Monday, November 27, 2006

Moderate muslims, Part II

As an addendum to my original post, we have two more examples.

In Pakistan, the lower house of Parliament amended the country's rape laws. Extramarital sex is no longer a capital offense, and rape victims no longer have to produce four witnesses to prove their case.

Senate approval is expected.

The picture is not wholly sanguine: Pakistan's law remains barbaric by Western standards, and radical Islamic and traditionalist groups protested. I would bet this law is observed more in the breach in Pakistan's tribal regions. But it shows moderates turning back extremist laws, a show of moderate power in a region where moderates can seem thin on the ground.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, a conference of Islamic scholars declared female "circumcision" -- a euphemism for removing the clitoris -- to be unIslamic, and said those who practice it should be punished.

The conference included Egypt's two top clerics.

Baby steps, perhaps, condemning obvious cases of injustice and barbarity. But it's a start.

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