Sunday, July 30, 2017

Taking a stand against domestic violence? Good. Pretending religious justifications don't exist? Not so good.

Firstly, great that MUIS is actually taking a stand, detailing the different forms of abuse, and stating that divorce is a logical solution to a crappy situation.

Because you know, there is no vendor of Muslim pre-marriage counselling that does. All of them dance around verse 4:34 in the Qur'an, never contesting the hegemonic interpretation and translation of 'daraba'.

They tell you that husbands have the right to discipline their wives, but then embarrassingly temper this obviously vile right with concessions that it can only be done 'lightly', with a miswak twig or a hanky, and with only the intention to 'humiliate' (as if physical abuse > psychological abuse).

And what about all the highly respected ustaz who beat their wives and say it is in the name of Islam? What about all the wives who kept silent because others told them they had to sabr as their husbands knew best? 

It is not 'most disappointing' that abusers use religion to justify abuse, it actually makes sense. Because there is plenty of 'evidence' they can use to justify it.

Emotional abuse in the form of policing of women's behaviour can be justified by appointing men as the head of households and being responsible for the sins of their wives and children. 

Abuse in the form of directly or indirectly coercing women to carry the bulk of household chores (or hiring a Third World woman to do it, while she leaves her own children behind) can be justified by the teaching that she is the 'shepherd of the home' while the man is the 'shepherd of the family'. 

Erasing marital rape can be justified by a hadith about angels cursing a woman till dawn if she doesn't have sex with her husband whenever he wants it.

What about the counsellors at our Syariah Court who indirectly but consistently shame and stigmatise people who seek a divorce? Just because their partners or themselves don't 'womanise, drink, or gamble' it is merely a case of 'differing expectations' and that they can definitely get along?

I'm pretty sure the Prophet was not 'bewildered', he was ashamed when he knew men were beating their wives.

So you can't just erase the entire cultural archive of how Islamic teachings can be used to justify domestic violence by saying 'Islam has never condoned domestic violence'. Are all these merely 'small pockets' when they are taught by our religious leaders themselves? 

Or am I actually talking about another religion?


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