Pakistan amends moves to amend rape law, takes tentative step towards 18th century

posted at 11:42 am on November 15, 2006 by Allahpundit

Good news all around here: justice for Pakistani women, a hopeful signal that the Islamist element isn’t as much of a threat to Musharraf as thought, and a hissyfit about “free sex” by one of the fundie savages for true conservative Andrew Sullivan to exploit as proof of their essential similarity to “Christianists.”

Pakistan’s lower house of parliament voted on Wednesday to put the crime of rape under the civil penal code, curtailing the scope of Islamic laws that rights groups have long criticized as unfair to women…

That does away with the requirement for four male witnesses and will allow convictions to be made on the basis of forensic and circumstantial evidence…

Islamist lawmakers walked out of parliament, boycotting the vote, after leader Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman told the assembly the change to the law would encourage free sex.

“This is an attempt to create a free sex zone in Pakistan,” he said. “Existing laws are correct and should be maintained … The changes are not in line with Islamic teaching.”

They added a five-year sentence for extramarital sex as a concession to the Islamists. The penalties under the old Islamic law? Lashing and stoning.

Exit question: how likely is it that the new law will be enforced, say, here?

Update: My headline was inaccurate. It was only the lower house of the Pakistani legislature that passed the amendment; it remains to be seen what the upper house will do.


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Evolution is a slow thing
But yeah I don’t know if it will be enforced

Defector01 on November 15, 2006 at 11:48 AM

I’m glad they have come so far in such a short period of time.

Cary on November 15, 2006 at 11:49 AM

Wait. Does that mean I can no longer rape random women when in Saudi Arabia. Scratch that country off my travel destinations.

Iran – Check
Pakistan – Check
Saudi Arabia

lorien1973 on November 15, 2006 at 11:49 AM

Well I’ll be..who would have thought that possible…

Pam on November 15, 2006 at 11:50 AM

Wait. I crossed off the country :( Saudi arabia is still a valid travel destination. Bigger country. More women. Nice.

lorien1973 on November 15, 2006 at 11:50 AM

One small step for man, one huge seething riot waiting in the wings of Islam.

E L Frederick on November 15, 2006 at 11:51 AM

One small step for man, one giant step for uncovered meat-kind.

Kid from Brooklyn on November 15, 2006 at 11:53 AM

Best headline, ever.

Praise Allahpundit.

-phil

phile on November 15, 2006 at 12:00 PM

So far, so good. Now they just have to root out the imams who are preaching like it’s 799. *humming a Prince tune*

Nethicus on November 15, 2006 at 12:02 PM

Good on Musharaf for trying to drag his country screaming and kicking into the 21th Century, although the Fundy males will be hopping mad about this (this was one of their favorite ways to get rid of wives they were tired of).
I’m proud of Pakistan for this; it seems even the modern, civilized UK has trouble enforcing their rape laws and they look the other way if the “rape” and its ensuing shari’a punishment involves Muslims.

Jen the Neocon on November 15, 2006 at 12:03 PM

How did that country every have a woman prime minister, anyway?

kmcguire on November 15, 2006 at 12:26 PM

“This is an attempt to create a free sex zone in Pakistan,” he said. “Existing laws are correct and should be maintained … The changes are not in line with Islamic teaching.”

How does making it easier to prosecute rape turn the place into a free sex zone?

Pablo on November 15, 2006 at 12:30 PM

Great Headline.

americanpundit on November 15, 2006 at 12:31 PM

Ah, I see. they’ve made it harder to prosecute rape victims. How progressive of them.

Pablo on November 15, 2006 at 12:33 PM

And so goes the debate on the BBC about this

As long as it is within the permissible limits given by ariah is acceptable.The Shariah Laws are meant for the peace for all mankind.Hence, the change in the rules is creating more problems for your society.The sprit of all Shariah Laws are to be first understood and implemented accordingly.In a perfect society every member of society enjoys the life if the rules of Shariah are not violated and practiced voluntarily without misusing it.

imadulislam farooqui, Bombay, India

the new ammendendments in the HADOOD laws in pakistan will cause to promote sex in country , as after this ammendment the sex without marriage will not be treated under law and no one need to be ashamed in doing this . western people want to see pakistan as a moderate state living in 21st centuary , is it a nice way to enter ina new millinium , in pakistan majority of people rejected it , what mushraf wants we dont know , iam not a man of religious party but do one think we need it .

usman, pakistan

William Amos on November 15, 2006 at 12:40 PM

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Nothing to cheer about here:

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Lawmakers from an Islamic coalition ruling Pakistan’s deeply conservative northwest on Monday approved a law to set up a Taliban-style department to suppress vice.

It gets worse: “We had promised an Islamic system to the nation and approval of the Hisbah Bill is an important step in that direction,”

I fear that some of these “reforms” are for “Media” consumption, and mean little.

This is going to be a long, slow, and unpleasant road. No matter how much we wish it were otherwise, this is the road upon which we are destined to travel. Unless we are willing to sacrifice our future, we must be ready, willing, and able to bridge any divide, and overcome any obstacle in order to reach any peaceful destination.

hillbillyjim on November 15, 2006 at 12:44 PM

Damn. Can never get blockquotes to turn out as intended. My apologies.

hillbillyjim on November 15, 2006 at 12:46 PM

Don’t hang up yer berkas just yet.

You still have to have four guys just standing around watching while the rape is going on.

Baby steps? More like snail tracks

Kini on November 15, 2006 at 1:03 PM

I hate to disagree Kini, but, as I read this, I think they are getting away from from that…

(FoxNews) Parliament also gave judges the discretion to decide whether to try a rape case in either a secular criminal or Islamic court, a move that prompted Islamist lawmakers to storm out of the chamber in anger. Strict Islamic laws dictate that a woman who claims rape must produce four witnesses in court, making a trial of the alleged rapist almost impossible because such attacks rarely happen in public.

It sounds like they can go either with the secular route (doesn’t need 4) or the Islamic court (needs 4). Am I reading it wrong?

E L Frederick on November 15, 2006 at 1:11 PM

18th century? The Enlightenment?

I think you’re being optimistic, friend. Not like you at all.

see-dubya on November 15, 2006 at 1:18 PM

It sounds like they can go either with the secular route (doesn’t need 4) or the Islamic court (needs 4). Am I reading it wrong?

“The Long and Winding Road.”

hillbillyjim on November 15, 2006 at 1:21 PM

“The Long and Winding Road”—The Beatles— for all of you young’uns out there.

hillbillyjim on November 15, 2006 at 1:23 PM

I’m glad they have come so far in such a short period of time. — Cary

…it’s been 1400 years or so…how much time do they need?

…wait…1400 years? Another 100 years or so, maybe they’ll be sufficiently “mature” as a religion/culture….

I can see it now…somebody’s going to have a crisis of conscience, refer to original Koranic sources (such as they are, and will nail some theses to the door of some mosque somewhere….

Then he’ll promptly be apprehended, beheaded and maybe tried…for starting a riot….

…so much for “reformation”….

Puritan1648 on November 15, 2006 at 1:26 PM

Why not just buy the cow since it’s nearly free?

From timesonline, in an article about Afghanistan.

A report last week by the UK-based charity Womankind Worldwide said cases like Gul Zam’s were becoming more common because between 60% and 80% of all marriages in Afghanistan were forced. More than half of all girls are married off before the age of 16, some as young as six. Many of these marriages are to settle debts or feuds between tribes. The women are regarded as commodities rather than wives and are often treated like slave workers by their new families.

See the trick is to just marry them first. If it doesn’t work out, you just have to remember your vow ‘until death do us part?’

Canadian Infidel on November 15, 2006 at 2:19 PM

It sounds like they can go either with the secular route (doesn’t need 4) or the Islamic court (needs 4). Am I reading it wrong?

E L Frederick on November 15, 2006 at 1:11 PM

You are reading it correctly, but guess which court will prevail.

This is an attempt to create a free sex zone in Pakistan

A free sex zone???!!! Sounds like a misquote from Train Spotting. “Who needs sex when we’ve got heroin”

Free sex zone, Sex free zone, either way, you’re gonna need 4 or more to discount the event. Cows don’t count. Or do they?

Kini on November 15, 2006 at 2:38 PM

Most over-used defense in Islamic rape trial:

“I thought I died and went to heaven.”

I know….crude.

hillbillyjim on November 15, 2006 at 3:11 PM

Uppity Pakistani women.

Next thing you know they’ll be clamoring about honor killing.

irishsquid on November 15, 2006 at 5:08 PM