Sunday, June 26, 2011

Open letter to Mufti Qabbani

Dear Mufti,

Your press release regarding the domestic violence law is simply unacceptable.  It is slap in the face of every civilised Lebanese.

I am not going to go through the press release and make an argument over whether Islam provides adequate protection for women, as you claim, or not. My problem lies with the logic of the press release. Basically, you are arguing that because Islam provides adequate protection to women, this law infringes on their religious rights.  In case you have not noticed, dear Mufti, Moslems don't live in vacuum.

In trying to understand your actions, I see two possibilities:

1. If you believe every other religion in Lebanon provides the same "protection" to women as your religion, you need to make that argument clear.  In this case, why not team up with the representatives of every other religious community and make constructive proposals on how the law can be improved?  The law that was drafted by the Lebanese government was intended to take into account the constraints of every religious community.

2. If you believe that at least one other religion in Lebanon does not provide the same "protection" to women, then why not make some constructive proposal and insist that the law be passed? That would be in keeping with the morality that you preach.

Assault, battery and rape are crimes, not religious rights. Arguing that a law to protect women is an infringement of the autonomy of your community is simply not acceptable, unless you believe that your autonomy is more important than they morality that you preach. In this case, why not follow the example of  Hassan Nasrallah and start building a state within a state? You can't be "Mufti of the Republic" and undermine the Republic at the same time.

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