We have previously discussed the plight of women and girls subject to Sharia law and extreme Muslim traditions of marriage. The nightmare faced by many women was captured in a horrific guide being distributed by in Turkey by former religious affairs department employee Hasan Caliskan. The guide supports the beating of women who do not “beautify” themselves, supports the marriage of 10-year-old girls, and advances absurd notions like the danger of having a stuttering child if a woman talks during sex.
“Marriage and Family Life” also reportedly encourages women to wear “flirtatious” outfits and serve their husbands after their beatings. The 394-page manual was said to have been handed to new couples in the city of Kutahya and other towns. It teaches men that “A woman who does not beautify herself for her husband, and who does not obey the headmanship of the man can be beaten; this would remind her of the ruler of the house, which is like medicine.”
Then there is the advice on polygamy: “Polygamy is beneficial. Would it not be better if, instead of divorcing his bad-tempered wife and making her a trouble for another man, the man took a second wife, prompting her feelings of competition, and eventually bringing her down?”
The mayor of Kutahya, Kamil Saracoglu, admitted that the council has been handing out the guide for two years and insisted “The contents of the book are open to interpretation. The verse consists of works based on hadith [reports from the Islamic prophet Muhammad] and scientific research.” It is hard to see the interpretative room for telling women to flirt with their husbands after beatings or encouraging the marriage of 10-year-old girls.
It does not help to have a president who has actively destroyed secular traditions in the country and endorsed extreme Islamic views of women, including the view that women without children are “deficient and incomplete.” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also declared that “women are not equal to men.”