IUMS view regarding the UN declarations on “Violence against Women”

By :
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

IUMS view regarding the UN declarations on "Violence against Women”

The International Union of Muslim Scholars demands the UN to respect religious diversity and Islamic values in international agreements regarding women, children and other documents. The union also asserts its rejection of violence against women and the necessity of "releasing” these terms, and demands Muslim countries to formulate a unified stance regarding these documents.

All praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon Mohammad, God’s messenger, and his family, companions and followers;

The International Union of Muslim Scholars, representing mainstream scholars in the Muslim nation, observes the conditions of women in the world in general and in the Muslim world in particular and views the achievement of justice, and assisting women in obtaining their natural rights as a true addition to society which is made up of two main components: men and women.
Stemming from this view, Islam has – since the early days of its call – devoted special care to women’s rights within a frame of complementarity, balance, and a distribution of roles to achieve good, happiness and harmony within the family, which is seen as the nucleus of a happy society.
The Union has marked for a while, however, that UN conferences are inclined in some cases towards steps that lead to the fragmentation and harming of family. The resolutions of these congresses are adopted as international documents (like the CEDAW convention, and Beijing Declaration and others) while economic and political pressure is leveraged upon some Muslim governments to sign the documents despite the fact that they contradict the creed of their nations, their values and their honored Islamic laws.
The upcoming session, the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women to be held between March 4th and 15th 2013, will see the discussion of a document entitled "The Elimination and Prevention of all forms of Violence against Women and Girls”.
And although Islam stands against violence against women or any other human, the term, according to international agreements issued by the UN, refers to the elimination of any natural difference between men and women in roles and legislation.

Hence, the UN considers all the following to be a form of violence against women that should be eliminated:

1- Considering motherhood-related tasks a woman’s specialty, which the document considers as unpaid roles that cause the impoverishment of women inside the family in contrast to a man’s accumulation of wealth due to heading outside the home for work and gaining money.

2- Considering a man’s qawama (caretaking or responsibility) in the family as a form of violence against women.

3- The differences stated by the Islamic Shariah law between men and women which stem from a complementarity of roles between them like: marriage laws, divorce laws, polygamy, `idda (the period of time a woman remains unmarried after her divorce or the husband’s death), inheritance, and others.

4- The husband’s right to have a sexual relation with his wife, as the UN considers a lawful relation between the man and woman based on the man’s desire, in the lack of complete willingness by the woman or at times that she doesn’t approve of as a form of "Marital Rape” and that if he touches her without her consent it is considered a form of sexual harassment; all of which cases fall under the heading of "sexual violence” in the view of the UN.

5- Limitations imposed regarding the sexual freedom of women and girls, rejection of the idea of a woman’s complete control over her body, preventing girls from changing their sex should they like (laws convicting adultery and homosexuality).

6- Guardianship for the girl in the process of marriage.

7- The lack of providing contraceptives for girls, banning abortion as a means of disposing of an undesirable pregnancy.

8- The marriage of girls under the age of 18.

9- Refrain from proving legal parentage to children born outside of marriage (parentage to a father committing adultery).

Based on this, the new document would demand the following concepts which contradict Islamic law:

1- Substituting qawama (male caretaking or responsibility) with partnership and complete sharing of roles inside the family between the man and woman (spending, child care, household issues).

2- Complete equality in marriage laws (canceling all forms of: polygamy, `idda, guardianship, dowry, a man’s spending commitment toward the family, allowing Muslim women to marry non-Muslims and so on).

3- Equality in inheritance.

4- Withdrawing the power to divorce, referring it to the judiciary, and a sharing of all possessions upon divorce.

5- Giving women the authority to file a complaint against her husband accusing him of rape or harassment. The concerned departments would be obliged to exact a penalty on the husband equal to the penalty specified for a person who commits rape or harassment against a woman of no relation to him.

6- Granting complete sexual freedom to girls in addition to the freedom to choose her sex, and the sex of her partner (i.e. to choose to have natural or homosexual relations) in addition to raising marriage age to 18.

7- Giving teenage girls access to contraceptives, training them to use it, and allowing abortion to dispose of an undesired pregnancy (under claims of sexual and reproductive rights).

8- Equating an adulteress with a wife, equating children from an adulterous relation with legal children completely in all rights.

The session would also monitor the implementation of the document issued by the 53rd session under the theme of "The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men” that focused on a distribution of all roles and responsibilities inside the house between a man and a woman (care-giving and spending roles) which disrupts the concept of qawama, one of its main pillars being the husband’s complete responsibility for all spending related to the family.

A number of resolutions are planned to be issued based on proposals, put forth by a number of states, which usually revolve around the same demands, on top of which are: gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly demands originating in the United States, European countries, Japan and others. These resolutions also require careful study so that governments will not be entrapped into signing them.

More dangerously, we should not fail to note the constant pressure by the UN on governments to withdraw the reservations made at signing the agreement, what shows a violation of the sovereignty of countries and contempt of nations’ wills.

Furthermore, there’s constant insistence on signing the optional protocol appended to the CEDAW convention, which gives the UN the direct right to interfere in a country’s internal issues and refer the government to the International Criminal Court in case of a complaint about a discriminatory law that differentiates between men and women (like the inheritance, polygamy, guardianship and so on, all of which are considered discriminatory laws according to the UN). In that way, the UN – within these resolutions – stands in clear opposition to the Islamic laws of Shariah.

In view of this existing situation, the IUMS sees and confirms the following:

First: the IUMS demands the UN and points their attention to the necessity of protecting values, ethics and laws occurring within revealed religions, sealed by Islam, as a means of preserving international peace and security.

Second: the IUMS demands Muslim countries to formulate a unified stance rejecting all that contradicts with the Islamic Shariah and revealed religions, whether in former documents like the CEDAW and Beijing Declaration or any later documents presented for discussion and signing.

Third: the IUMS urges all participating governmental delegations to take heed of the will of their nations to adhere to their Islamic Shariah law, to express reservations regarding these documents, and refrain from involvement in signing more of them. The Union also demands these delegations to reject all aspects contradicting the Islamic Shariah in the document to be discussed in the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, to refrain from compromising the reservations set at signing the international agreements concerned with women and children, and refrain from signing any protocols appended to these international agreements without consulting the scholars of the Muslim nations, their union, and the councils of senior scholars in an attempt to preserve the identity of nations and the sovereignty of governments.

{And Allah has full power and control over His affairs; but most among mankind know it not.} [Quran 12:21]

Doha: 15 Rabea Al-Awwal 1434 H
Dated: 27 February 2013

Dr. Ali Al-Qaradaghi                                                          Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

IUMS Secretary General                                                           IUMS President