Friday, 3 December 2010

Germany: Moderate Wife-Beating

Sheikh Abu Adam: A moderate Muslim beater of women

The Qur'an gives divine sanction to wife-beating:

“Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.” (4:34)

Most Qur'an translators use the word "scourge" or "beat" in this verse, but a few years ago, a new translation of the Qur'an by female Iranian-American scholar Laleh Bakhtiar rendered this key line as “go away from them”. This seems highly implausible. Does this mean that all these translators got it wrong until Bakhtiar came along? Not to mention the fact that Muhammad himself, an "excellent example" for Muslims to follow (Qur'an 33:21), is recorded to have beaten his own wives, causing them pain. Her impulse to somehow explain away the real meaning of this verse is understandable, since many Muslims today view it with acute embarrassment.

But many others take this injunction completely seriously. German Sheikh Abu Adam, 40, is currently on remand in Munich while his wife, 31, is being guarded by police. She was allegedly assaulted so badly that she suffered a broken nose and shoulder and numerous cuts and bruises. And more to the point, Adam is alleged to have shouted the above verse from the Qur'an as he beat her, which he did because she "wanted to live a more 'western' lifestyle and was allegedly attacked after telling her husband."

And guess what: Adam was a "moderate" cleric who "
lectures on non-violence and advises the German government on interfaith issues".

With "moderate" Muslims like this, who needs "extremists"?

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