Zanzibar: Despite efforts to decrease domestic violence, men (including Muslim clerics) still beating women

Of course they are. Allah told them to: “Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God’s guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them.” — Qur’an 4:34.

“Tanzania: Zanzibar Men Still Beat Their Wives, Says Report,” by Issa Yussuf for the Tanzania Daily News, August 29:

DESPITE ongoing efforts to minimize domestic violence, promote gender equality and empower women, new study in Zanzibar indicates that many women are still beaten and bullied by men including Muslim clerics!

In its report, the Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) – Zanzibar revealed that although men beat women, but the number of cases being reported to the police remain few, mainly because most women opt to tolerate violence in order to keep her family together. “Women have testified to have been bullied and beaten by men, but they think it is improper to report the case….

The study has revealed that some husbands/men in Zanzibar, Muslim dominated islands, are violent and say that Islam through the holy book of Quran and Prophet Muhammad allows them to beat disobedient women. But does Islam allow wife beating? Is there any logical explanation given regarding men being allowed to beat their wives, as ‘stated’ in the Holy Book (Surat An-Nisaa, verse 34)?

TAMWA’s study shows that although there is a consensus among Human Rights activities, and religious leaders including Muslims that beating women is not good and unacceptable in the mature and civilized society, but some Muslims clerics maintain that beating without harm is appropriate way of reforming a woman who ‘misbehaves.’…

Many people have criticized Islam because of this harsh sanction and many Muslims have written articles seeking to defend it. He says that Prophet Muhammad’s viewpoint of women was that they “lack self-control” and thus for their own good, and societies’ good, they must be subordinate to and managed by their husbands. Wives must obey. In an Islamic marriage when a man gives his bride a dowry he is accredited the right to manage his wife. By accepting his dowry a woman is giving her husband the right to her regulation.

Silas says that Muhammad urged his followers (Muslims) to treat their wives well and the Quran’s chapter 4 is full of these sincere admonitions. He did not want to see them beaten without cause and he wanted good marriage relationships. “However, Muhammad’s desires for happy marriages and kind treatment do not mitigate the authority he gave men over women or the position he ascribed to women.

Wives are to be treated gently and kindly but are still under the man’s authority. If she persists in disobedience to his wishes he has the right, and the responsibility, to ‘beat’ her to bring her into submission once again, and re-establish a happy marriage.” Silas wrote. Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, Islamic scholar in the US, and former President of the Islamic Society of North America argues that the verse mentioned in the Quran has been greatly misconceived by many people who focus merely on its surface meaning, taking it to allow wife beating….

Yes, yes of course, it is all a misunderstanding of Islam, as always.

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Comments

  1. says

    ‘Spengler’, columnist at ‘Asia Times’, wrote a classic article on just this topic.

    He looks at the paradigm that underlies the Quran’s wife-beating verse.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LE25Ak01.html

    Wife-beating, sharia, and Western law
    By Spengler

    “More than the Koran’s sanction of wife-beating, **the legal grounds on which the Koran sanctions it** {my emphasis – dda} reveals an impassable gulf between Islamic and Western law…

    “The sovereign grants inalienable rights to every individual in Western society, of which protection from violence is foremost.

    “Every individual stands in direct relation to the state, which wields a monopoly of violence.

    “Islam’s legal system is radically different: the father is a “governor” or “administrator” of the family, that is, a little sovereign within his domestic realm, with the right to employ violence to control his wife and children…

    ‘The practice of wife-beating, which is found in Muslim communities in Western countries, is embedded too profoundly in sharia law to be extracted.

    ‘Nowhere to my knowledge has a Muslim religious authority of standing repudiated wife-beating as specified in Surah 4:32 of the Koran, for to do so would undermine the foundations of Muslim society.

    ‘By extension, the power of the little sovereign of the family can include the killing of wayward wives and female relations.

    ‘Execution for domestic crimes, often called “honor killing”, is not mentioned in the Koran, but the practice is so widespread in Muslim countries – the United Nations Population Fund estimates an annual toll of 5,000 – that it is recognized in what we might term Islamic common law…”.

    “I can find no record of a recognized Muslim authority repudiating wife-beating.

    Click on the link – I think it’s still active – and read the whole thing.

    Brief, lucid and devastating.

    :

  2. says

    And a few articles from the jihadwatch archives.

    A discussion of an article that appeared in the ‘Yemen Times':

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/01/yemen-times-columnist-there-must-be-violence-against-women.html

    Yemen Times columnist Maged Thabet Al-Kholidy : There *must* be violence against women.

    And in this article:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/04/11/british-girl-of-10-kept-in-saudi-hell-hole-for-11-years-by-her-dad-115875-22176525/

    British girl of 10 kept in Saudi hell hole for 11 years by her dad

    “…By 2002 when Hana was 14 she was so desperate she went to the Saudi police for help…but was sent back to her father.

    ‘She says: “I told them he was keeping me there against my will and all they said was, “He’s your father, if he wants he can kill you’.”

    Got that, everyone? The Saudi Muslim police: ‘He’s your father, if he wants he can kill you’.

    In other words: it is taken for granted that a Muslim male has the right to act as judge, jury and executioner over any of his female chattels.

    And this one:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/11/muslim-medic-in-uk-muslim-men-think-they-have-god-given-right-to-beat-wives.html

    Muslim medic in UK: Muslim men “think they have God-given right to beat wives”

  3. says

    There are many answers to this question. It is a joke with many punchlines. Some are too sordid to print here.

    Q:What do you ask a new convert to Islam?

    A: (Insert your own here)