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Shielding The Monster

Have you ever thought what if a rich man bought his freedom after killing your loved ones? Would this be justice? We live in an age where a savage murderer can escape imprisonment by paying blood money to the family of the victim. This is not justice. Does it really show that we are living in a world with humans or bodies with faces of money? Let’s break the suspense the law I’m talking about is an Islamic law mainly known as “Diyaat and Qisas”.

Most of the people are unable to understand the real law of “Diyaat and Qisas” the next question in your mind is that what is this law about? Here is the brief introduction; the law gives two options to the family of victim in the case of murder. The word “Qisas” means that you demand for the death of the murderer the same way he/she killed the victim. The word Diyaat means that you demand a certain amount of money or something equally valuable from the murderer and in return the murderer gets freedom from the charge of murder. Like the religion Islam this law is also diverse. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan does use the word Islam with its name but it doesn't have an Islamic constitution. Still the state claims that none of the laws are made against the Islamic laws but it’s not true. In order to make every law according to Islamic law the state has made a “Council of Islamic Ideology”.

To get the Islamic point of view about the law we talked to one of a Islamic scholar, Syed Zia ul Hassan he stated that
“I strongly support the islamic law of "qisas & diyaat". For supporting my point of view below are two verses from quran:
(1) O you who believe! Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives, etc.) of the killed against blood-money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood-money to the heir should be made in fairness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. So after this whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood-money), he shall have a painful torment. (Chapter #2, Verse #178)

The status of actual Islamic law shouldn’t be compared to the Pakistan Penal code. The law needs proper interpretation as currently it is only helping the rich men. Pakistan is the country where poor is getting poorer day by day and it is also increasing terrorism. The reason is that due to poverty mostly families of the victims in the case of murder agree to take blood money. The frequent use of this law gave a lot of courage to men with power which results in more acts of crime and no fear. If you want to play real game of blood go out on the street shoot whomever you want and pay the money pretty much like going into the gaming zone and pleasing yourself. Let’s get back to the law so, the law do give an edge to the culprit but there is another twist in the law as well. Even if the victim’s family and culprit decide to settle down the matter with money the final decision whether to accept or reject the adjustment lies in the hands of the judge. The judge can deny if the victim want to forgive the culprit. The judge can make it a fair decision. An adjustment by diyaat can only be fair when both the victim and culprit belong to same financial status.

How this law increasing injustice here are some of the examples:
Raymond Davis an American Intelligence agent who opened fire on a busy road of Lahore on 26th January 2011. Resulting in killing 2 men by gun and hitting one by his car. He paid around 2.4$ million diyaat to the family of victims and judges acquitted him on all charges and Davis immediately departed Pakistan. But who will answer for the use of an illegal weapon publically and killing people for no reason. The wife of one man he shot, she committed suicide because she couldn't live without her loving husband. Who will answer for her death? Talk about another example “Shahrukh Jatoi” son of a very powerful man, killed a young boy named as “Shahzeb Khan” on 25th December 2012 in Karachi . Shahrukh murdered the 19 years old boy on the night of Shahzeb’s sister wedding. Then Shahrukh left the country and later surrender himself infront of Pakistani consulate in Dubai. The murder case finally announced its decision and as expected the family forgave the murderer and the red clouds of rumors claims that they agreed to take blood money. The whole social media and the youth of Pakistan raised the voice for justice in the case of Shahzeb murder. All the international media as well had eyes on this case. People expected that atleast this time when the whole nation is united to stand for justice the court will eventually do justice.

Lastly lets us not forget the honor killing in most of the cases of honor killing the killers gets easy way out by riding on the laws of our constitution. In most of the cases the “Jirga” a tribal council make the decision. Hardly any case gets to the court and those who make it mostly die by the dagger of power and money. It seems like that the laws in Pakistan are only applicable to poor. When laws become business instead of justice, the age of darkness will be no far.

I strongly believe that the government should review this law and its execution. Living in a country where “Salman Taseer” the governor of biggest province of Pakistan was killed by his own guard because he asked to take a review of blasphemy law. The court says that it’s the contempt of court to challenge any law. I ask that where does your “Council of Islamic Ideology” goes when in an Islamic state alcohol, interest on money, gambling are done openly. I’m not afraid to talk or raise my voice against this injustice and improper execution of “diyaat-The law”. I’m being a Muslim and citizens of an Islamic Republic ask for justice, ask for answer, ask for life, ask for right!

This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future a program of World Pulse that provides rigorous digital empowerment and citizen journalism training for grassroots women leaders. World Pulse lifts and unites the voices of women from some of the most unheard regions of the world.

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Christine.Dahl's picture

Powerful piece!

Thank you for raising your voice in favor of justice. This is a powerful piece shining light on an important issue.

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