Muslim Cleric Opposes Calls To Protect Women From Marital Rape

One of Malaysia’s most prominent clerics, Mufti Harussani Zakaria, has angered women’s rights and human rights groups by opposing calls to protect women from rape within marriage. According to Agence France-Presse, the Human Rights Commission in Malaysia has recently urged the government to make rape within marriage a crime.

Zakaria responded to the calls stating “a husband has the right to be intimate with his wife and the wife must obey” and “if the wife refused, then the rule of Ônusyuz’ (disobedient) applies and the husband is not required to provide financial assistance to her,” reports BBC News.

Several women’s groups have joined together to form the Joint Action Group Against Violence Against Women to support Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission in its efforts to make a new law protecting women from marital rape. They hope that their work signals husbands to stop abusing their wives, reports BBC News.

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Agence France-Presse 8/23/04; BBC News 8/23/04

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