Punishing sexual crimes

Mufti Syed Muhammad Hussain

The writer is an Islamic Scholar.

There has been a steep increase in incidents of sexual abuse in Pakistan. We are a sexually repressed society and there is a high level of gender segregation which compels deranged men to vent out their frustrations. As a result, we often witness incidents of sexual violence against women, minors, and particularly against students in educational institutes.

This does not mean such incidents did not happen before but there has been an increase in recent years. We have already heard numerous incidents about the prevalence of homosexual activities in seminaries and segregated schools. These incidents need to be stopped as they are immoral and a disgrace to our nation and religion.

We first need to address the problem head-on and find a solution. The main reason for the increasing sexual crimes in Pakistan is the non-implementation of severe punishments. Islam has stipulated punishment for every crime the law of Pakistan also provides punishment for sexual crimes. The problem arises when the perpetrators of such heinous incidents are not punished and due to weak provisions get away with it and continue committing such crimes.

Islam is a religion that has given us guidance in all matters. It is a complete code of conduct on our rights, duties, and obligations. The Holy Quran and Sunnah will provide us full guidance on reward and punishment till the Day of Judgment. We just need is to open our eyes and look at the injunctions which are clearly given in our religious scriptures.

We need to punish those involved in sexual crimes in accordance with Shariah and our national law. We need to wake up to the issues of sexual harassment and abuse.

Rape, fornication, and adultery is the greatest sin after polytheism and there are severe punishments prescribed in Islam.  We condemn such acts but the state should also find an immediate solution to this problem. No religion teaches such wrongdoings, but as long as we do not hold these criminals responsible, we will continue to destroy other’s lives and the menace will continue in society.

In Pakistan, whether you are a Muslim or Christian, people of all faiths and sects face such problems. Sex offenders target on the basis of gender or sexual orientation instead of religion or race. In such a situation, it is imperative that the followers of all religions should come together and take corrective steps to solve this problem.

The government should also set up a system of surveillance in schools so that those who come to seek education can be protected from sexual violence. We should establish committees to provide guidance on the injunctions against sexual crimes so that such incidents can be prevented.

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