A group of Muslim leaders who wield the power of law in Pakistan have just proposed a new piece of legislation that would give husbands the right to “lightly beat” their wives, if the wife declines their sexual advances or refuses to wear the clothing that their husbands prefer. The legislation is 160 pages long and also provides the freedom for husbands to use “limited violence” when their wives choose not to bathe after sex or while they are menstruating.
The Council of Islamic Ideology’s (or CII) leader, Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani argued that husbands could use “limited violence” but should be prosecuted if they don’t follow the process laid out by the council.
“Hit her in areas where her skin is not too thick and not too thin,” Sherani said in a press conference. “Do not use shoes or a broom on the head, or hit her on the nose or eyes.”
“Do not break any bones or cut her skin or leave any marks. Do not hit her vindictively, but only for reminding her about her religious duties.”
So why is the CII releasing their proposal now? The new legislation is in response to a recent move in Pakistan’s Punjab province to pass a bill that would provide more protection for women with violent husbands. The Protection of Women Against Violence Act would try to help battered women by forcing violent husbands to wear electronic tracking bracelets. The CII argued that this proposal was “un-Islamic” and so they crafted their own Domestic Abuse bill… only theirs protects the abuser instead of the abused.
This debate in Pakistan is the perfect explanation of the inherent problem within Islam. While the world moves to protect the innocent, and the helpless… Islam fights to protect the violent and the abusive.
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