“Wife-beating is “a beautiful blessing”, part II


There is a problem here – but not with the two women who made the video. The problem is with Islam and the Koran they were quoting.

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun

Muslim apologists like Waleed Aly are scapegoating the Muslim women who made the video showing how the Koran instructs men to beat their wives. Politicians are also blaming the women because they don’t dare admit the real problem is the Koran itself, which the women quoted correctly.

The video:


Waleed Aly simply evades the issue in attacking the video:

THE Project host Waleed Aly says it is “infuriating” views exist within the Muslim community — even if they were largely radical groups — that men are allowed to beat their wives…

The video was shared online by the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia Facebook group, an arm of a widely condemned radical Islamist group.

The woman leading the conversation, who is identified as Sydney teacher Reem Allouche, says a man is permitted to hit a woman as an act of discipline, and fellow panellist Atika Latifi, agrees.

“He is permitted, not obliged to, not encouraged, but permitted to hit her,” Ms Latifi says…

Aly rejected the suggestion the views were widely shared by Muslims.

“Well, of course, this is not OK. It is not supported. It is absolutely atrocious to hear that. Of course we believe that [it is wrong] in the Australian community … but it is exactly the same in the Islam community …”

Waleed Aly is wrong. He also is avoiding the key issue of the passage the women were discussing in the Koran: not just that men had a right to discipline their wives with a beating, real or symbolic, but that they were in the position of the authority over them.

The Koran is explicit:

“Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” — Qur’an 4:34

Got it? ‘If you fear disobedience’, it says. No other reason necessary.  Andrew Bold is using a softer translation:

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.

This is how one of the world’s most influential Muslim scholars, Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, says it must be interpreted:

If the husband senses that feelings of disobedience and rebelliousness are rising against him in his wife, she should try his best to rectify her attitude by kind words… If this is not helpful, he should sleep apart from her… If this approach fails, it is permissible for him to beat her lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive areas… To be specific, one may beat only to safeguard Islamic behavior and if he (the husband) sees deviation only in what she must do or obey in relation to him.

Here are similar interpretations by modern scholars.

Here are the rules on beating women explained by a Bahraini cleric on Bahraini TV:


Here is an Egyptian cleric on Egyptian TV, explaining men may beat their wives but not hard and not in the face:


Here is a Syrian imam on Syrian TV instructing men on how to beat wives:


This is the same Koranic instruction that here in Australia, Keysar Trad, head of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, struggled to explain away on my show:

Keysar Trad described beating women as “step three” in a process of dealing with issues in relationships, after counselling and buying chocolates or “taking her out on a dinner”…

“The first thing you must do is counselling … Before you even consider using your hand, before you consider an act of violence, have you checked box number one?”

The Hizb ut Tahrir video does no more than explain the words of the Prophet Mohammed himself, following standard interpretations of the most influential Muslim scholars.

If you have a problem with the women, what you are really saying – or should be saying – is that you have a problem with Islam.

Just blaming the women is a cop-out.

Here is Bronwyn Bishop on my show last night:

Here is Bettina Arndt:

Some cultural relativists and apologists for Islam, including journalist simply ignorant about Christianity, claim the Christians’ Bible also has texts that encourage violence.

First, that is false. Christ preached no such things. In fact, he preached the opposite. Seeing a women being stoned for adultery he saved her by saying: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” He told her that he could not condemn her. He also famously said: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

In his example and in his preaching he supplanted Old Testament teaching – the “eye for an eye” justice, for instance.

That is the first point. But there is a second equally important one. What the sacred texts of Christianity and Islam say is one thing, but how they are interpreted today by its leading clerics is another.

In the case of wife-beating, Islam’s leading scholars today do not deny the right of men to beat their wives. At best they argue that the Koranic passage above means it must be a last resort.

But which Pope, cardinal, bishop or moderator or a mainstream Christian church would argue that men have a right – even as a last resort – to beat women? To force her to submit to her husband’s authority?

There is a problem here – but not with the two women who made the video. The problem is with Islam and the Koran they were quoting.


3 thoughts on ““Wife-beating is “a beautiful blessing”, part II”

  1. At least this fiasco has drawn attention to one seedy aspect of Islam. Suicide bombings, “death to infidels”, “exterminate Jews and Christians” hardly rate a mention. Hitting a woman is relatively mild compared to the real violence contained in Islam. Aly knows it and he covers it up. Killing adulterers, homosexuals, “blasphemers” (Islam itself is blasphemy!) those who insult Islam – the list is most comprehensive. Religion as a blood sport. Then we get onto caning, slavery, amputations……… very little mention of that. Oh, I forgot. Islam is a religion of peace.

    1. Like Charity, Violence/non-violence begins in the home. Boys learn the male role model & develop a love-hate relationship with females! Later with the apostates & infidels.

  2. It is interesting that the English translations of 4:34 often do their own mitigation. One translation adds “(lightly)” after beat her. Was that Mo’s original intent? No. In fact, the pure translation expresses no limits to the beating given. Maybe those harsh translations could have ‘to a pulp’ added.

Comments are closed.