Pakistan’s Religious Leaders Support Rape Victims

The Council of Islamic ideology unanimously decided that a victim of rape (zina-bil-jabr) should not be required to produce four witnesses in order to file a complaint against her attacker. The Council also decided that in rape cases the woman would be a complainant, not a defendant.

The Council distinguished between rape (zina-bil-jabr) and consensual sex with someone other than a spouse (zina-bil-raza). It ruled someone accused of adultery should be acquitted unless the complainant can produce four witnesses.

It is a plus that some protection is being afforded to women in Pakistan, but since in most cases adultery is a crime of males, it is clear that requiring four witnesses means the men will continue getting away with adultery.

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