The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has once again gone to great lengths to display its depraved mindset by declaring that a woman does not have the right to divorce her husband if he marries another woman. Additionally, in an attempt to clarify its position on child marriages, Chairman of CII, Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani also stated that the father or the grandfather can marry off an underage girl in “good faith,” but the marriage can only be consummated after she “comes of age,” definitions of which largely center on the onset of puberty, whenever that might be. This only proves what was clear from the beginning, that the CII, an extra-constitutional body, is on a warpath to ensure that women can never be equal to men.

The CII was supposed to be a temporary body formed in an advisory capacity over twenty years ago to perform specified functions. The body should be disbanded, and the issues it routinely comments on to the detriment of the people, ought to be discussed and decided by the parliament. Any policy recommendations the CII comes up with are centered on ensuring that women stay bonded within the realms of patriarchal structures, and hardly ever has anything to say on issues which do not involve women and underage girls. Apart from a token statement about respecting all sects in the time of Muharram, the CII has never tried using its influence to prevent hate speech or the marginalization of minority groups. For them, it is perfectly fine for families to give away little girls in the name of marriage without their consent, and for women to stay bonded to their husbands even if they are abused or treated like personal property.

Why is the council allowed to comment on political and social matters they have no knowledge or context of? From giving ridiculous statements about DNA evidence in rape cases, declaring old age homes to be unislamic, to constantly finding new ways to subjugate women, the CII has displayed time and again why it should be shut down by the government, and why people like Maulana Sheerani should not be provided with a special platform to voice their decedent opinions and influence policy. We have heard enough from the CII to know what goes through the minds of its members; there is no point in paying them to openly voice views that prompt nothing but disgust and anger.