Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement on Wednesday denouncing a yet-to-be-ratified UN declaration on women’s rights, asserting that the document contradicts Islamic Law.
Entitled ‘End Violence against Women,’ the declaration is currently being discussed as part of the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, taking place from 4 to 15 March at UN headquarters in New York City.
“This is a misleading title,” the Brotherhood said of the document in a statement on its official Facebook page. “The document includes articles that contradict the principles of Islam… and aim to destroy the family.”
According to the Brotherhood, the UN document represents “a final step towards achieving the intellectual and cultural invasion” of Islamic society.
The three articles that the Islamist group deems most objectionable are those granting women the “freedom of choice” to decide the gender of their partners; the provision of teenagers with contraception; and the provision of equal rights for homosexuals and the legal protection of prostitutes.
The Islamist group also objects to articles calling for equality between men and women in terms of inheritance; women’s right to file legal complaints against husbands in the case of rape; and equality in marital life between men and women.
“The Muslim Brotherhood urges the leaders of Islamic countries and their UN representatives to reject and condemn this document,” the group asserted, adding that it would also call on Egypt’s Al-Azhar religious institution to express opposition to the UN declaration.
Discomfort with the document has also been voiced in Libya. On Tuesday, the country’s Dar Al-Ifta – the official body tasked with issuing religious edicts, or fatwas – called on Muslim women to organise demonstrations against the UN declaration, which it accuses of “aiming to destroy the family and promote moral decadence.”