We all look forward to the weekend and some relaxing moments, but my bad habit of getting emotional over news from home as well as from the Muslim world, makes it almost impossible. This weekend also brought two bad news items which compelled me to write this letter with a feeling of helplessness. May 30 seems to be that sort of day! First came the news that a Saudi cleric, Abdullah Al-Dawood has urged his twitter followers (who are in the range of 100,000) to sexually harass the women cashiers, he considers this a way to discourage women from working in public places. His argument is that letting women work, is the same as human trafficking and this needs no more discussions as he is like a brick wall and we can beat our heads against such people but not change his ideas.

The other frustrating news came from Pakistan wherein the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has rejected the proposal to accept DNA test as primary evidence in rape cases. The Council has insisted to go for traditional methodology to ascertain this heinous crime. Is the council not aware that Islam is a religion for all times and all people? Only Allah can guide us into science and only He has given man the knowledge? So then why not accept this growth, when the members of this council use aircrafts, fridges, cars and other technology why not DNA? Don’t they know how the rapists intimidate and blackmail the victim and her family of dire consequences and get cleared from the witness parade, if ever held? In such cases, DNA is the only way to catch such criminals for whom our religion has given death sentence.

The ruling shows that the sacrifices of a brave girl, who fought her case against all odds, for five years have gone to waste. She not only identified the rapists in a witness parade, but also the DNA test authenticated the same. Her case was thrown out by a court in Karachi who refused to accept DNA test as evidence. I also think that the CII is giving a free hand to the rapist, as they are now free to do as they please because catching them has not only become difficult but impossible. The Shariah law talks of four witnesses to this heinous crime; I have never come across even one case where any witnesses came forward to say that they had seen such a crime being committed as it would actually make them accomplices.


Saudi Arab, May 30.