27.09.2004 Regional News

DVB will undermine delicate and sensitive family ties - Muslims

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Tema, Sept 27, GNA -- The Muslim community in Tema has said certain provisions in the proposed Domestic Violence Bill (DVB) have the potential to undermine delicate and sensitive family ties such as marriage and parent-child relationship.

The observation was made at the 10 Annual Ramadan Hilal Conference at Tema. Imams, Muslim Chiefs, Illamau and members of the Hilal Committee Nationwide attended the two-day conference that ended on Sunday. It had as its theme: "Peaceful co-existence during and after the electioneering period in Islamic perspective."

Participants at the workshop suggested that the title of the Bill be changed to read "Domestic Conflict Bill."

They suggested that the Chief Justice and the Minister of Justice be vested with authority to establish a section within the court system to deal with cases affecting purely Muslim families and religious matters and advise judges on them.

They suggested further that all violent abuses and assaults, whether matrimonial, family or otherwise, be referred to the Criminal Code of 1960.

The Muslims were of the view that all marriages, customary and religious, should be registered in court, or any other recognised bodies and their dissolution should be done by those bodies.

Provision, they stated, should be made to ensure that in cases of polygamy the spouses or wives be informed before the additional or new wives were registered. This, in their view, would ensure maximum protection for women and their children.

The participants recommended the establishment of a committee to be tasked with the responsibility of launching a nationwide campaign against Domestic Violence, similar to the campaign against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

In spite of their reservations about the proposed bill, Muslims lauded its initiators for their vision and foresight. They underscored the need to carry out careful analysis and assessment of the bill so as to make the necessary amendments to reflect the Islamic family law and its related matters.

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