Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, pictured here, has refused to ratify a bill that seeks to partially criminalize marital rape, calling it “un-Islamic.” RNS photo by Vishal Arora

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, pictured here, has refused to ratify a bill that seeks to partially criminalize marital rape, calling it “un-Islamic.” RNS photo by Vishal Arora


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NEW DELHI (RNS) Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen has refused to ratify a bill that seeks to partially criminalize marital rape, calling it “un-Islamic.”

The parliament voted 67-2 last month to limit a husband’s right to have non-consensual sex with his wife. The bill says a husband cannot force his wife to have sex if the couple have filed for divorce, dissolution or mutual separation, and if the intent is to transmit a sexual disease.

Yameen vetoed the bill about a week after the vice president of the Maldives Fiqh Academy, Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef, criticized its passage saying the Quran and the Sunnah, or the teachings of Islam, do not give a wife the authority to deny sex to her husband.

“With the exception of forbidden forms of sexual intercourse, such as during menstrual periods and anal intercourse, it is not permissible under any circumstance for a woman to refrain from it when the husband is in need,” Latheef said.

Latheef added that a woman must show “complete obedience to her husband” even if she has filed for divorce.

At a victory rally following the presidential run-off vote last November, Yameen said his coalition had received a mandate “to save the Maldivian nation, to protect the sacred religion of Islam.”

The Maldives, an Indian Ocean archipelago of about 330,000 people, claims to have a 100 percent Muslim population. Its constitution states that “no law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be enacted.”

A 2007 government study found that more than 92 percent of Maldivian women believe a good wife obeys her husband even if she disagrees with him. Nearly 30 percent of respondents also said a husband can beat his wife if she refuses sex.

The Maldives drew global criticism last February after a juvenile court sentenced a 15-year old girl — who was raped by her stepfather — to 100 lashes on charges of fornication. The ruling was overturned by a higher court six months later.

YS/AMB END ARORA

12 Comments

  1. Muslims must really hate women.

    They would allow their own mothers to be raped by their abusive fathers, even if she had filed for divorce.

    How incredibly disgusting.

    • What a frightening world it must be for Islamic women! Rapists always find protection in religious doctrines.
      Primitive, barbaric Rape is sanctified by holy orders! In 2014 !!!

      Ughhh!

    • No more than any other religious group which gets its filthy mitts into the apparatus of government.

      Do you think people like Todd “legitimate rape” Akin would oppose such a law if it were proposed here?

      • Ah, but in this country, Larry, the reverse is true. It is the filthy mitt of government that Obama is trying to poke into religion. The anti-religionists who are obsessed with posting on a religion site fully approve of government’s involvment in everything except their own personal bailiwicks.

        • Really? You are going with that argument with a straight face?
          Poking into religion? Not really.

          You mean the whiny people who want to pretend corporate religion exists? Or maybe the people who want the laws to support things which lack a secular and rational basis? Nope. Not really the kind of government persecution of religion you are trying to invoke. Its junk like that which makes people doubt real examples of religious persecution and sectarian discrimination throughout the world.

          Given a choice between religious rites and civil society, civil society usually wins of they have sane reasons. Hence no exception to murder due to human sacrifice, polygamy and sacramental hallucinogenics are still illegal

          The good thing about the secularist argument is it is fully supported by our Constitution and laws. Separation of Church and State protects both institutions.

  2. What a disgrace to humanity that Islam, indeed any religion, perpetuates its horrific inhumanity in this modern era.

    For shame!

    “With the exception of forbidden forms of sexual intercourse, such as during menstrual periods and anal intercourse, it is not permissible under any circumstance for a woman to refrain from it when the husband is in need,”

    Disgusting inhumanity.

  3. Just to make things clear No rape victim got sentenced .
    Howevre, on a sperate issue someone might have got sentenced, which was never executed.The higher court has o look into these matters to see the special nature and room for leanience.
    The higher court made her free.

    • Her rapist walked free without any charge and the victim was treated like a criminal. Lets just make things clear, the justice system which would do that is barbaric.

    • She *WAS* sentanced; it was overturned ONLY after international outcry. It was intenational outcry that made her free, NOT the courts!!!
      1/3 of women in the Maldives between the ages of 15 and 49 has suffered either physical or sexual abuse over the past five years. ONE THIRD!
      Nine out of 10 sentences for flogging in the Maldives in 2011 were given to women, while no one has been convicted of rape in the past three years.

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