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OPINION

Pakistani Islamic Party Leader Says Women Should Not Report Rape Unless Able to Produce Four Witnesses

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The leader of Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan, the country’s largest and most powerful pro-Sharia party, recently affirmed that a woman should not report being raped unless she has four male Muslim witnesses who saw the act. He bases his claim on Qur’anic ground: “Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they produce no witnesses, they verily are liars in the sight of Allah” (Qur’an 24:13). In this non-English interview, Munawar Hasan makes his thoughts on rape clear:
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The Malaysian Islamic reformist group Sisters in Islam quickly pointed out the injustice in Hasan’s claim:

“In Pakistan, it is reported that three out of four women in prison under its Hudud laws [these are the laws of what it forbidden and permitted by Allah himself], are rape victims. Because rape is equated with zina [unlawful sexual intercourse] under Hudud law, rape victims are required to produce four pious male witnesses. It is of course nearly impossible for the rape victims to produce the four male witnesses required to prove their allegation. Therefore their police report of rape was taken as a confession of illicit sex on their part and they were duly found guilty.”

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