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Necessary Reform


With the law against the practice of instant triple talaaq having
been passed by Parliament, a particularly malevolent social evil should become part of history. Although there was much hue and cry about the three year imprisonment prescribed for those who practice it, the fact remains that it is basically meant to be a deterrent. Somebody would have to be extremely foolish to pronounce instant triple talaaq and land up in jail, when the law provides alternatives for a proper divorce. The unilateral option does not exist anymore.
Many among the opposition described it as interference in the religious affairs of the Muslims. However, when it came time to vote against the bill, a significant number of MPs went missing, making it possible for the government to carry the day. This represents a realisation that while the powerful lobbies among the community see it as a threat, a significant number of Muslim women favoured the law. It has been experienced in the last general election that many Muslims are refusing to toe the line of the various religious authorities in the face of the imperative need to become a part of modern day society. Votes can no longer be obtained en bloc by merely scaring the community.
It may be that the divorce rate is low among Muslims, but the fact remains that women have had to live with the sword of an arbitrary and unjust practice hanging over their heads, night and day. Particularly as an even more loathsome diktat has to be followed if a man mistakenly declares talaaq and wishes to reconcile with his wife. Imagine the relief women must now feel with the new law in force. It should be the effort of every right-minded Muslim – male or female – to ensure this initiative achieves its declared objective.