In recent news, the Senate passed a bill that did not sit well with a certain group. It was the Domestic Violence Bill; set in place for the protection of women, children, and citizens who cannot protect themselves. They could have included the physically disabled, the elderly, and the mentally challenged. However, this human rights bill got major opposition not from the government or the party in opposition but the people who pride themselves on upholding Islamic values.
Rejecting the Domestic Violence Bill
Taking their argument further and making sure it was heard were Analyst Ansar Abbasi, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) member Mushtaq Ahmed, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) member Atta-ur-Rehman, and PML-N member Rana Maqbool.
Ansar Abbasi even took to Twitter initiating the trending hashtag, “We_Reject_Domestic_Violence_Bill_2021”.
— Ansar Abbasi (@AnsarAAbbasi) July 3, 2021
Azhar Siddique also tweeted, documenting his support to Ansar abbasi. Being a human rights lawyer, people were infuriated at it. They said that as a human rights lawyer, he clearly cares less and less about human rights. This argument has weight considering when women were marching for their basic rights, he was going to courts to have it banned. And now, when the people, mostly women, children and elderly will be getting their right to exist safely in their own houses, he is getting the bill rejected.
Azhar Siddique moved to have Aurat March banned in 2020. In 2021 he is moving the courts to not put in place a domestic violence bill.
A ‘human rights’ lawyer who hates human rights. pic.twitter.com/MXzY2iiX2t
— aimen (@aimenb_) July 4, 2021
Some Pakistanis were rallying behind these influential personalities as well. Taking pictures of the clauses from the bill they were twisting the essence of the bill. So for instance, a right that Islam also upholds was in the bill; woman not being forced to live with in-laws or any one else besides her husband. Here, since it suited men, they put religion behind and brought culture forward. Apparently, giving women this right would mean destroying our society, our culture.
Government and the opposition are destroying our society together. It is a shame that a controversial bill like Domestic Violence was passed by the Senate. This controversial bill was passed by the government and the opposition together.@SenatePakistan#والدین_کی_خدمت_فرض_ہے pic.twitter.com/Gqq1XpaPCG
— @Muhammad Tariq🇵🇰 (@MuhamadTariqPTI) July 6, 2021
Twitter rejects the rejection
The rest of Twitter was angry at what had happened. They were not only angry at how influential Pakistanis like celebrated journalists and human rights lawyers were rejecting the bill but also how PM Imran Khan gave way under pressure.
you know the one thing i have unlearnt since i got here? tolerating the male gaze.
iss geir islami mulq main koi bhe nai dekhta. lekin uss islami mulq main nazar jhugti he nai hai.
seeing how the our pm rejected the domestic violence bill, i don’t think its even a secret.
— Safia (@_safiamahmood) July 5, 2021
The PM asked Mr. Babar Awan to ensure that the ‘approved’ bill was referred to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). When CII clears the bill, then they will enforce it. However, the issue Twitter is raising is that the CII is comprised of 12 men and they will be bringing a biased point of view. A better way would have been to formulate a team that represents all parties equally.
The PM has referred a domestic violence bill to the CII – a 12 men team. In any progressive society, this Bill would have sent to a team which included women, even the disabled and the transgenders who also face most of the violence in our country pic.twitter.com/axG7im89SY
— Eric Shahzar (@EricShahzar) July 6, 2021
The fight with the bill protestors continued as the other group continued to throw shade at them. According to them, only those directly affected by the bills, the abusers, would find the bill problematic.
there are people against the domestic violence bill because it threatens the culture. Good, abusive culture should be threatened. Only potential and actual abusers will defy such things ☺️🤞
— shizza 🌻 (@hizzzzzaaaaa) July 4, 2021
Of course the Domestic Violence Bill needs to be squashed. After all, children stopping their fathers from hitting their mothers is a desi rite of passage. Parampara ko bhi tou bakaraar rakhna hai humein.
— panic, panic aur bus panic (@Ughx3000) July 5, 2021
Pakistanis gave excuses as to why they believed the bill was facing this level of protest.
This bill is amazing. Its detailed, thorough and covers all the bases when defining ‘domestic violence’. No wonder the mullahs and men have a problem with it. They don’t want their way of life to be criminalized.
It needs to be protected and implemented in it’s entirety. pic.twitter.com/VHXRrsbyR7
— ⚡️ (@Scrivenshaft_) July 4, 2021
They are rejecting the domestic violence bill because of marital rape.
— Meph⚓ (@UnitedsFreak) July 4, 2021
Long story short, something that would have been a major achievement for our society was hindered. While Twitteratis can list down reasons why that happened, it still did. And we are not sure how long it will take for our society to recover from this setback.
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