Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Facebook Campaign Against Controversial Bill

22-Jun-09
By IWPR
A group of Syrian youths is using the popular social network Facebook to rally voices against a contentious draft of Syria’s personal status laws, a local website focused on women’s rights said in a June 17 article.



Syrian Women reported that around 400 internet users have joined the new Facebook group that urges officials to scrap the controversial proposal.



The group, called “We want to move forward not backward”, uploads news and opinion articles on the draft law, which mainly pertains to marriage and divorce.



In past weeks, civil rights activists have condemned the proposed legislation, arguing that it discriminates against women and children.



The proposal, which was leaked to the media recently, also provoked the ire of Christians and other religious minorities in the country, who said it meddled in their affairs and was contrary to their beliefs.



In Syria, Islamic laws govern the issues of marriage and divorce for Muslims. Other religious communities are allowed to devise their own rules on these matters.



Members of the Facebook group interviewed by the website said their aim was to raise the awareness of the Syrian people on the draft law.



“This law should be buried and apologies should be made to the Syrian people for this attempt to drag them back to the middle ages,” they said.



Access to Facebook is forbidden by authorities in Syria but many Syrians have found a way to circumvent the ban.

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