Friday, March 15, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood says UN Document on Violence Against Women Violates Islamic Rules

by Robert Spencer

Just like the Mufti of Libya. How did this Tiny Minority of Extremists get into positions of authority? 

Passages referring to sexual violence seem to be the points of contention here. And it is no wonder: when the Qur'an mandates the beating of disobedient women (4:34) and Muhammad forbids women to refuse sex to their husbands under any circumstances (cf. Bukhari 4.54.460 and Ibn Majah 1854, etc.), how can the Muslim Brotherhood oppose sexual violence?

"Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says UN document on violence against women violates Islamic rules," from the Associated Press, March 13:
CAIRO — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood sharply criticized an anticipated U.N. document on combatting violence against women, saying on Wednesday that it was “deceitful,” clashed with Islamic principles and undermined family values. The text of the document has not been published because negotiations are continuing, regarding how to address sexual violence and rights of women to control their sexuality as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Diplomats and observers tracking the debate are optimistic of agreement before the two-week meeting of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women wraps up Friday in New York. One participant said Egypt is seeking to introduce an opt-out clause to allow each country to implement the document according to its own traditions.
According to the Brotherhood, which has emerged as the most powerful political faction in Egypt since the 2011 uprising, the draft under discussion advocates sexual freedoms for women and the right to abortion “under the guise of sexual and reproductive rights.”
In its strongly worded statement, the Brotherhood also decried the document’s defense of homosexual rights, which are not recognized in Islam, and the equating between children born in and out of wedlock.
It said the title of the document addressing violence is “deceitful.”
“It contains articles that clash with Islamic principles and its basics mentioned in the Quran (Islam’s holy book) and in Islamic traditions,” the Brotherhood statement said. “It eliminates Islamic values, and seeks to destroy the family ... which would lead to social disintegration.”
The Brotherhood, which won Egypt’s presidency and controls parliament, called on other Muslim nations, women’s groups and Islamic organizations to reject the document. It called it an infringement on the thought, culture and uniqueness of Islamic societies.
The Brotherhood urged women’s rights groups not to be “lured by phony calls for civilized behavior and by misleading and destructive processes.”
Libya’s top cleric also raised similar concerns, rejecting the document for violating Islamic teachings.
The head of the U.N. women’s agency, Michelle Bachelet, said she hoped the meeting would produce a document that becomes a tool to improve the fight against violence against women.
When the commission took up the issue a decade ago, governments were unable to reach agreement. Differences over sex education, a woman’s right to reproductive health, and demands for an exception for traditional, cultural and religious practices stymied an accord.
The Brotherhood’s statement appeared to reflect those persistent differences, saying that religious traditions and values are threatened by such a universal document.
Francoise Girard, executive director of the New York-based International Women’s Health Coalition, a nonprofit organization which promotes the reproductive and sexual rights of women and young people, told The Associated Press she expected “strong” conclusions to the debate.
Girard said a range of issues in the text are still unresolved including several references to sexual violence, the connection of violence against women and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and what governments need to do to prevent sexual violence.

Robert Spencer


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