Sunday, October 22, 2006

How a Muslim treats women

WaPo reported When dealing with a "disobedient wife," a Muslim man has a number of options. First, he should remind her of "the importance of following the instructions of the husband in Islam." If that doesn't work, he can "leave the wife's bed." Finally, he may "beat" her, though it must be without "hurting, breaking a bone, leaving blue or black marks on the body and avoiding hitting the face, at any cost."

Don't hit the face, because that is visible when she wears a veil.
Such appalling recommendations, drawn from the book "Woman in the Shade of Islam" by Saudi scholar Abdul Rahman al-Sheha, are inspired by as authoritative a source as any Muslim could hope to find: a literal reading of the 34th verse of the fourth chapter of the Koran,
  • YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
  • PICKTHAL: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
  • SHAKIR: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
An-Nisa , or Women. "[A]nd (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them," reads one widely accepted translation. The notion of using physical punishment as a "disciplinary action," as Sheha suggests, especially for "controlling or mastering women" or others who "enjoy being beaten,"
So now they are saying Muslim women are Masochists, who enjoy being beaten. I wonder if they can show a poll of Muslim women that demonstrates that.
is common throughout the Muslim world. Indeed, I first encountered Sheha's work at my Morgantown mosque, where a Muslim student group handed it out to male worshipers after Friday prayers one day a few years ago. Verse 4:34 retains a strong following, even among many who say that women must be treated as equals under Islam.
threat them as equals who need to be beaten.
Indeed, Muslim scholars and leaders have long been doing what I call "the 4:34 dance" -- they reject outright violence against women but accept a level of aggression that fits contemporary definitions of domestic violence.

Bluecrab blogged There is a problem with extremism and Islamism, which should not be confused in any way, I think, with the religion of Islam itself. Rather it is with a secular movement enforcing extreme notions and interpretations in order to gain secular power. This is hiding behind the mask of religion to advance an unholy agenda.

This one is a must read. It defines a real problem that we have got to recognize. Because we are dealing with a specific problem here: "If it's okay for me to be a savage in my home, it's okay for me to be a savage in the world." That may be the most succinct explanation of the problem I have yet seen.

(And let me make one thing perfectly clear: if I were to see a Presbyterian beating his wife, lightly or otherwise, said man would be looking for his teeth for a while. Same goes for any religion/ethnicity/belief system. Men do not beat women. Period.)

Alexandra von Maltzan blogged Well in our culture it is not ok to beat a woman 'lightly' or otherwise. Period.

Moderate Voice blogged If the majority of Muslims stop interpreting this verse as literally as possible it will indeed prevent Muslim men from being 'savages at home' and that might influence particular behavior in the outside world, but - perhaps more importantly - by interpreting this particular verse in a way such as Ms. Nomani wants it to be interpreted - loosely and more historically - it will open the door to such an interpretation of other violent or highly intolerant verses as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So now they are saying Muslim women are Masochists, who enjoy being beaten. I wonder if they can show a poll of Muslim women that demonstrates that.

If such a poll existed, it would report that 50% or less of Muslim women don't like being beaten. (Keeping in mind that a woman's testimony only counts for half that of a man's, according to the Koran, if this "logic" is applied to polls of women even a response of 100% could be neatly chopped in half.)

Oh, but women *need* to be beaten! They are naturally seductive creatures who drive men insane with their beauty, even if they look like Joan Rivers under the veil! For some reason that cannot be known by man, Allah created these beings with such evil beauty that they must be covered at all times, lest they melt off our faces like the Ark of the Covenant. *eyeroll*