Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saudi Slapping Women Around: Muslim Spousal Abuse

Oh the controversy! Is it okay to slap your wife's face if she overspends, or is it not? Is Muslim spousal abuse reasonable? Can punishing your wife be considered "spousal abuse?" This question has Saudi Arabia pondering. These were the topics of a recent Saudi "Domestic Violence" seminar.

Spousal Abuse
Reportedly, women in the seminar audience were shocked that the subject of slapping a wife was brought up for discussion. This leaves me wondering just what the women thought they would talk about or learn in a "domestic abuse" seminar. Maybe the women thought the seminar purely preventative. Maybe they would receive recipe ideas so that their man would not whack them for inadequate cooking skills, a bottle of Clorox to clean better, or maybe instruction on how to raise their man-child to be like his father...maybe never, never ask the kid to take out the trash, or make the bed, or treat his sister with respect? According to this CNN interview, the country needs Saudi King Abdullah to come out against slapping wives, which will signal to Saudi judges to cut-out the support for domestic violence. So far, this King, characterized as a "reformer" in the video, has not weighed-in. While not mentioned in the interview, I'll point out that murdering your daughter for fraternizing with a man the dad doesn't like, is also not considered domestic violence or abuse, but a justifiable honor killing.
Muslim Woman - Honor Killing (Photo)
In the West, we seem to offer no relief or voice to the abuse of Muslim women. Psychology professor Phyllis Chesler in her book, The Death of Feminism, says there is an "unwillingness to take on Islamic sexism because of "an...American-blaming position." Feminists have embraced "an anti-Americanism that is toxic, heartless, mindless and suicidal." Philosopher Martha Nussbaum wrote the following in the New Republic in 1999:
Too many fashionable gender theorists, she said, have lost their dedication to the public good. Their "hip quietism...collaboreates with evil.
Nussbaum was accused of "flag waving" and being on a "civilizing mission." In this article written by Christina Hoff Sommers appearing in The Weekly Standard on May 21, 2007, Hoff points out that the name calling: flag waver and civilizing, ignores Nussbaum's "core point:"
Two few feminist theorists are showing concern for the millions of women trapped in blatantly misogynist cultures outside the United States."
In November 2007, we learned of a British schoolteacher in the Sudan sentenced to a Sudanese jail for "allowing" a 7-year-old male student to name his teddy bear "Muhammad." In Saudia Arabia, a woman out with a man who was not a male relative was gang-raped. The rape was upheld as justified because the woman defied Sharia Law. She was punished with prison time and over 200 lashes. She will be shunned by family and friends for the rest of her life. Atlas Shrugs shows what 50 lashes does to a woman and suggests we think about the devastation of 200 lashes. On both incidents, American feminists refused to say anything. Radio talk show host and self-described "progressive feminist, Tammy Bruce, explained the silence this way:
...God forbid we should be reminded that there is a disturbed enemy [Islamic terrorists] out there worth fighting, and God forbid that for one moment we should suggest that the United States might not be the heinous imperialist the Left casts us to be.
The truth is, those of us who are appalled at the treatment of female Muslims, no matter where they live on the face of the earth, the reality is, we can do nothing to shield them from spousal abuse, but that does not excuse silence and an absence of outrage. While we are trying to make the world sit up and pay attention, the only solution for these women is to leave Islam and get to a non-Islamic country. Islam is the tormentor in the guise of a Muslim man. It is a very, very simple thing to understand, although most are unwilling to let their minds go to that enlightened place.
Saudi Slapping Women Around Okay (Video)

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton