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Iranian women condemn "regressive" articles of family legislation

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Head of Iran's Society of Progressive Muslim Women called an emergency meeting to discuss the controversial Family Protection bill which is currently passing through Iranian parliament.

Kaleme reports that the meeting organized by Fatemeh Rakei, secretary general of the Society of Progressive Muslim Women, was attended by professional women from different walks of life.

Articles 22, 23 and 24 of the proposed family protection bill have drawn the protest of various women's groups.

These articles focus on legal registration of temporary marriages, taxing women's lump sum alimony (mehrieh) and dropping the legal conditions that have to be satisfied before men can engage in polygamy.

Fatemeh Rakei emphasized that the ratification of these articles will lead to "family instability and social dysfunction."

Zahra Rahnavard spoke of the importance of coordinating the Islamic worldview with modern society and aiming for monogamous families.

She went on to criticize the introduction of a family protection bill that is more regressive than the family protection bill that was approved over 35 years ago.

The new family protection bill was introduced to the parliament three years ago but protests from women have so far delayed its ratification.

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Rahnavard: Family Protection Act is an insult to Iranian women and men



A group of Quran research scholars met with Dr. Zahra Rahnavard in the holy month of Ramadan. In this meeting the Quran research scholars discussed the various areas of the holy Quran and the influence of Quranic teachings on social and human relationships in a society; also in this meeting the relationship of these religious teachings and Green Movement was discussed and reviewed.


Zahra Rahnavard in this meeting while congratulating the holy month of Ramadan and the anniversary of the day marking the birthday of Imam Hassan (Grandson of prophet Mohammad and Shia's second Imam) expressed hope that by the end of this holy month one would be able to see the effect of blessing of this holy month in the behaviors of the rulers.


Zahra Rahnavard, a Quran research scholar herself, addressed to the researchers said: "The Green Movement is a plural movement, and for most we understand this diversity through Quranic teachings in which it is stated that "There is no compulsion in accepting the religion" or when it is stated that "One is responsible based on one's abilities" it means that every individual is responsible based on his/her knowledge and ability; meaning that along with other verses as well as other Islamic and Quranic teachings any compulsion is against religious teachings and inspired by these teachings, we define diversity and plurality. The important issue is to actually apply our Quranic findings, rather than confront other human based on our own desires and prejudice."


This university professor and Quran research scholar in continuation said: "In the Holy Quran the terms God and People, are the beginning and the end of the Quranic structure. This very fact proves people's importance and defines people's high statue and role; people are the ones that have the hand of God behind them; God is their advocate (Holy Quran: the hand of God is with the people). Now you see how the government that claims to be religious, suppresses millions of people on the streets and tortures and executes the children of the people or with a thoughtless bill called the Family Protection Act * launches the destruction of the families in this nation. There are so many insults against men in the Family Protection Act that it seems as if all the characteristic of this country's men is lust and the women are only waiting to find a husband. We should tell them who among you is willing to have this bill be enforced on your family? Are the rulers willing to have their daughters become Sighe (the temporary marriage which could be as short as an hour and in which the woman has no rights during and after the marriage) to someone or are the women members of the parliament willing that their husbands get additional wives, whether temporarily or permanently?; only because they (women MPs) are being involved in social activities from morning to night"


Zahra Rahnavard emphasized: "This is why I believe that [the name of] the Family Protection Act is an unfitted name and it is in fact the Family Destruction Act, as first it is a bill to destroy families, and second it is an anti-national bill; it is insulting to both the people as well as insulting to the women [specifically]."


Professor Zahra Rahnavard continued: "Regarding wearing hejab (veil) that you mentioned, as you have all unanimously received from the Holy Quran, these verses are addressed to those who love and have faith in this dress. We should know that fundamentally mandating [something] is eternally in contrast with love and choice; and mandating and forcing leads to obstinacy. We should end violence towards women and young people and make cultural work our model and leave the choice to the people."


By referring to the historical narrative about the moment of the Prophet's farewell with the nation at the mosque, Dr. Zahra Rahnavard said: "In that beautiful scene, the Prophet said that: "Anyone, whom I owe to, tell and punish me." Among the crowd a man gets up and says that you unknowingly whipped me [when you wanted to whip your camel]. The Prophet bares his back and gets ready for the punishment so that person [whip him in return]; suddenly the man kissed the holy body of the Prophet. That kiss is not a kiss on the holy and pure body of the Prophet but is a kiss on the values and beauties of the religion of the Prophet and a sign of the kindness of the religion and also another aspect of a beautiful relationship between the government and the people (since the Prophet was the ruler of the people too). Now you compare this situation to our situation today."


In another part of her remarks, Zahra Rahnavard emphasized: "If a government, under the name of religion, shows profane actions or domineering behaviors, it causes indifference [in the people] toward the religion. We must seek ways to prevent any kind of dictatorship, whether religious or secular. Persisting on the demand for unconditional release of political prisoners, freedom of the press and free elections, which are the demands of the Green movement, are among the ways to protect people from falling into the trap of dictatorship. This election has also, at a heavy price, led our people to understand some of their rights, including the need for freedom and democracy, having knowledge and awareness of the condition of the prisons and become aware of the deviations [that have taken place] from the ideals of revolution. This heavy price is the martyrdom of the best country's youths, the imprisonment of free thinkers, and the becoming orphans and widows and the suffering of the loss of children."


Zahra Rahnavard at the end of her remarks added: "In this holy month of Ramadan, I ask God to open the doors of his mercy on our suffering people, and brings the current rulers to their senses."

... Payvand News - 08/27/10 ... --

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