Afghan Cleric Defends Law Legalizing Rape in Marriage
KABUL — A key backer of an Afghan law that critics say legalizes marital rape and rolls back women's rights rejected an international outcry as foreign meddling on Saturday and insisted the law offers women many protections.
"It is essential for the woman to submit to the man's sexual desire," the law says.
"The Westerners claim that they have brought democracy to Afghanistan. What does democracy mean? It means government by the people for the people. They should let the people use these democratic rights," Mohseni told reporters in the capital, Kabul.
"In Shariah law, it states that a woman cannot go out without the permission of her husband," he said. He argued that the law is permissive because it allows a woman to go out for a medical emergency or other urgent reason without asking.
The law says that every fourth day a man "can pass the night with his wife, unless it is harmful for either side, or either of them is suffering from any kind of sexual disease."
"If she is not sick, and if she does not have another problem, it is the right of a man to ask for sex and she should make herself ready for it," Mohseni explained.
Mohseni said much of the uproar has come from people misinterpreting the law. He said a woman can refuse sex with her husband for many reasons beyond illness, including fasting for Ramadan, preparing for a pilgrimage, menstruating, or recovering from giving birth.