It is refreshing to see the truth printed by the mainstream media. Dr. Mahfooz Kanwar is a professor emeritus at Mount Royal University, and oddly enough, he misunderstands Islam in exactly the same way that I do, and that so many others do who are honest about the contents of the Qur’an and Sunnah. “Yes, Islam condones wife beatings,” by Mahfooz Kanwar in The Calgary Herald, January 17 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Recently, Marvin Levant (Dec. 28), Steve Harris (Dec. 30), Syed Soharwardy (Jan. 2), and Riazuddin Ahmed (Jan. 5) debated Islam through the forum of the Herald’s letters to the editor.
The issue of wife beating and gender inequality in Islam has become convoluted and highly controversial as many Muslims try to sugar-coat the ugly truths and others try to shed some light on the issue.
Soharwardy’s statement that “Beating one’s wife is not only wrong, it is criminal and completely un-Islamic” is incorrect. The Qur’an says that “men are in charge of women because Allah has made one of them (men) to excel the other (women), thus man’s superiority over women . . . good women are the obedient ones . . . admonish the rebellious women and banish them, and scourge them (whip them severely to inflict pain) (4:34) . . . smote them (hit or strike with the hand or with a weapon causing pain, beat them . . . (4:62)”.
Islam does not recognize gender equality. For example, polygamy is accepted in Islam, but polyandry is not. A woman’s testimony is considered half as worthy as a man’s in court; a son inherits twice as much as a daughter does. Muslim men may marry Muslim, Jewish or Christian women, but Muslim women can marry only Muslim men. In short, sharia law leads to the inhuman treatment of Muslim women by their husbands and others, especially in South Asia and the Middle East.
Higher education is emphasized more for sons than for daughters; in cultural honour killings, almost always women are the target for murder. Under sharia, divorced Muslim women get custody of their sons under eight years of age and daughters until puberty, and then the fathers take the children away. Sharia enabled one of the worst fundamentalists, the vile and ruthless military dictator, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, to put more than 15,000 rape victims in jail because they could not comply with the absurd Islamic condition requiring them to have numerous male witnesses of their victimization. They were charged with fornication and their rapists were let go free.
At birth, all infants are equal, but Islam makes then unequal; sharia is incompatible with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Soharwardy knows all of this to be true. It is in his Qur’an and other Islamic texts. I have no desire to hear useless excuses from mullahs for all these gender inequalities in Islam.
Soharwardy and I were on CHQR Radio in Calgary to discuss the issue of a 17-year-old Muslim boy who beat his 16-year-old sister. That boy was incited by an illiterate mullah to discipline his sister because she was suspected of flirting with a white boy in northeast Calgary. Soharwardy and I agreed it was not an Islamic requirement for the boy to do what he did. I mentioned that Muslim husbands do have sharia-sanctioned power to discipline their wives….