Life under Sharia alert. Where is Amnesty International? Where is Human Rights Watch? From The Daily Star, with thanks to Twostellas:
A family in a village under sader upazila of Rangpur district has fled their home after local religious extremists attacked and threatened to kill them for non-compliance with a fatwa.
Efzalul and Anjuma Khatun, a young couple of Bouyipara under Uttom union, had been subjected to the fatwa (religious decree) that eventually spared none of the family from the terrible ordeal.
Efzalul yesterday narrated the plight of his family at the office of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (Blast), a human-rights organisation.
Efzalul said that, on July 15, at one stage of a typical husband-wife altercation he in a fit of temper uttered the word ‘talak’ (divorce).
Three days later when they had almost forgotten the trivial incident, local religious leadership of the village came to his house and asked him to send his wife to her parents.
He was also told that he would have to live without Anjuma unless she performs a ‘hilla’ (marry someone else other than his husband).
This is a particularly distastful aspect of Islamic law: it is so easy to divorce that often divorces happen, like this one, in a fit of temper. But before a reconciliation can take place, the wife must marry another man and consummate the marriage. Hence the existence of “temporary husbands” in some areas of the Islamic world.
They warned him that he would have to face dire consequence if he continues to live with his wife.
“Both my wife and me outright rejected the so-called decree and continued to live together,” said Efzalul.
But the religious leaders stuck to their ‘judgment’ and kept insisting on his sending Anjuma to her parents, he added.
On September 23, a group of people led allegedly by Hafez Mannan, Munsi Montaz, Mominul Islam, Saidul, and Sultan swooped on their house. His father Alef Uddin and mother Rezia Khatun were seriously wounded in the attack that also left the house badly damaged.
Alef Uddin was sent to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
They repeatedly threatened to kill the family members if the couple does not comply with the fatwa.