Featured image courtesy Daily Mail

Two days ago a video was posted on YouTube where a man named Abdul Razik belonging to an extremist sect that calls itself ‘Sri Lanka Tawheed Jamath’ (SLTJ) makes a speech in Sinhala in a public venue about the Muslim marriage law of Sri Lanka. The short video clip is only 3 minutes and 14 seconds long, but long enough to stir a tsunami of violent emotions.

He stands there in front of what appears to be a crowd, surrounded by people, setting the stage.

He bellows, “The minimum age required for a girl to get married in the Muslim marriage act is not twelve. Nothing is mentioned about a minimum age. What is mentioned is that whoever wishes to marry a girl below the age of twelve should obtain the permission of the Quazi (Judge), who is responsible for the area in which the girl resides”.

What about the girl’s consent? He says nothing about that, nor is it mentioned in the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act. She will be given away, with the Quazi’s consent, just like you grab something off a shelf at Cargills food city – with the absolute consent of whoever is responsible for that outlet.

He argues that attaining puberty is good enough to get a girl married, for he says, “Marriage is to satisfy a human need”.

According to his logic, no matter the level of maturity, understanding, and psychological state of the girl, a simple natural discharge is enough to give her away in marriage to a strange man.

This could lead to abuse, and crimes against an entire generation. That girl might not be physically fit to give birth, she might be completely oblivious to parenting, she might want to continue her education, she might be a child herself, but none of that matters.

If these people can set up a stage in a public venue, and invite people to commit excesses and injustice against the innocent and vulnerable, and if the law of the land remains blind, it stands to reason that we as a nation are left at the mercy of a cruel destiny.

Ignorance begets ignorance. Marriage, he says, is a means to satisfy a basic human need. According to him, a lawful marriage contract is nothing but a license to relieve ourselves of carnal desires. In a community where men decide for women, marital rape could start right here.

I wonder where he got his facts from when he argues that children as young as seven are resorting to sex to satisfy their natural urges. What is appalling, and greatly disturbing is that he prescribes marriage as a solution to such social issues (if there are any, as he claims). I am not surprised that he does not realise that children brought up by children could only foster a generation of adult children.

Here is a man some have taken to be their leader; a man that a group of people listen to, believe, and follow. It’s a frightening reality, for the destruction he could cause to a future generation is insurmountable.

Guarded by his army of sheep, he dictates freely the means of gender abuse served with a coating of self-interpreted Islam. This is not Islam. They skew the facts, concoct the truth, and exploit the religious zeal of the masses to run their own political agendas.

He is not the only thing that calls for amusement. The process of selecting a Quazi (Judge), which is mentioned in section no.12 of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of Srilanka is utterly vague. How qualified should that person be in whose hands the future of an entire community, and consequently a nation is entrusted?

“Good character and position and suitable attainments” is all that is needed.

Now the problem is, how do we measure good character? Unfortunately we are yet to invent a machine that could accurately read the rate of righteousness, and I wonder if we ever will.

And what do they mean by position, and how does position qualify one to be both the judge and the jury at the same time? It is not only the fact that two major burdens rest on one single person that sounds outrageous, but also the fact that adjudicating depends on a person who has neither theoretical nor has practical knowledge in the sciences of adjudicating.

Whatever it means by “suitable attainments to be a Quazi” is just vague.

What are these attainments?

Where are these mentioned?

But as you conduct an assessment on the current Quazis in office it begins to surface that whatever these suitable attainments are, they are clearly not related to law and jurisprudence.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people”.

It is time that the Muslim civil society stood up against its enemies within. It is time that it severely condemned the blatant abuse, and exploitation propagated, and perpetrated against a gender, and a class that is vulnerable by all means.

If you enjoyed this article, you may find “Muslim Personal Laws Reforms: On or Not?”  and “The View from Madinah” illuminating. 

  • Jayalath

    I hope the following article will help to realise better why we have people like Abdul Razik on earth .
    By Dr. Imtiyaz Razak
    The fact is that Muslims of the world are among the poorest of the poor and Muslims in the Muslim majority societies and non-Muslim majority societies in Asia and Africa are heavily struggling to embrace modernization due to economic and social backwardness.

    There are several reasons as to why there is poverty and social backwardness among Muslims. I would like to share some easy but strong fact to have your opinions.

    The combined annual GDP of 57 Muslim countries remains under $2 trillion. America , just by herself, produces goods and services worth $10.4 trillion; China $6 trillion, Japan $3.5 trillion and Germany $2.1 trillion. Even India ‘s GDP is estimated at over $3 trillion (purchasing power parity basis). Oil rich Saudi Arabia , U.A.E., Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $430 billion; Netherlands alone has a higher annual GDP while Buddhist Thailand produces goods and services worth $429 billion.

    Muslims are 22 percent of the world population and produce less than five percent of global GDP. Even more worrying is that the Muslim countries’ GDP as a percent of the global GDP is going down over time.

    The Arabs, it seems, are particularly worse off. According to the United Nations’ Arab Development Report: “Half of Arab women cannot read; One in five Arabs live on less than $2 per day; Only 1 percent of the Arab population has a personal computer, and only half of 1 percent use the Internet; Fifteen percent of the Arab workforce is unemployed, and this number could double by 2010; The average growth rate of the per capita income during the preceding 20 years in the Arab world was only one-half of 1 percent per annum, worse than anywhere but sub-Saharan Africa.”

    The planet’s poorest countries include Ethiopia , Sierra Leone , Afghanistan , Cambodia , Somalia , Nigeria , Pakistan and Mozambique. At least six of the poorest of the poor are countries with a Muslim majority. Fifty-seven Muslim majority countries have an average of ten universities each for a total of less than 600 universities for 1.4 billion people; India has 8,407 universities, the U.S. has 5,758. From within 1.4 billion Muslims.

    Over the past 105 years, 1.4 billion Muslims have produced eight Nobel Laureates while a mere 14 million Jews have produced 167 Nobel Laureates. Of the 1.4 billion Muslims less than 300,000 qualify as ‘scientists’, and that converts to a ratio of 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The United States of America has 1.1 million scientists (4,099 per million); Japan has 700,000 (5,095 per million). Fact: Of the 1.4 billion Muslims 800 million are illiterate (6 out of 10 Muslims cannot read). In Christendom, adult literacy rate stands at 78 percent. Consider, for instance, that Muslims constitute 22 percent of world population with a 1 percent share of Nobel Prizes. Jews constitute 0.23 percent of world population with a 22 percent share of Nobel Prizes.

    THE fact is that Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak. What went wrong? Arriving at the right diagnosis is extremely critical because the prescription depends on it.

  • Happy Heathen

    If one thought Bodu Bala Sena or Ravana Cult is bad, wait till these bearded mullahs start issuing fatwas based on a Mesopotamian mythology and a hallucinating cult leader.

    I’ve said this several times on these forums, but will say it again….all and every progressive reform taken up to strengthen gender rights, animal rights and LGBTI rights has been shot down by religious minority – specially by Abraham religions.

    There was an article on Groundviews few weeks ago, propagating an invented fallacy that LGBTI rights are challenged by by Sinhala Masculinity…but you let child rape go scot-free under cultural relativism?

    With such blatant hipocricy and intellectual bankruptcy…..no wonder Donald Trump won….!

  • Sabe

    Long and Short: If Sri Lanka is to be a country, it should have one law.