A video shared by an Islamic organization appears to show Muslim women defending the practice of wife-beating and rallying against portrayals of it being “barbaric.”
According to TheMercury.au, the video was shared on Facebook by Hizib ut-Tahrir – a “radical Islamic political movement.”
In the video, Reem Allouche – who identifies herself as a primary school teacher in Sydney, Australia – discusses the topic with a woman by the name of Atika Latifi.
Allouche begins by describing texts in Islamic scripture that discuss wife-beating as “not as what people have understood or what people would like to have understood.”
“It’s symbolic,” Allouche says, to which Latifi chimes, “and a beautiful blessing.”
As The Austrailian reports, the pair goes on to tell their audience of 26 (veiled) women that Muslim husbands are the leaders in marriage and, as such, “it goes hand in hand that he would have the right to undertake disciplinary measures.”
Latifi goes on to bring out a “sivaak,” or small stick to demonstrate the appropriate – by Muslim standards – object for a man to beat his wife with.
“I got one because I wanted to show you,” she says. Allouche takes it from Latifi and hits her with it.
The pair further discusses other objects that a Muslim man may use to beat his wife, including “a coiled scarf” and “a folded handkerchief.”
And what warrants a beating, according to the women?
“Disobedience to the husband,” says Latifi. “Immoral acts or cheating. Admitting anyone to the home that the husband doesn’t like.”
The women go on to agree that the practice of wife-beating is necessary to “promote tranquility” in the home.
See the full clip below.
This video did not sit well with a number of people, including Australian TV host Ben Fordham.
The TODAY show host compared the video to recent comments made by Australian Federation of Islamic Councils President Keysar Trad, who stated an angry Muslim husband can beat his wife as a “last resort.”
“When you have people in positions of power spreading dangerous messages, it is important to call them out,” said Fordham according to 9news.com.au.
“It’s never okay to hit your wife. Never. That’s called assault. If you hit a woman, you’re a coward. It’s not okay to hit your wife gently, or softly, or occasionally or any other way you want to spin it.”
He also stated that “these views belong to some but not all followers of the Islamic faith.”
Other critics of the video, however, see it as a sign of the deep-rooted problems with Islam.
Replying to a tweet by Rita Panahi criticizing the video, @vyoman said, “an ideology based on blind submission, rejecting God given free choice to reason, means violence will be used to ensure conformance.”
“Hear that feminists?” wrote @ChrisTo17237777. “The [Muslims] said it. What about honor killings, acid mutilations, or genital mutilation, among other thingies?”
“Put the ban in effect,” wrote @Prince_Of_Doges. “I’m tired of Islam apologists.”