Apparently, that nasty Afghan “marital-rape” law is a giant misunderstanding.
A new Afghan law that has drawn Western condemnation for restricting women’s rights does not allow marital rape as critics claim, but lets men refuse to feed wives who deny them sex, the cleric behind it says.
The Shiite personal status law advocated by Ayatollah Mohammed Asef Mohseni has sparked controversy abroad because of a provision that states “a wife is obliged to fulfil the sexual desires of her husband.” This was read by some as an open door to marital rape, and with clauses restricting women’s freedom of movement denounced as reminiscent of Taliban-era rules.
But the cleric said the law — which applies only to the 15% of Afghans who are Shiite — has been misinterpreted. Its sexual clauses are aimed to ensure men’s sexual needs were met within marriage, because Islam prohibits them seeking satisfaction with other women.
OK. Let’s play with language, too. This law, as I understand it, does not so much “restrict women’s rights” as enslave women pure and simple. But that’s a minor issue. What I really don’t like about that article is that little bit I highlighted: “This was read by some as an open door to marital rape”. Really? And we’re obviously wrong since the law does not specifically say men are allowed to rape their wives. It just says women aren’t allowed to refuse sex unless they have a very good reason (what are they meant to do, explain themselves to the local constabulary?) and their husbands are allowed to starve them if their (obviously unquestionably valid) sexual desires are not fulfilled to their satisfaction.
And that’s supposed to be better?by