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 an intriguing 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
Anyway, in the Yemen Times the other day, 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, 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
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
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
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
Oh, it's clear. It's clear.