Amending Muslim Marriage & Divorce Act Azwar condemns government’s decision

  👤  4429 readers have read this article !
By 2016-11-04

Former Minister and General Secretary of the Muslim Progressive Front, Alhaj A.H.M. Azwer, has condemned government's decision to amend the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, alleging that it aims to satisfy the needs of foreign powers, and also to win back GSP Plus from the European Union.

He said in a press release:
How can this government, who claims to have come to power with the support of the Muslims, barter away their religious rights to tighten over its dwindling economy?

What is the logic in trying to tie up GPS with the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act? How could the Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe come to the conclusion that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce laws do not conform to international conventions, such as gender equality, lack of a minimum age for marriage? The minister should be reminded that from of the British, Muslims enjoyed the rights to engage in matrimony in accordance with the Quranic injunctions. The first Legislative Councillors like M.C. Abdur Rahman and W.M. Abdul Rahman took great stride to convince the British rulers to incorporate the laws in the Holy Quran into statute books. Is this Yahapalanaya trying to deny Muslims what even the foreign administrators conceded to us? No, let him understand that the Muslim community will never agree to change even a nokath (dot) of the Muslim personal laws.
It was Muslim jurists and learned lawyers who drafted the earlier amendments. The correct procedure to be followed is that the Minister should appoint a Committee of such learned men from among the Muslim community to review the whole Act and suggest any amendments, if necessary.

When I was Minister of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs, I first took action to appoint a Muslim Law Committee under
Dr. A.M.M. Shahabdeen to study (later called the Shahabdeen Committee) to review in detail every aspect of Muslim laws in the Legislative Enactments and suggest necessary amendments. It would be interesting for the public to know that this Committee comprised very eminent legal luminaries and theologians: Saleem Marsoo, M. Faisz Musthapha, Shibly Aziz, A.A.M. Marleen, Dr. M.A.M. Shukri, Dr. M.S. Jaldeen, Moulavi S.M.A.M. Muzammil, Al-Alim A.R.M. Zarook, M.T.M. Bafiq, M.M. Zuhair, M.M. Markhani, and also Roshana Aboosally, Yesmin Gaffoor and Zem Zem Akbar (Secretary). Later, a Committee sat under the Chairmanship of Saleem Marsoof.

It is ridiculous for the Justice Minister to claim that another Committee would prolong matters, and thought of appointing a Ministerial Committee. This conclusion of the Minister is almost an indictment on all Muslim Law fraternity. We abhor this statement of the Minister.

We demand that the government consult all shades of opinion from the highest theological body, the All-Ceylon Jammiyathul Ulema, the Jamat-e-Islami, The Shura Council etc., and the Muslim legal experts.
The Community expects the Muslim Ministers in the Ministerial Committee will understand their obligations and act wisely to ward off all dangers inherent in this Zionist influenced move, like the Al Aqsa Baithul Muqaddas issues.

COLUMNS

PRINT EDITION

News

Read More

Columns

Read More

Sport

Read More

FT

Read More

Opinion

Read More