Ayatollah Fazel Maybodi: The Demands of the Campaign Can be Met through Dynamic Jurisprudence

Interview by: Elnaz Ansari/Translation by Sussan Tahmasebi

Wednesday 6 June 2007

Change For Equality: Ayatollah Fazel Maybodi, a high ranking and well-respected cleric, has announced that all the legal demands of the One Million Signatures Campaign can be reformed through ijtehad.

Ayatollah Fazel Meybodi, member of the Central Council of the Organization of Scholars and Researchers of Qom Seminary, added that "the principles related to social and penal codes can be reformed through ijtehad, as well as the principles related to traditional jurisprudence. If thirteen centuries ago polygamy was customary or the marriage of girls at 9 years old was recommended, in this day and age, given the principles of justice and current social conditions, we have to acknowledge that these practices are no longer acceptable."

With respect to discriminatory aspects of laws governing Dieh, Meybodi explained that "today, men and women are present as equals in the workforce, and in terms of their income, and in some families, women are heads of households. As such, declaring women’s Dieh, as half that of men, with the justification that men are the breadwinners, is in fact unjust and unacceptable." Criticizing men’s uncontested right to divorce and the exploitation of this right by men, Meybodi emphasized the need to re-examine family law.

This high ranking member of the Etemad Melli Party (National Trust) condemned the treatment of women’s rights activists by judiciary officials. He went further to say that "this treatment in response to a movement that is neither opposed to Sharia nor the constitution is unjustified and will serve to condemn Iran in international human rights circles." Ayatollah Meybodi, addressing government officials warned "that this movement [the Campaign] is not seeking to overthrow the government and it is best that citizens be allowed to voice their demands, without political uproar. In the end, these demands may not bring about the necessary vote in the Parliament, or they may be vetoed by the Guardian Council, but this treatment [of women’s rights activists] lacks appropriate deliberation and is not well thought-out."

Read this article in Farsi


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