HuffPo Tries to Whitewash Islam’s Divine Sanctioning of Wife Beating
I saw THIS PIECE OF ISLAMAGANDA GARBAGE in the Huffington Post and was going to comment on it, but I noticed that Robert Spencer has done a much more elegant dissection than I. So, I’ll give you a snippet of Mr. Spencer’s take on the article to whet your appetite; and then, link on over to Jihad Watch so you can read the rest of the article:
Huffington Post enables beating of women: publishes whitewash of Qur’an’s justification for domestic abuse
Robert Spencer – JihadWatch
“Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God’s guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against them; God is All-high, All-great.” — Qur’an 4:34
The three-million-dollar campaign of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) to whitewash Sharia and fool Americans about its nature began in earnest yesterday. Is this nonsensical article part of it? Is ICNA paying Qasim Rashid and/or the HuffPo to retail these soothing deceptions? We may never know the answers to those questions, but it is certain that if Qasim Rashid were an anti-jihad, pro-freedom writer, the mainstream media would be all over him asking questions about his funding and his backers. Whoever Rashid’s may be, certainly this farrago coalesces neatly with ICNA’s “war is deceit” Sharia whitewash effort.
“The Islamic Solution to Stop Domestic Violence,” by Qasim Rashid in the Huffington Post, March 5:
Critics incorrectly allege that Islam command’s husband’s to beat their wives, often citing the Quran verse 4:34. Unfortunately, like any Muslim man who harms his wife, critics miss the keen wisdom in verse 4:34 that actively pre-empts domestic violence.In Virginia, I provide pro bono legal support to victims of domestic and sexual violence. Virtually all of our clients are female. Every nine seconds — nearly 10,000 victims daily — a woman in the United States is abused. In America, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings and rape — combined. Would those who blame Islam for domestic violence also blame Christianity every nine seconds?…
Domestic violence is found in every culture and every nation, among people of every religion. The difference in Islam, which Rashid is busy trying to obscure, is that Qur’an 4:34 gives the practice divine sanction. Christianity doesn’t teach that God commands that a man should beat his disobedient wife. No other religion does, either. No other culture teaches such a thing. In every other context, domestic violence is considered a crime. In Islam, it is a husband’s prerogative according to the words of Allah himself.
Pre-emptive deterrence is the key. And this precisely is the wisdom behind verse 4:34 to decrease and stop violence against women. The verse in its totality describes a process of restraint, anger management and reformation.The verse begins by defining a family unit, holding the husband accountable as the household’s guardian and provider. This obligation gives him certain authority, privileges and a requirement of magnanimity — but never the right to employ domestic violence. The verse then urges women to also act virtuously, and protect the family unit by cooperating with their husband, listening to him in all good things and to not publicize private family matters.
Note that Rashid never actually quotes Qur’an 4:34; why not? Is that not a curious and telling omission in an article that purports to be about explaining it? In any case, clearly in this part of his article he is explaining this portion of the verse: “Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God’s guarding.” Notice how he glosses over the part about God preferring men “in bounty” over women — or, as another translation has it, “Men have superiority over women because God has made the one superior to the other…” And in explaining the man’s “authority, privileges” and “requirement of magnanimity,” he said that he is never given “the right to employ domestic violence.” But in fact, the rest of the verse gives him exactly that “right,” and this part of the verse does not forbid him from exercising it. Rashid’s claim that this part of Qur’an 4:34 forbids men to employ domestic violence is based on nothing in the text whatsoever.
Next, verse 4:34 employs the process of anger management, reformation and reconciliation. This process may only be employed after a wife has initially and deliberately undermined or attempted to destroy the family, as indicated by the words, “as for those on whose part you fear disobedience.” But “disobedience” does not mean any random disagreement a wife may have with her husband. Arabic lexicon provides the correct understanding as that of a wife who has deserted her husband altogether or has unjustly attempted to destroy the family. Once a wife deliberately engages in this form of behavior, then the Quran describes a process to peacefully reconcile the dispute.
This is palpable hooey. All over the Islamic world men inflict the command in this verse upon women for far less than desertion or unjustly attempting to “destroy the family.” And note also, Rashid’s taqiyya fog doesn’t quite manage to obscure the uncomfortable fact that the Qur’an doesn’t envision any penalty for men who desert or attempt to destroy their families. The latter is so remote that Rashid is clearly trying to make the wife-beating command something that a Muslim would only resort to in the most extreme cases, but reality is different. Take the case of Pakistan: Amnesty International reports that “according to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, over 90% of married women report being kicked, slapped, beaten or sexually abused when husbands were dissatisfied by their cooking or cleaning, or when the women had ‘failed’ to bear a child or had given birth to a girl instead of a boy.” Women got “kicked, slapped, beaten or sexually abused” for far less than desertion and attempting to destroy the family.
The first step, anger management, obliges the husband to merely admonish his wife of his concern, essentially encouraging the parties to admit that a problem exists. This forces a man to strictly control himself in hopes that his wife will also incline to reconciliation.
This part of the verse actually says, “And those you fear may be rebellious admonish…” There is nothing there whatsoever about the man having “to strictly control himself.” This again is Rashid’s whitewash. There is nothing inherent in giving someone a warning that involves controlling oneself. And given the content of the verse, what kind of self-control is Rashid saying is called for anyway? Apparently Rashid is saying that the husband must control his impulse to beat his wife — no other form of self-control enters into the verse at all.
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