KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — A representative of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia’s (Isma) women’s wing has rapped feminists for trying to introduce laws in domestic life, claiming that there is already laws to cover marital rape.
According to Dr Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar, Section 375 of Penal Code already states that a husband can be charged with causing hurt or fear of death, to his wife or any other person in order to have sexual intercourse with her.
“Feminism’s obsession to insert law enactment into the sphere of domestic life raises many concerns,” the Wanita Isma information chief said in a statement.
“It’s mind boggling that we need to have more laws that are to deal with non-inflicting injury practices as if the home, is the centre of all crimes, and law is the only method to deal with it.”
Despite Dr Rafidah’s assertion, Section 375 expressly states that it does not recognise a rape perpetrated by a husband towards his wife.
“Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife by a marriage which is valid under any written law for the time being in force, or is recognised in Malaysia as valid, is not rape,” said the exception that follows Section 375.
In her statement, Dr Rafidah claimed that feminists should focus on education, the prevention of rape and adultery, and should not assume that religious or cultural practices are the root cause of issues without convincing data.
She also claimed that domestic violence is prevalent in other parts of the world, such as Europe, where women are said to possess “better equal rights”.
“There is no statistic to prove that the practice of marital rape first, is highly prevalent among the Malay Muslim, and secondly, the Muslims who resorted to domestic violence did so because of the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah.
“It might well be because they did not follow the tenets of Islam in the first place, that require husbands to be kind and protective to women, said the deputy dean at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Science.
Following the launch of DAP lawmaker Yeo Bee Yin’s joint rape awareness campaign with the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) last month, some Muslims have disagreed with a poster that said “Without her consent, it is rape. No excuse” and claimed that rape does not exist in the context of Islamic marriage.
Following that, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria told Malay Mail Online that men can always have sexual intercourse with their spouses even if the latter did not agree, saying that a Muslim woman has “no right” to reject her husband’s demand.