World Bulletin / News Desk
“The issue of inheritance is clearly laid out in the Quran, particularly in Surah Al-Nisaa [Chapter 6, ‘Women’], in a way that doesn’t require effort to understand, as the text doesn’t allow for more than one interpretation,” Noureddine al-Khadmi, a former minister of religious affairs, said.
Al-Khadmi was speaking at a Thursday press conference organized by two Islamic-oriented NGOs at Tunisia’s Zaytuna University, where 23 imams and Muslim scholars issued a statement against the initiative, which was unveiled on Sunday to mark the occasion of Tunisia’s National Women's Day.
Along with changing traditional rules governing the touchy issue of inheritance, the initiative, if adopted, would also legalize marriages between Tunisian Muslim women and non-Muslim men.
Signatories of Thursday’s petition included Al-Zaytouna Mosque Imam Omar al-Yahyawi and former Supreme Islamic Council President Abdullah al-Waseef.
At the press conference, al-Khadimi stressed Tunisia's status as a “national civil state that takes Islam as its main frame of reference”.
Muslim scholars in other countries have also criticized Essebsi’s gender-equality initiative.
“These proposals contravene divine law, Islamic precepts and the teachings of the Prophet [Muhammad],” said Abbas Shuman, a senior official at Cairo’s Al-Azhar, considered one of the highest seats of learning in the Sunni-Muslim world.
“What’s happening in Tunisia now is in obvious contravention of Quranic texts, in which the issue of inheritance is clearly laid out,” Shuman said in a statement. “Transgression of these texts is an offence to Islam and will not be accepted.”
Others, however, have voiced support for the initiative, including Tunisia’s state-run Dar al-Iftaa -- responsible for issuing religious edicts -- and foreign NGOs devoted to promoting feminism, which describe it as a “step in the right direction”.
Islamic law lays down clear rules for inheritance, which some critics say unfairly favors men over women. It also clearly prohibits Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men.
Turkey, China have potential to further improve ties, says Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Kurtulmus
Turkish language course introduced to curriculum in Kuala Lumpur school, a first in Malaysia
Turkey's culture and tourism minister says around 250,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey in 2017
Search engine features animation on homepage of Orhan Veli Kanik watching the Galata Tower in Istanbul
'The event created an atmosphere of peace and bridged international divides,' Yunus Emre Institute's US director says
Originating in Central Asia, tulips passed through Anatolia, arrived in the Netherlands and spread worldwide
Sukru Altay vows to dedicate his next fight in Germany to President Erdogan and Turkish soldiers fighting terrorism in Syria
Al-Aqsa is issue concerning whole Muslim community, with Turkey leading it, says Palestinian scholar
Yeditepe Biennial in Istanbul will display 3,000 works of art
YEE presents Mevlana Jalaluddin al-Rumi’s teachings to Austrians
Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus says 400,000 people used mobile libraries last year
Muhammet Bulut makes tea for Turkish soldiers participating in military operation in Syria's Afrin region
Pakistani citizen Gulzar Ahmad says his truck features portrait of Turkish president because 'he is my ideal leader'
Products from 20 Turkish companies draw crowds at International Home + Housewares Show
Stockholm museum exhibits 361-year-old oil paintings depicting hunting by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet IV