Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Pitfalls of the Triple Talaq Bill

What if a Muslim woman goes to a police station, and says, my husband gave me a triple talaq. Will they arrest the man? If they do go to arrest the man, and he says, “But I didn’t give her a triple talaq. I asked her why dinner was not ready and she told me to go to hell. And, then, she left the house.” What do the police do? Do they arrest the man? Or do they tell the woman to go back home? Now, if they ask the woman to go home, and she says, how can I go home, stupid, he has divorced me, and it’s a nonbailable offense? What do the police do? Do they, now, arrest the man anyway?
What happens if a Muslim man is having an affair and the woman he is having an affair with picks up his cell phone and texts a triple talaq to the man’s wife while he’s in the bathroom? What happens if a wife does the same thing because she knows he is having an affair and she is very angry. What happens if a wife is having an affair and wants her husband in jail?
What if a mother in law and her daughter are fed up with the man the daughter is married to because he is a bad provider. Her daughter’s young and beautiful, and she could easily get remarried (which is not taboo in Islam), and they decide to get rid of him? And, so, produce 10 witnesses who swear that the man issued a triple talaq?
Oh, there are many more. This is going to be more far more interesting than the misuse of the anti-dowry law… Unless, of course, Muslims in India are so answerable to their own society that they will not misuse this law. And, I don’t think that’s true of Muslims, or any of us.
Remember, one of the commandments, Exodus 20:16 clearly states that, “You shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” This means thou shalt not lie, or, even more important, “Thou shalt not commit perjury.” All the three Abrahamic religions view perjury as a serious offense. In a country like India, one of the major reasons we go to court is to punish others, and telling lies to do that is the done thing. No one goes to jail for perjury in India.
So, to take a Muslim practice, like triple talaq, and to make it a jailable offense, in a nation that does not have strong perjury laws, and, a solid tradition of jailing people for perjury, is not a very good idea.

Roy Daniels is famous in the world of media and is loved and admired for his work. He has written and directed over 200 short films and is a writer and strategist who has worked in communications for over 25 years.

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