Of course, the New Duranty Times, aka the New York Times, does not regard as fit to print, in connection with this story, any mention of Qur’an 4:34 — even though that verses commands that disobedient wives be beaten. Yet the existence of this verse in Islam’s holy book is the primary reason why the practice is taken for granted as acceptable by so many in the Islamic world.
DAMASCUS, Syria, April 10 “” Syria’s first comprehensive field study of violence against women has concluded that nearly one married woman in four surveyed had been beaten. The study was released last week as part of a report on Syria by the United Nations Development Fund for Women.
The findings have been published in local news media, helping to draw attention to topics, like domestic abuse and honor killings, that have long been considered taboo in this conservative society.
The study was carried out under the supervision of the quasi-governmental General Union of Women, which oversees the welfare of Syria’s women. The study included nearly 1,900 families, selected as a random sample, including a broad range of income levels and all regions. The men and women in each family were questioned separately.
“In Syria there was simply no data on violence against women; formal studies hadn’t ever been done before,” said Shirin Shukri, a manager of the project at the United Nations regional office in Amman, Jordan. “The issue of violence against women was kept silent here for many years. But we’re making people in Syria aware that this is something that happens everywhere in Europe, in Asia, in the United States, and this is opening up discussion.”
Hana Qaddoura, a spokeswoman for the General Union of Women, said that breaking the silence on domestic abuse was an essential first step to combating violence. Many Syrians, she said, do not believe that violence in the home “counts” as violence.
“There are some forms of violence against women that our society doesn’t even see as violence,” Ms. Qaddoura said. “It all depends very much on education and income level, but many people see a woman who is beaten as being in a bad relationship; they don’t see her as a victim of violence.”