Malala’s Views On Institution of Marriage Are Her Own

The views that have majorly been taken out of context make the headlines of all Pakistani newspapers

Dr Abdullah Fazi

Clad in red drape she exudes vitality, a rather subtle nod to strong willed yet energetic women. British Vogue, a bow to the fashion and art industry. But that takes the back seat when a Muslim woman of colour ‘dejects’ the views on institution of marriage, nudging the leftist right where it hurts.

The views that have majorly been taken out of context make the headlines of all Pakistani newspapers. A rather subtle cue to dissing the matriarchal efforts that people have zero tolerance for.

Being an independent researcher, I opted not to savour on the commonly fed narrative and read the full interview just to get a clearer view of what she opined. To understand what made her phrase her sentiments in a way that were considered so volatile and initiated gas lighting. So, after undoing the deeply seated nuances of her interview, I share my thoughts with the intention of giving factual knowledge to myself and others.

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First, the environment from where she is getting education and taking influence, her surroundings, friends and the world around her. Besides, her age, (20s) during this phase we evolve our thoughts constantly, on the other hand, this is the time when most of us fall in love for the first time and start getting exposed to new relationship(s). We see our friends getting ditched by a bad person, their breakups and sometimes their happy endings too.

Being an expat, and a person who has also acquired a foreign degree and had a chance to observe the European lifestyle closely, I can relate to her sentiments (I would call them fear) towards a “traditional” marriage.

Moreover, the views she expressed are nowadays a common understanding of “relationship” among youth. That’s why her words were not new to me, perhaps we feel the same when we witness disturbed marriages within our own families.

Also Read: Malala’s Views On Marriage Leave Many Enraged: Twitter Has No Chill

It shakes our trust in the whole institution of marriage and making a family. With this, patriarchy makes things even worse from a girl’s point of view and family background, especially the relationship between parents also adds up.

Kids grown up in suppressive families tend to reject the whole idea of getting married. Many of my friends used to share their hatred against marriage just because they grew up in a family where abuse (domestic or verbal) was a common practice.

Lastly, youth finds it’s easier to get involved in a relationship rather than getting married because according to them it’s less demanding, less harmful and there is always a way to escape from a (toxic) relationship. However, in the case of marriage we vow for life and of course there are more liabilities attached to it.

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Do not confuse the word “traditional marriage” with the Islamic marriage. There are issues with traditional marriages where even people do not follow Islamic teachings they just follow traditions. These are very serious issues and should be taken as a threat to Islamic teachings. For instance, taking a girl’s permission or asking for her choice, is not being practised even though it is her right. We are a male-dominated society whereas Islam protects the rights of women equally.

On a concluding note, Malala’s thoughts are personal and she has every right to express them. We can call them immature but not totally incorrect. We have to answer her concerns and fears attached to a “traditional marriage” where women have no say and without addressing the root cause, we should not simply reject them.

The writer teaches law at the Multimedia University Malaysia and holds a Ph.D.

Courtesy: Daily Times

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