Pakistani Clerics Denounce Law Protecting Women From Sexual Assault As “Un-Islamic”

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LAHORE: An all-parties conference convened by Jamaat-i-Islami and attended by powerful religious groups asked the government on Tuesday to retract an “un-Islamic” law that gives unprecedented protection to female victims of violence.


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The Women’s Protection Act, passed by Punjab Assembly last month, gives legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence.


It also calls for the creation of a toll-free abuse reporting hotline, women’s shelters and district-level panels to investigate reports of abuse and mandates the use of GPS bracelets to keep track of offenders.


Domestic abuse, economic discrimination and acid attacks made Pakistan the world’s third most dangerous country in the world for women, a 2011 Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll showed.


But since the law’s passage, many conservative clerics and religious leaders have denounced it as being in conflict with the Holy Quran, and the Constitution.


On Tuesday, representatives of more than 35 religious parties and groups came together for a conference called by the Jamaat-i-Islami and condemned the women’s protection law as un-Islamic.


“The controversial law to protect women was promulgated to accomplish the West’s agenda to destroy the family system in Pakistan,” read the joint declaration issued at the end of the concrescence.


“This act … is redundant and would add to the miseries of women.”

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