PUTRAJAYA: Alls well that ends well. That, in a nutshell, was the outcome of the meeting between the Coalition of Womens Rights in Islam and the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) over the groups monogamy campaign that had received a lot of flak from various religious bodies.
Jakim director-general Datuk Shahir Abdullah, who chaired the meeting, said the controversy was actually due to misinformation and unbalanced reporting and there was no need for the campaign to be called off.
After we heard the explanation from the group, we now understand that the campaign was not meant to question or undermine Islam nor the syariah law.
Its objective is beyond reproach, that is to campaign for a happier state of family affairs. Probably what needs to be done is to change the emphasis of the campaign, he told reporters.
He said the campaigns tagline of one husband one wife was what had caused many to conclude that it was anti-polygamy.
The group, he said, had also brought up several pertinent issues that needed to be addressed regarding the implementation of the laws and regulations on polygamy.
Those that need no further discussions with other bodies and departments will be addressed immediately, including creating greater awareness among men about their responsibility in polygamy, through Friday sermons.
We will also ask the syariah courts to be more serious in implementing the provisions of the laws on polygamy particularly with regards to the rights of women, he added.
Shahir said the group would also be invited to attend the Mufti meeting scheduled for April 8 to give the womens perspective on the issue.
On the coalitions proposal that women who were not satisfied when their husbands practise polygamy be given the right to seek divorce through taklik, Shahir said it needed further study.
The coalitions secretary Zainah Anuar said the campaigns tagline was meant to create awareness that a monogamous marriage was the most ideal state of marriage.
Through this campaign, we are trying to encourage people to make a conscious choice of monogamy over polygamy. It was not intended to question the right of Muslim men to practise polygamy, she said.