Violence against Women Law is Not Islamic: Hajj Deputy Minister
 
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Some parts of Afghanistan's Elimination of Violence Against Women law is not in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia law and will not be enforced by mullahs, Deputy Minister of Hajj Daee-ul-Haq Abed said on Tuesday.

"This act is against Islamic provisions so it would be difficult for our mullahs to implement it," Abed said in response to an activist asking if the Hajj Ministry will promote the law through the Islamic leaders.

"As long as it is not revised, we will not enforce it," Abed added, saying amendments were needed for it to be in accordance with Sharia law.

Abed made the remarks in a meeting with Afghan lawmakers and the civil society members. He did not elaborate on what parts of the law go against Islam.

The lawmakers present criticised his statements saying that if the law is not enforced, the ministry will face legal action.

"This law is not against the Islamic provisions, and the Ministry of Hajj is obliged to enforce the law otherwise it will face legal actions from the MPs," said Badakhshan MP Nilofar Ibrahimi, who attended the meeting with the Hajj officials.

Some other MPs including Massouda Karokhil, said that the mullahs are effectively encouraging men to commit violence against women.

"These mullahs are the cause of the increasing violence against women, with some of them even encouraging men to do violence against their wives," Karokhil said.

The Elimination of Violence Against Women law was enacted in 2009 to criminalise child marriage, forced marriage, selling and buying women for the purpose or under the pretext of marriage, baad (giving away a woman or girl to settle a dispute), forced self-immolation, rape, beating and 15 other acts of violence against women.

However, its enforcement has always been regarded as weak at best.

Abed's comments come on the back of a rising concern that violence against women is only increasing with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission saying recently that reported cases have increased this year.

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