Make Beatings “Like A Joke” But “Try Not To Make Her Ugly”: Palestinian Islamic Leader Holds Forth On Islamically Correct Wife Beatings

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 12.24.17 PMThere is a shocking interview circulating on the Internet that purportedly (I have no way to confirming the translation) shows the “Grand Mufti of Gaza” Hassan Al-Laham holding forth on such subjects as how to best beat your wife, including the advice not to hit them in a way that “makes the face ugly.” He also reminds women that they cannot refuse sex with their husbands under the Koran and must please him in accordance with the principles of Islam. He is also asked for guidance on such issues as whether to allow women to shop during the holidays. Of course, this discussion strikes most sane people as two raving lunatics engaging in a delusional fantasy. Yet, this is a high ranking cleric who apparently holds sway with many people. You are left with the bizarre image of people dutifully writing down such advice as “beatings — yes; but try not to make her ugly.”

Al-Laham notes that wife beating is not just allowed but expressly supported by the Koran. He noted that “Allah said: Warn them [the wives], and separate from them, and hit them, and bring an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family.” Apparently, the arbitration follows the beating.

Yet, the top spiritual leader appointed by the Palestinian Authority, cautions men to be careful in such beatings: “Not hitting that will bring the police, and break her hand and cause bleeding, or hitting that makes the face ugly.” He then added the advice to make beatings fun, playful, and spontaneous “like a joke” reinforcing “the love and friendship” between the couple.

Oh yes, those playful, loving wife beatings. Many marriage counselors in Gaza apparently start with that as a relationship building tool.

Unless this is the worst translation in history, the interview reflects the inner battle for Muslims seeking a more modern (and sane) approach to their faith. Islam is not unique in having a religious text that filled with sexist and shocking values. However, to have Islamic religious leaders espousing such values in the 21st Century is chilling. I have had the pleasure of knowing many Muslim families, including Palestinian families, where absolute equality and respect for women is a core value. For those families, throw backs like the “Grand Mufti” most be an embarrassment but also represent the deep-seating sexism and abusive culture that Muslim women must face in such areas. This interview also reaffirms how courageous female reformers are in fighting for equal rights in Islamic nations. Yet, their struggle is one that the United States should more strongly support in seeking safe and equal treatment for girls and women in Islamic countries.

27 thoughts on “Make Beatings “Like A Joke” But “Try Not To Make Her Ugly”: Palestinian Islamic Leader Holds Forth On Islamically Correct Wife Beatings”

  1. “A man should be like a child with his wife, but if she needs him, he should act like a man.”

    – Umar ibn al-Khattab 2nd khalife.

    “And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women.” [Noble Quran 2:228]

    “For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.” [Noble Quran 33:35]

    “O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dowry you have given them – except when they have become guilty of open lewdness. On the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them, it may be that you dislike something and Allah will bring about through it a great deal of good.” [Noble Quran 4:19]

    “O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from this pair scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and reverence the wombs (that bore you); for Allah ever watches over you.” [Noble Quran 4:1]

    “They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them.” [Noble Quran 2:187]

    “And among His signs is this, that He has created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them; and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” [Noble Quran 30:21]

  2. The common denominator is the unchanging human nature. Add to that the ignorance of equality and unalienable rights and you have cultures trapped in the dark ages. We are regressing in that respect and it’s very sad to see generations of Americans ignorantly following the progressive political class towards the very form of government that was rejected in the first place.

  3. P.S. And the merciless whipping of slaves was OK until they became free. After that the illegal hanging of blacks from trees was rarely punished well into the 20th century. As I said, there is plenty of sh…in our own backyard.

  4. Now let’s not get too uppity. Wife beating in the US was OK for many decades after the original constitution was passed. I am sure that it was anchored in Christian tradition and justified by some or another Bible text.
    I am not even sure how and when it became a crime.

  5. Religion is power. Without power there’s no religion. The first thing you give someone over whom you wish to rule is power over someone else. It’s the old pecking order. It only stops when the victim truly realizes what it is like to be victim and stops victimizing. There’s this country inhabited primarily by a race of people that suffered for centuries, victims of horrible persecution, until they finally got their own country. The only way they could get this country and stop being victimized all over the world was to victimize the people they kicked out. But, their god says it’s OK. In fact their god is the only god and he/she/it gave them the land in the first place. So that’s all you need to know.

  6. Evil is inherent in any religion. Religion is the opiate of the people. Some religions are worse than others. It is like comparing opium, heroin, meth, and going downhill to cigarettes, pot, aspirin. So which religion on Earth is worst? I rank them bad to not as bad: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hindu, Bhuddist. But I would put Bhuddism on the side of all good, very little bad. Praise the Lard on Sunday, Krisco on Monday. If you are going to have “Faith” then read the Constitution and not the Bible or Koran. It is fried chicken daddy not Shake N Bake. Be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

  7. Some current US christian preachers have been saying similar evil things about women in church, and some have said to kill gays, so evil is inherent in any religion.

  8. bam bam, all due respect, how is it that you always know more on any given subject than “jt”? in this instance, how do you know that the families the prof knows are duplicitous, as are all other muslims in your universe (surely you know each and every one?) i take exception to your high horse, know-it-all tone. your sophomoric critique of one comment in dr turley’s article added less than one scintilla to the conversation but wasted several minutes of my life i will never get back. meh.

  9. JT knows many Muslim families, including Palestinian ones, where absolute equality and respect for women is a core value? What parallel planet have you been visiting? Excuse me, as I need to pause for a moment, while I choke on my falafel dipped in hummus. Equality and respect? Why, because you didn’t personally witness a wife or a daughter receive a beat down before your very eyes? Hate to break it to you, JT, but with all due respect, you are absolutely clueless as to what is said and done behind closed doors–and that is true for what transpires in all families–but, it is especially true when discussing what occurs in families emanating from vastly different cultures, where barbaric commandments to maim, rape, enslave and murder others, as a display of faith, are embraced as a symbol of religious devotion. That’s not an insult. It’s just the truth. Since you lack even the most basic skills to comprehend the meaning of what is being proclaimed on this tape, why would you ever venture to assume that you understood the mindset of those raised with standards and dictates which are the polar opposite of yours? What is said to your face, in English, of course, is often far different from that which is said or claimed in Arabic, for example, to fellow Muslims or to other family members, in private. Don’t expect those who outwardly appear to be quite Western to openly support such insanity or savagery in front of you, of all people. You are not one of them. You are not a part of the inner circle.

    Comprehending a language is more than just learning how to conjugate verbs. Words and phrases have a cultural context. Arab leaders, for example, are notorious–NOTORIOUS–for giving speeches, in English, for a Western audience, which are far more tame and mild than those companion speeches, which are, of course, broadcast in Arabic. The tone and message of the two are often wildly inconsistent. These leaders, dressed in their Armani suits, tell Western audiences what they want them to hear, and their own people receive a completely different message. The same goes for you. Don’t expect what is said to fellow Muslims or other family members to be repeated, truthfully, in an infidel’s presence. Oh, yeah, by the way, that’s you.

  10. Fearing rejection apparently fanatical Muslims make saying no, a religious crime.

    We must make it clear that such actions will not be tolerated in this country no matter what the relgion may say. We must say that religious belief is NOT A DEFENSE OR AN EXCUSE FOR BREAKING THE LAW.

  11. And I’ve got to say in the biggest understatement of all time, that it appears that extremist Muslim men have serious issues with women.

  12. There is a real difference between modern, Westernized Muslims living quite happily here in the US, and the stark reality of Sharia Law in the ME. Frankly, extremism is the norm, not the exception, in Muslim theocracies. These are not a couple of wild eyed crazy people in the subway that everyone ignores. This is the reality, mainstream in the ME. This is what drives people to go watch the beheading of gays in Chop Chop Square in Saudi Arabia, perform female genital mutilation on 5 year old girls in Somalia, form gangs of religious police who whip women in Somalia for wearing a bra, or get a mob together to kill a woman falsely accused of defacing a Qu’ran. There are large numbers of people who have been brainwashed to believe in extremism.

    What makes it so difficult is that, unlike the Bible, the Qu’ran is believed to be written by Allah, and thus unchangeable. The Bible was written by prophets and various other people purported to be either inspired by God, or recording the history of Jesus in the New Testament. As such, allowances can be made for the culture of the times, as well as the point of view of the author. No such allowance can be made for the Qu’ran, which must be unchanging.

    Modern Muslims, however, have learned to take the Sword Versus as figurative, rather than literal, and ignore such provisions as beating your wife, written a thousand years ago, much as Christians no longer burn a bull in sacrifice on the Sabbath.

    That is why I honor and respect reformers who believe you do not have to live like Medieval Times in the 21st Century. But they are up against an organized and repressive system that controls the entire Middle East, in which reformers face death or imprisonment. What an obstacle to overcome. How and when are the people going to get sick of living like this, when they are brainwashed from birth, and there is not full access to the views of the outside world? How will they learn a better way when reformers are put down?

  13. Why dont people see that the BDS movement empowers people like this Imam, and his followers? It baffles the mind how people can be so anti-Israel. They are the only democracy in the region and they hold people like this back.

  14. Ya gotta love these Muslims, kick the sh*^ out of her and tell her “it’s a joke, April fools”!

  15. I hear Crickets coming out of the Vatican, Obama, Gloria Steinem, Hillary, Emily’s List, Hollywood and on and on! Hypocritical snobs!

  16. An Embarrassment is a too kind a word–he’s an idiot. There is enough scholarship to counter what this fool has noted (including for instance the founder of Zayutuna College). I would also note, for instance, a pivotal speech by President Rouhani that directly contradicts what he has said. Such lowlifes are a dime a dozen right now–My hope at least the elections in Iran will clean out some of them including for instance the useless head of the Guardian Council In Iran.

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