The International Humanist and Ethical Union notes with dismay the decision of the Provincial Assembly of the North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan to introduce strict Sharia law in the province.
We join with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, and Human Rights and Women’s rights groups around the world, in condemning this move.
The introduction of five times daily compulsory prayer for civil servants, the segregation of women, curbing the sale of music and videos and the proposed creation of a department of Vice and Virtue are alarming developments. Sharia law has devastated the civic life of Afghanistan, terrorised the citizens of Nigeria, and now threatens the welfare of
citizens of Pakistan.
Because of its oppressive and unequal treatment of women, its denial of freedom to Muslims, its discrimination against non-Muslims and the
severity of its punishments, we hold that the Sharia is an inappropriate basis for the system of law in any state.
We call upon President Pervez Musharaff, the governor of NWFP and the
people of Pakistan to do everything in their power to overturn this decision.
International Humanist and Ethical Union
4th June 2003