24 April 2017

Exposing the darkness within: Domestic violence and Islam

Most Muslims believe Islam abhors violence. So why do some say the Koran sanctions "lightly" beating your wife? An ABC News investigation into religion and domestic violence reveals the fight within Islam to stop the abuse of women and prevent imams from telling victims to stay and obey.

.... It was ostensibly an attempt to explain a controversial verse in Islam's holy book, the Koran, that, if taken literally, allows husbands to physically discipline rebellious wives.

In a video posted to Facebook by the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia, a radical Islamic group, two hijab-clad women laugh off the idea that Islam is "gender biased" but claim the Koran permits men to hit disobedient women — gently, using small sticks or pieces of fabric.

"He [the husband] is permitted — not obliged, not encouraged — but permitted, to hit her [his wife]," one of the women says. "That is what everyone is talking about. It should not cause pain. Not harsh."

The backlash was swift.

Politicians including Minister for Women Michaelia Cash and Australia's first Muslim frontbencher, Labor's Ed Husic, called the attitudes expressed in the clip "abhorrent" and "out of touch with community standards". Social media exploded.

And many Muslim leaders went into damage control.

Only a few weeks ago, Keysar Trad, the president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, had indicated to Sky News' Andrew Bolt that his religion allows a husband to beat his wife as "a last resort" — though he later said his attempt to explain the Koranic verse had been "clumsy". [ABC] Read more