SYDNEY – A video shared by Australia’s Hizb ut-Tahrir explaining how Muslim men are allowed to beat their wives has sparked uproar, with many accusing it of promoting domestic violence and making light of the plight of abuse victims.
“It’s not acceptable in any form to strike anyone, either between husband and wife or anywhere,” Australia’s first Muslim member of federal parliament, Ed Husic, told the Australian.
“Violence is not an answer or acceptable outcome whatsoever and I believe they are right to describe it as thus.”
An Australian Muslim collaborative, including some prominent Australian Muslims, issued a statement that asserts that any form of domestic violence contradicts Islamic teachings.
“Islam categorically prohibits and denounces the abuse of women. There is absolutely no justification for men to demean, threaten or abuse women, whether symbolically or otherwise,” the statement reads.
“Any promotion of violence is against the spirit and letter of Islam.”
The debates followed Hizb ut-Tahrir’s sharing of a video in which two women demonstrate how Muslim men can beat their wives.
The video was shot during a conference for Muslim women held in Sydney earlier this month, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The women leading the conversation, who have been identified as Atika Latifi and elementary school teacher Reem Allouche, discuss the 34th ayah in the Qur’anic surat An-Nisa.
The second half of the verse states how men are advised to deal with their wives in case of dispute. In the video, Allouche and Latifi outline the “disciplinary measures” men ought to use with their wives.
“This particular text has been put forth as being problematic… that it appears to be an incitement to violence against women,” says Allouche.
“Striking should be done in such a way as not cause harm or pain,” Latifi added.
The video has drawn heavy backlash, and Australia’s Federal Minister for Women Michaelia Cash has described it as “abhorrent”, according to the Huffington Post.
Facing backlash, the political group, Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Facebook page shared a statement acknowledging the negative impact the video has incurred on the image of Islam, especially with the rise of Islamophobia in non-Muslim communities.
“We firmly believe that we, as a community, must not shy away from the clarification of Islamic injunctions, however controversial, let alone succumb to reinterpretations of Islam forced by liberal hounding,” the statement reads.
“We would especially like to acknowledge in this regard sisters in our community involved in the Domestic Violence space and their advice on how things can be misconstrued on this topic and we thank them for their tremendous ongoing work. Domestic Violence is an abomination that Islam rejects in the strongest terms.”