Monday, October 18, 2010

UAE Court Ruling States Men Can Beat Wives And Kids

Domestic violence is a chronic, prevalent problem worldwide and something that should be strongly condemned and prosecuted, and yet women (and some men) wind up killed because rarely is anything done about it. Restraining orders can only go so far, but if a man is intent on killing his wife he will find a way, and it often starts with simple beatings that lead to uncontrollable rage and the desire to permanently harm the spouse. There are no justifiable reasons to ever beat your partner, but in Islam this is actually encouraged by some. Yes, I know there are clerics who like to use the whole toothbrush analogy, but sorry, I don't buy it. Never is it okay to hit your wife, and there is something fundamentally wrong with any religion that condones it, in this day and age.

And yet, the United Arab Emirates has just now ruled that it's perfectly okay (in fact it's a right) for husbands to beat their wives and kids- on one condition - there should be no visible, physical marks. In other words- go ahead men beat the women in your lives as long as you don't bruise them. What is most stupefying is the fact that this is applicable only to the female members of the household. Of course, there's that needed reconciliation attempt before the beating, but if that fails, knock her flat, just don't break her teeth.

The UAE can thank Judge Falah al Hajeri for this latest act of male chauvinism.

The judgment was made by one of the UAE’s most senior judges, Chief Justic Falah al Hajeri, who made the ruling in the case of a man fined £85 for slapping his wife and kicking his daughter.

The Emirati man in the case was found guilty of slapping his wife so hard he damaged her bottom lip and teeth.

He also slapped and kicked his 23-year-old daughter so that she suffered bruises on her hand and knee.

While the defendant, who has not been named, initially claimed he hit the two women only by accident, he was found guilty of assault.

However, he appealed, claiming that even if he had intended to strike his wife and daughter, under Shariah law he had the right to do so if he had first exhausted all other ways of resolving the dispute.

Chief Justice Falah al Hajeri said: 'Although the law permits the husband to use his right to discipline, he has to abide by the limits of this right.

'If the husband abuses this right to discipline, he cannot be exempted from punishment.'
Mr al Hajeri went on to explain that one of the ways of determining whether a man had breached this limit was to look for physical traces of beating.

Typical classic denial- not intending to hit the wife. These kind of abusive men love to blame the victim, as well as claiming it was the woman's fault. And if he has the right to do it under Shariah law, then Shariah law needs to be dumped or evolve. Women are not the property of men, and they are certainly not children in need of discipline.

There have been some enlightened souls in the Arab world who balked at the ruling, but others who see it as a "real-life compromise"

...between the competing demands of the petro-state’s highly Westernised population and its conservative Muslim heritage.

There should never be any compromise when it comes to domestic violence, I don't care whose religion thinks it's peachy keen to beat a wife.

The Qu'ran mentions something about the right of men to discipline their wives, and that particular verse has often been open to interpretation. Islamic scholars have been battling over that for a very long time. The following two men represent both sides of the argument.

Jihad Hashim Brown, the head of research at the Islamic think tank the Tabah Foundation said beating one’s wife was in conflict most Islamic texts, which encourage Muslims to treat their wives in 'love and kindness'.

He said a Quranic verse might appear to allow certain things but if the verse was not 'clear and concise', it should not enter courts of law.

However, Dr Ahmed al Kubaisi, head of Sharia Studies at Iraq’s Baghdad University, said that under Sharia law beating one’s wife was an option to prevent the breakdown of the family.

He said it should be used only as a substitute to resorting to the police. 'If a wife committed something wrong, a husband can report her to police,' Dr al Kubaisi said.

'But sometimes she does not do a serious thing or he does not want to let others know; when it is not good for the family. In this case, hitting is a better option.'

And what about when a man does something wrong, is the wife allowed to deck him, as long as she leaves no marks? She should!

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