holy book and other related books to get first hand knowledge of many problems we are confronted with and start commenting on matters otherwise very important to our lives without having any sound knowledge of the matter.
Raj Jul 09, 2011 12:04pm
I beg to differ with you. There are pockets in India where women suffer a lot being deprived of basic social rights and civic facilities. I don't know how the situation in Pakistan is, but situation in India needs to improve a lot if I am to compare with the developed countries. It's a real concern for us that we are happy with the fact (if at all it is a fact) that we are ahead of Pakistan but remain unmoved to the colossal difference with the West. Do we want to be better in absolute sense or are we ok to lag miles behind in the global scale for development provided we are ahead of Pakistan, etc, etc.
Akbar Jul 09, 2011 12:12pm
Absolutely ridiculous answers by such a high profile scholar.. seriously i m shocked...
Omair Jul 09, 2011 12:22pm
What is the reason for Indian male population growing faster than Indian female population?
ashraf muhammad Jul 09, 2011 12:26pm
these are all misinterpretations of quran and islam ! rape and zina both are different and differnet ruling , rape is a crime and opression and the woman has a right to report and for every rape the leaders and rulers of that time will be questioned ! zina is also a crime but gunna but with agreement between two partners who having illicit relation , that is a complete diff situation and ruling applies , these guys are using laws of zina on rape which is wrong rape has diff ruling and women do not need any witness to rape to lodge a complain or open a case it is utter nonsense and no islam what is being said !
ganesh.j.s Jul 09, 2011 12:32pm
ur views seem to be sane. pakistan is not a place for you.
kartik Jul 09, 2011 12:44pm
who is a better authority on traditional islam, these internet savy bloggers or hassan or the mullahs who spend their lives learning islam
Aimal Jul 09, 2011 12:45pm
@Huma: What an uneducated view to put all blames on the women. I can't believe that it is the fault of women who get raped by savage and beastly men. Would you blame blame the minors and kids who are occassionally being raped by their uncles, cousins and freind of the family who are supposed to protect these very kids? Your thoughts are very murky, I am sorry to say.
Shoaib Jul 09, 2011 01:38pm
People like Munawar are responsible for the extremism that has engulfed our country!
Amaann Jul 09, 2011 03:43pm
Laws should never be based on a religious text, especially text that was written in the 7th century! For gods sake, this is not 7th century arabia! this is the 21st century. Laws should be secular and open to amendment as and when the need arises.
Ramlah Jul 09, 2011 04:00pm
I am happy to read the knowledgeable comments of our young generation on this sensitive issue.Well these conservative Mullahs are hurdles for the growth of a prosperous and healthy society in Pakistan.Regardless to the reality of current rape incident, generally we see the rape victoms are poor women who can not defend themselves at any level.The other thing that everyone will agree is the forceful rape of these women is not for physical pleasure.It is to show the worst mentality of so called feudals/powerful people of that area where it all happened.Allready woman stands no where in their books but they still show their dominancy with these cheap acts.The other thing is that I never noticed these so called Mullahs to give a single statement against brutal murders of our innocent and beloved youngsters in different cities of Pakistan.These mullahs never take stand against any of such kind of unlawful incidents.They are just there to sit with their stale minds as a barrier for the country.They can not do a single innovative thing for the welfare of the society and country.Rather they are happy on being silent and mime on all ongoing unlawful activities in country.Islam conveys the simplest lesson to stop the wrong happenings with Hands,if not then speak against wrong and the worst stage is to be silent and let worst happen.So these so called mullahs are playing a worst role in society.Is there any solution to get rid of these peoples.We need change to convert our society to a healthy society.One last thing I would love to write.That islamic history tells that in state of emergency Islam gives flexibility for so many things that are not allowed in common state.Now our beloved country Pakistan is in a state of emergency "Any wise person can analyse that if no immidiate measures will be taken against every single issue that has become cancer in society"it can be devastating for the country.But these people are not ready to be flexible for the brighter future of country.We can change the destiny of the country if we simply get rid of these stale peoples who are unable to stand with innovation and even are unable to protect the woman with honor and regard in this modern era.
Ib Jul 09, 2011 04:11pm
scholar ? who says ???
Tahir Jul 09, 2011 04:41pm
I don't understand why a blog is written and comments are posted based on a part of the whole video. I am writing my comments after watching the whole program. First of all, the host talked about different topics with five minutes. Instead of going in detailed disucssion, the host moved to other topics. Mr. Munawar repeatedly asked for references at many occasions which the host failed to provide. Overall, just like many comments, Mr. Munawar had the same idea that the change in law will not be useful if governance and the implementation of laws is not improved. On one hand Mr. Munawar was surely aggressive which is not so good for a person at his position and on the other hand the host was not doing justice to the topics himself. The problem is that most of our TV shows and blogs (including this one) point to the the wrong and critisize persons but no one come up with a solution to different problems and how to reach that solution.
Bashir Jul 09, 2011 04:53pm
Wrong question to wrong people. They will interpret the words in limitless convoluted ways. And then, will claim that they are not saying it, that the book says it. The pace of change in humanity has been accelerating. 21st century problems will reqyuire 21st century solutions. The people who look for the solutions in words written 100s of years ago will become, like those words, relics.
shoaib Jul 09, 2011 06:15pm
The Anchor and all the people who are responding this video have the proper knowledge of Islam,law and data. For God sake don't be generalized on this topic and don't be selfish. You so-called Rosan Kiyal People never want to appreciate the work done by Jamaat. Last month it is Jamiat, that protect the Innocent girl from the (Teacher-prof.ifthikar Baloch) who tried to rape a girl in his room. From 2006 till now many scholars including the jamaat have briefly explained the hudood Ordinance then why you people are again and again asking this question? right now this democracy is your system then how many you are protecting girl? your Mukhtara Mia just exposed by people publishing the or choosing the topic like jamaat is the rapist party and always promoting and protecting the you genius people.
hina Jul 09, 2011 06:49pm
I agree and the false interpretations by 'Masculine bodies'
shoaib Jul 09, 2011 07:51pm
well done sana saleem. at least you have some courage to digest arguments against your opinion.that's the first sign of true witter.hope you understand what i mean to say.
Akbar Jul 09, 2011 09:39pm
In some cases they are equal and in many cases they are not equal....pure and simple to all muslims.
Prashant Jul 09, 2011 09:44pm
When a muslim lady has to undergo such humiliation after a rape, one shudders to think about a Hindu woman or girl. How the hell is she supposed to get four MUSLIM MALE witnesses. Sick people !!!!
Akbar Jul 09, 2011 09:44pm
Sana Salim, Great article. We need more brave women in pakistan to come out of woodworks, to bring some sanity into this twisted world in Pakistan. I want you to comment on why the muslim world tolerates muslim-on-muslim violence everyday, but fights brutally when a nonmuslim abuses another muslim......this is very sad when the women folks seem to stay so quiet that it is almost like they don't exist at all. Why are we so hypocritical?
Akbar Jul 09, 2011 09:49pm
Monotheistic religions will not allow that. This is true for Christianity and Islam. Anyone who bends the rule is called a hypocrite, nonbeliever or a fake follower. But no matter how you look at it, every single one of them in this world breaks rligious laws in one way or the other, but each one points a finger at the other. This only proves the point that we all believe what we believe for our own selfish reasons.
R Chand Jul 09, 2011 10:23pm
Thank you Ms. saleem for having the courage to speak the truth. If only Pakistan's leaders cared about truth and what is right.
jk Jul 09, 2011 11:56pm
You can not make a blanket statement on something u have no clue at all....The implementation on the law needs to be changed and it has already been modified without hurting the limitations of Shariah Law.The liberals/so called secular fascists needs to make modifications on their own societies first where people get slaughtered because they belong to certain cast and religion. On the other hand I strongly believe that the scholars in Pakistan has full capacity to form the laws which are based on the Quran and Sunnah and full fill the need of the society.
jk Jul 09, 2011 11:58pm
Not for you! But for us this is the life style.....Same old record of being Secular...Secular and Secular......
Nadeem Jul 10, 2011 07:40am
Glad to read and understand jamat's perpective. It is people like Munawar Hasan that we live in jihalat, people who refuse adoption of science to solve problems that were not addressable earlier. It reminds me of 14th century christitanity and their religious leaders at that time. I will encourage reader to read christianity during dark ages. Also, we need to read why islam changed the world be giving new interpretations through use of science, which Christian religious leaders refused to accept.
SIgh Jul 10, 2011 08:12am
Exactly, which is what original sharia was! a very democratic and discussion-based and evolving concept of rules...these people don't get that and are stuck in the past....surprised they arent carrying around clubs and wearing loin cloths
Zun Jul 10, 2011 11:41am
His views are totally against Islam. This is one of the reasons the Islamic teachings are so disfigured in Pakistan. There is no thought about logic. It is because of loss of rational thought and sensibilities that the general religious atmosphere lacks acceptance. This attitude of propagating false understanding in the name of Islam is alienating the younger generation and then the younger generation is Blamed. I request that our religious elders wake up before it is too late. Islam is reason and sense. It is the epitome of human thought not its disfigurement as in this and many other issues of marriage and the status of women and minorities. If this attitude continues, the younger generation will leave these religious scholars and confine them to an ideological Vatican. I too was pushed away from Islam by this attitude of our Religiious leaders. However the Islam that I have discovered is pure Reason, Reason, Reason and nothing in it goes against the Human senses. It is Allah who Created Reason and He Would not Demean it by any Ruling. Reason is our highest capability. This attitude will repulse the new generation of Pakistan. It is not their fault. Please do not blame them, the west or the Jews. Please have the honesty to examine yourselves. This is not Islam. BY ALLAH, this is not Islam.
Tariq Rahim Jul 10, 2011 12:29pm
Look it is very clear That only Islam provides very clear guidance in every problem of life and provide best solution Islam protect Muslims from critcal miseries but when Muslims started criticising it it will become great punishment for them as its today shame on Muslims like these who critcise Islam without going in depth without studying their knowledge is based on articles like that if you spend time to read this article you must give some time to QURAN also (with Translation) in culture you are talking about what is the status what you have done for woman
Anwer Moten Jul 10, 2011 12:58pm
Even if he is a witness, according to him, he would not testify. The man is senile.
Sameer Jul 10, 2011 01:27pm
Hope all the citizens of Pakistan is saved from such a heighnous crime. No way I can be against the Sharia Law, in Islam women are respected and protected when the modern means are available to proved the crime. The Ulema can come togather and enhance the Law through Ijma. The criminals must be punished in order to stop such a crime, women become psychologically unstable and it is Murder and in some cases more than murder. Please don't argue but try to convince Ameer Sahb that such a crime can not be left un-punished.
Hamza Farooq Jul 10, 2011 03:32pm
I agree that rape cases should be taken seriously and investigation should be done properly. Specially do value medical reports and crime scene investigation. The 4 person law do have value when a woman can accuse anyone and society tags him rapist without even trial. in so called referenced DSK case. A maid can easily come in home , go to bedroom , upset the room look and when owner or his sons comes , scratch their face and call in his relatives. accuse him of rape and win a hefty amount of sum as compensation. OR tag the rape of one person on another the rich one for sure and He will become victim. The way people are doing cheap acts to win cash by having multiple BF and GF and the favors from aunties in cash and life style this change can be easily taken to abuse. Again i support the amendment is recommended by yet all the conditions should be put in to save accused as well before evidence and verdict is clear.
faraz Jul 11, 2011 01:33pm
I don't believe in any of you. ( the interviewer, the interviewee, the writer and the people who commented)...
shirish Jul 11, 2011 02:31pm
.... another ostrich with his head in the sand.
Muhammad Tariq Jul 12, 2011 12:32pm
I think sana has not done job well. What is the fallacy in hudood ordinance that it allows the zana bil rRaza and t discourgae Zana Bil Jubr. For Protecting Womens, Women can go to court with out the need of four witnesses since the problem is not making the law. the problem is how to implement the actual law so that no one can abuse law or take advantage of loop holes of Law. Islam completely reject the Idea of spreading vulgarity in any case.
farhan Jul 13, 2011 02:47pm
I agree with you despite being a practising Muslim. Laws always devolve on the progress of society
Ali Jul 14, 2011 11:15am
Even if somebody has wronged you, and you cannot provide sufficient evidence or proof, then don't accuse the person, because it would be a waste of time. Anthony casey is the recent example, she proabably killed her child, but the prosecutor could not provide sufficient proof or evidence to the jury. And she is free to go, though after a lot of medica circus. Islam also teaches us to not accuse in the absence of sufficient proof or evidence.
farhan Jul 14, 2011 01:57pm
But there is no restriction that proof should be four male witness. It could be DNA trace or other circumstantial evidence
kanwal Jul 16, 2011 04:23am