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Fierce debate as Modi government reintroduces Muslim ‘triple talaq’ divorce bill

The party of Indian PM Narendra Modi faced tough opposition as it made another attempt to push through a bill that would criminalize divorcing a woman by saying the word ‘talaq’ three times.

The draft legislation, known as the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, was tabled by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a session of the new parliament on Friday as lawmakers gathered for the first time since the BJP party claimed a landslide victory in May’s general elections, winning 303 seats in the 545-member lower house.

ALSO ON RT.COMIndia makes Muslim ‘triple talaq’ divorce punishable by up to 3yrs in jail

“This is not a question of religion but about justice to women. This is a question of dignity of women and we are committed to protect it,” the minister said, as he threw his weight behind the contentious legislation.

The bill envisions a jail sentence of up to three years and a fine for men who divorce their wives by invoking an Islamic practice known as the ‘triple talaq,’ which has been outlawed in India since August.

Despite being confirmed as illegal by the Supreme Court, the ‘triple talaq’ has remained widely used, with Prasad reporting on Friday that over 200 cases have been registered since it was banned.

The motion to introduce the bill drew scathing criticism from the Indian National Congress and other opposition parties, but was passed with 187 votes against 74 in the lower house, with many MPs abstaining.

The vote was preceded by heated exchanges among members, with Congress MP Shashi Tharoor calling the bill “discriminatory.” The lawmaker argued that it “does nothing to protect Muslim women but punishes Muslim men.” Tharoor said that he believed the law to be one-sided, as it exclusively focuses on Muslim husbands “but exempts other men who desert their families without taking responsibility.”

Shashi Tharoor
@ShashiTharoor

That’s the point. We aren’t defending triple talaq. We are opposing a law that does nothing to protect Muslim women but punishes Muslim men. It criminalizes their divorces, but exempts other men who desert their families w’out taking responsibility. That’s discriminatory. https://twitter.com/incindia/status/1141976623337627648 

Congress
@INCIndia

By framing a law criminalising only muslim husbands for a void Act, without having a universally applicable law for the act of desertion the bill is a text book example of a class legislation which violates Art. 14 & 15 of the Constitution: Dr @ShashiTharoor on Triple Talaq Bill.

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Asaduddin Owaisi, leader of the All India Majlis Ittehad ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party, echoed the criticism and similarly denounced the bill as “discriminatory.”

“I would like to ask the government [why] they have all the love for Muslim women. Why don't they have the same sentiment for Hindu women of Kerala? Why are you against Sabrimala?” he said.

Owaisi argued that by jailing the men, the bill would only leave women penniless.

The husband will be three years in jail then who is going to pay for the maintenance? Are you going to give money for the maintenance? This is against rational nexus.

Modi’s party introduced the bill in December last year and it was passed by the lower chamber of the parliament, the Lok Sabha, but was met by fervent opposition in the Rajya Sabha, the upper chamber. However, the law has been enforced through two executive orders, in September last year and in February, while it awaits approval by the legislature.

Tags: -, Divorce, I divorce you, Islamic, Talaq, by, saying, three, times

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Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom from Voter Importation
Immigration is allowed - except where that changes the political demography (this is electoral fraud)
4. SP Freedom from Debt
The Central Bank is allowed to create debt - except where that debt burden can pass across a generation (25 years).

An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:

  • Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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