While the amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code acknowledge that women often face violence in relation to their sexual lives, Sisters in Islam is concerned that it makes an assumption that rape is always preceded by physical violence, when we know that this is not always the case. The amendment criminalises the violence leading up to the rape and this is already covered by the Domestic Violence Act. We were anticipating that the amendments would improve upon this by criminalising marital violence in sexual relations, as has been done by many countries around the world.
Sisters in Islam would like to state that it opposes any form of violence, including forcing sex upon non-consenting partner. The Qur’an proposes men and women to “dwell in tranquility” (30:21) and forbids men “to inherit women against their will nor should you treat them with harshness” (4:19).
It teaches “love and mercy” (30:21) between men and women and to “live with them on a footing of kindness and equity” (4:19), that men and women are like each other’s garment (2:187), that “be you male or female, you are members of one another” (3:195) and that “men and women are protectors, one of another” (9:71).
Zaitun Mohamed Kasim
Sisters in Islam
20 September 2007