Malawi Muslim traditional leaders are campaigning against the promotion of condoms as a means of preventing HIV and Aids demand a ban on condom use for unmarried people, arguing it was fuelling the spread of the pandemic .
Some sections of Muslim crelics have agreed to actively preach against the use and public promotion of condoms as a strategy to contain the pandemic and prevent pregnancy. They also agreed to oppose the distribution of condoms, Nyasa Times understands.
Secretary General of the country’s supreme Muslim body, Ulama Council of Malawi, Dr. Imran Shareef, said Islam forbids use of condoms outside the confines of marriage.
“We allow condoms to be used only for discordant couples and in situations, where a mother is breast feeding for about 2 years, but other than that, we are totally against it. Its ban would save the next generation of this country from further peril,” Shareef is quoted by OnIslam.net.
Muslim traditional leaders from the predominantly Muslim south stunned activists of HIV and AIDs recently during a public debate on gender, HIV and AIDS organized by the country’s Network of AIDs Service Organizations (MANASO).
Influential Senior Chief Kadewere said during the debate that condoms are fueling HIV and AIDs and called for its ban.
“If government could ban them and declare that anyone unmarried found using it, should face the law. This could help curb the spread of this deadly disease,” he said.
Kadewere added: “Unmarried people are having sex for fun because there are condoms. But if you observe in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia where condoms are banned, the HIV and AIDS prevalence rate is very low. People are using condoms here, when they sleep with strangers, but when they get to know each other, they stop using them.
“If these were banned, people could be afraid to be promiscuous, because they would doubt each other’s statuses. If there are people who can abstain they will start practicing abstinence when the condoms are outlawed. Abstinence was the only powerful tool among unmarried people that would help minimize the rate at which the pandemic is being spread and nothing else.”
Shareef said Muslims Ulama Council of Malawi is in support of proposals for condom ban, where it is used only for sexual fun outside marriage.
“Much as it would be very difficult to police this piece of proposed legislation once it succeeded, but we are in support of any measures to have it banned,” Shareef said.
HIV and AIDS activists voiced concerns over the proposed banning of the use of condoms among people, saying it would further escalate the prevalence rate of the pandemic in the country.
AIDS activist, Donald Makwakwa, expressed concern that the decision by the Muslim leaders will damage anti-AIDS efforts in the country, saying condoms were critical to the fight against the pandemic.
Malawi is home to Muslims who constitute 36 percent of the country’s 16 million population. Islam is the second largest religion in Malawi after Christianity.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :