Gender issues

Video: Two Women Demonstrate 'How to Beat Your Wife 101'

Chaima Lahsini

Rabat - Ever wondered how to adequately punish your wife? Well, wonder no more, as two Muslim Australian women have graciously provided the How to Beat Your Woman 101 tutorial.

The video, posted on the Facebook page of the radical Islamic political group Hizb ut-Tahrir, captures two Sydney Muslim women telling a small audience of women that Muslim husbands were in a position of leadership in ­marriage and “it goes hand-in-hand that he would have the right to undertake disciplinary ­measures.”

Reem Allouche, a Sydney primary-school teacher, and  her fellow panellist Atika Latifi went out of their way to demonstrate to their audience the correct way of undertaking these “disciplinary measures.”

According to the panel speakers, if your wife is being bothersome or unruly, then advise her. If she persists in her outrageous behavior, then neglect her and do not share the same bed as her; nothing hits a woman harder than the silent treatment. However, if your tyrant wife is out of control, you poor man, you have no other choice but to beat her.

Of course, while you are in fact allowed to hit her, since the Quran allows you this fundamental right, you are to do so gently. Latifi had the kindness to enlighten Muslim men out there on how to undertake this troublesome ordeal: “Muslim men are allowed to hit their wives — but only gently, and not with fists, instead using short sticks and pieces of fabric.”

Indeed, hitting your wife should be done in a “managed way.” The women’s demonstration is very helpful in shedding light on the how of these complicated “measures”.

Latifi then produces a ­“sivaak”, a small stick, traditionally used for cleaning teeth. “I got one, because I wanted to show you, it’s a stick, a small stick,” she says, as Allouche hits her with it before exploding in a fit of delighted giggles.

If you don’t happen to have a “sivaak” on you at the needed moment, fuss not. The two women offer many  other options. “We have a piece of fabric here, to demonstrate,” Allouch says and hits her guest again before adding, “It’s very evident that this is symbolic in nature.”

Indeed, nothing is more symbolic than beating your spouse. In fact, the two women see in these “disciplinary measures”, which you may also call domestic violence, domestic abuse, assault, domestic battery (take your pick, we don’t discriminate), a “beautiful blessing”. You read that one right.

Now, don’t go overboard. While yes, you are “permitted, not obliged to, not encouraged, but permitted to hit her (your wife, the mother of your children, your partner in life, the woman you swore to love and protect till death do you part),” as Latifi explains, you can’t just beat her whenever you like.

Allouche and Latifi cite many legitimate reasons for arriving at this scenario, reasons like “committing sin”. Sin as in disrespecting God, or worse, your husband. See, according to the two women, disobedience of the husband is a big no-no. Immoral acts are also blasphemy in regard to your beloved husband.

Now, “that does not mean a man can beat his wife simply for not cooking dinner,” Allouche adds with a chiding smile, “violence should only be used to 'promote tranquility',” both women agree.

“It's almost a natural consequence,” Allouche concludes.

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