Over the next few days, as more details emerge about the murders of Amina and Sarah Said, we will see Islamic spokesmen on TV (Ibrahim Hooper is probably sitting for make-up as you read this) explaining that honor killing is a cultural practice that has nothing to do with Islam, and of course above all the one thing we must avoid doing in the aftermath of these murders is entertain for even a moment the possibility that Islamic attitudes and atmospherics had anything to do with the deaths of these girls. And Alan Colmes will nod sagely and agree that Islamophobia is a terrible problem, and Sean Hannity will burble about the “hijacking of a great religion,” and Glenn Beck will assure us that the Qur’an teaches nonviolence, and a splendid time is guaranteed for all. No one will dream of holding the American Muslim community accountable for aiding and abetting the creation of a culture of violence against women. Oh no. That would be “Islamophobic.”
And so this Yemen Times piece comes particularly ill-timed for Hooper and other Islamic spokesmen in the West, who spill large amounts of ink assuring us that oh no, no Muslim takes Qur’an 4:34, the Muslim holy book’s notorious verse commanding the beating of disobedient women, at face value. Oh no. No Muslim actually beats his wife, or if he does, he does it only with a toothbrush, and anyway, well, wife-beating is cross-cultural, isn’t it? It isn’t as if no American wife has ever been beaten.
And certainly that’s true: wife-beating is cross-cultural, but that doesn’t prove a thing, and bringing it up only ensures that the Islamic community in America will, in the wake of the murders of Amina and Sarah Said, once again be absolved of all responsibility, and exempted from all accountability — because after all, everyone does it, don’t they?
Anyway, in the Yemen Times today, Maged Thabet Al-Kholidy doesn’t say anything about toothbrushes, or everyone doing it, or anything at all except that women should be beaten when disobedient, because the Qur’an says so.
This is the culture that killed Amina and Sarah Said. This is the culture that killed Aqsa Parvez. This is the culture whose leaders persist in denial, obfuscation, and finger-pointing instead of honest dealing with the problem.
“There must be violence against women,” by Maged Thabet Al-Kholidy in the Yemen Times (thanks to Morgaan Sinclair):
This title may sound strange, but it’s actually not just a way to attract readers to the topic because I really do mean what it indicates. Violence is a broad term, especially when used regarding women. In this piece, I want to shed light on those instances where violence against women is a must.
First, we should know the meaning of the word violence. Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English defines violence as “behavior that is intended to hurt other people physically.” However, the term violence mustn’t be confused with other concepts and terms such as gender inequality or absence of women rights.
Occasionally — if not daily — we hear about events occurring in Islamic and Arab societies. Some human rights organizations recently have attacked violent acts against women, standing against any type of violence — even that between a father and daughter — and citing the cases of some women as examples.
Even that between a father and daughter? Horrors!
Consequently, they offer solutions such as complaining to the police, taking revenge or leaving them men, who are either their husbands, fathers or brothers — with no exceptions.
One such case involved a woman whose husband allegedly had beaten her. Without revealing the husband’s reasons for doing so, such human rights organizations immediately urged the wife to complain to the police and the courts, while at the same time generalizing the instance and other similar solutions to any type of violence.
See? They should look at the reasons! What if this fellow had perfectly good reasons to beat the tar out of his wife? Then where would be if he gets locked up? Next thing you know, Britney Spears will be Emir al-Momineen!
If a man and woman are husband and wife, the Qur’an provides solutions, firstly reaffirming any logical and acceptable reasons for such punishment. These solutions are in gradual phases and not just for women, but for men also.
For men, it begins with abandoning the marital bed, by opting to sleep elsewhere in the house. After this, they may discuss the matter with any respected person for the husband’s or the wife’s family, who could be in a position to advise the wife. If this also does not work, then the husband yields to beating the wife slightly. They do this because of a misunderstanding in the Quran, as the word says Darban, which is commonly understood today as beating. However, in Classic Arabic it means to set examples or to announce and proclaim. The more accurate meaning of this last one is that the husband finally has to set forth, to make a clear statement or proclamation, and if these measures fail, then divorce is preferable.
This is a false statement. Qur’an 4:34 tells men to beat their disobedient wives after first warning them and then sending them to sleep in separate beds. It is worth noting how several translators render the key part of this verse, وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ, waidriboohunna.
Pickthall: “and scourge them”
Yusuf Ali: “(And last) beat them (lightly)”
Al-Hilali/Khan: “(and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful)”
Shakir: “and beat them”
Sher Ali: “and chastise them”
Khalifa: “then you may (as a last alternative) beat them”
Arberry: “and beat them”
Rodwell: “and scourge them”
Sale: “and chastise them”
Daryabadi: “and beat them”
Asad: “then beat them”
Pickthall, Yusuf Ali, Al-Hilali/Khan, Shakir, Sher Ali, Khalifa, Daryabadi and Asad are Muslims. Are their translations all incorrect?
But anyway, this fellow believes in wife-beating anyway:
Similarly, wives may take actions such as abandoning the marital bed, following by leaving the husband’s home for that of their parents, brothers or any other relatives. They may do this more than once, but if such action fails, they may not continue to live with their husband and via their relatives, they may request a divorce.
Despite such instructions, beating is considered a type of violence, according to human rights organizations, which urge women to complain to the police. I just wonder what kind of families our societies would have if Muslim women started doing this regarding their husbands.
Oh, libertine families, Maged! Lawless, clueless, hopeless, antinomian, hypocritical, apostate families, Maged!
Relationships between fathers and daughters or sisters and brothers also provoke argument from human rights organizations, which propose the suggested solutions for all relationships. Personally, I don’t think fathers or brothers would undertake such behavior unless there was a reason for it.
Of course! They always have very, very good reasons!
Fathers are responsible for their daughters” behavior, but human rights organizations deny this too. Brothers also should take action regarding their sisters” behavior, especially if their parents are too old or dead. If a daughter or sister makes a mistake — especially a moral one — that negatively affects the entire family and its reputation, what’s the solution by such organizations?
Yes. They have no solution. They don’t see the wisdom of popping her one.
According to them, women should complain to the courts about any type of violence against them. Likewise, should fathers and brothers complain to police if their daughters or sisters violate moral, Islamic or social norms?
Fathers should handle their daughters via any means that suits their mistake; thus, is it better to use violence to a certain limit or complain to the police? Shall such women then complain to the police against their fathers or brothers? It’s really amazing to hear this.
Oh yeah. I’m amazed, Maged.
In some cases, violence is necessary, but there must be limits. Those “good human rights organizations” don’t make any exceptions in their solutions because their aim is to serve society. Will it be a better society once we see wives, mothers, sisters and daughters going from one police station and one court to another, complaining against their husbands, fathers, brothers and even sons?
As the proverb goes, “If the speaker is mad, the listener should be mindful.” This proverb is good advice for every man and woman not only to keep their ears open, but also to avoid the misleading propaganda of such organizations, whose surface aims hide other destructive ones to destroy society”s religious, social and moral norms. This matter requires consideration.
Dear readers — especially women — don’t think that I hate or am against women; rather, I simply mean to preserve the morals and principles with which Islam has honored us.
I hope my message is clear, since it’s really quite relevant to the future of our societies, which must be protected from any kind of cultural invasion.
Oh, it’s clear. It’s clear.