Forty percent Canadians support their country's military mission in Afghanistan, but if the Afghan Government proceeds with a law allowing marital rape, opposition to the mission would rise to a whopping 75 percent, according to a survey.
A proposed family law for Afghanistan's Shia minority would make it illegal for women to refuse to have sex with their husbands.
The proposed law would also require women to get approval from a male relative before leaving the house, globeandmail.com reports.
A survey by The Canadian Press/Harris-Decima clearly indicates that such a level of opposition would make it difficult to the Harper government to maintain its commitment to keep combat troops in Afghanistan until 2011.
"This brings into very clear light exactly how tenuous the support is for this effort in Afghanistan," Jeff Walker, senior vice-president of Harris-Decima, said.
Afghanistan's national assembly has passed the controversial code but the international outrage has forced President Hamid Karzai to review of the proposed law.
Even without the code controversy, Canadian support for the Afghan mission appears weak. The poll suggests 55 per cent nationwide oppose it.
Respondents were three times more likely to strongly oppose the mission (27 per cent) than strongly support it (nine per cent).
Walker said support for the mission is based on a belief that Canada is helping to improve the lot of women, whose rights had been severely restricted under the oppressive Taliban regime.
The telephone survey of just over 1,000 Canadians was conducted April 2-5 and is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points 19 times in 20.