03-29-2012, 03:18 PM
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Controversial Guidebook Advises Muslim Men to Abuse Women
| |Wife beating in Islam is a widely discussed subject. In fact, it is the topic of several debates around the world, with people within the religion itself differing in their opinions. Some Muslims say it’s alright for a wife to be controlled through minor beatings, and others disagree. What the religion truly proposes is not exactly clear, but looks like people aren’t ready to change their minds about wife beatings anytime soon. Not with books being written that provide men with tips on how exactly to beat their wives. That’s right, there actually is a book called A Gift for the Muslim Couple that encourages wife beating as a method of control. News reports suggest that it was available for sale at a Toronto bookstore, but was ‘sold out’ pretty soon. It isn’t stocked anywhere online anymore, either.
The 160-page book, written by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, and released in Canada, is reported to carry this in its opening pages: “It might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.” I’m supposing it won’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the rest of the book is going to be like. On page 45, which apparently lists the rights of a husband, it says a wife cannot leave the house without his permission; she must fulfill his desires and not allow herself to be untidy. She must also beautify herself for him. I don’t really mean to disrespect the personal opinion of the writer, but doesn’t this just sound twisted? It doesn’t get any better after that. There’s more advice for men on how to carry out physical punishment. The book says that a man may scold his wife, beat her by hand or stick, withhold money from her or pull her by the ears. Oh, and there’s a disclaimer in place, that the husband should “refrain from beating her excessively.” Sounds like it might have been put there to avoid lawsuits in the future. Hazrat also has a very bizarre way of advising Muslim men to also be kind to their wives, saying that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”
It’s true that not all Muslims agree with what is being propagated by the book. Tarek Fatah, a moderate Muslim, says that the shopkeeper should be charged for selling such a book. “I wouldn’t say it’s hate, but it is inciting men to hit women,” says Fatah. Let’s try to steer clear of the religious aspect for a while, because I’m sure no religion would actually encourage violence against women. The book seems more like the work of an extremist individual. The physical abuse of women is a serious issue in today’s world, across several religions and cultures. And books like these certainly do not help the case. While they may provoke abusive men into further action, I seriously doubt “A Gift for the Muslim Couple” is a book any wife would want to ‘gift’ her husband.