All together now: YES for wife beatings!

7/5/2006

In Mahmoud Rimawi’s column in Al Rai Today (could not find it online!) a read a ‘very nice’ statistic: 91% of university students polled by the Jordanian Human Right Center approve of wife beating.

An earlier study by another organization found out that a majority of WOMEN also supports the right of a husband to beat the wife.

Note: university students, not illiterates.

No one should be surprised (maybe we should be surprised at the high percentage!). These are the same universities that periodically witness mass fights with fists, sticks, stones and guns over tribal/personal incidents.

But it’s ok. Don’t get angry. There is no need for any re-examination of values here. And definitely no need with a confrontation with society (god forbid). After all, Imperialism and Globalization are the REAL REASON behind all of this. Have a nice day.

22 Comments

  1. This is really ridiculous, I just can’t see how come this is the way our “future generation” thinks!!!

    I totally agree that Imperialism and Globalization are the reason, accompanied with the lost Arab identity that we’ve been looking for since WW2.

    والله إشي بيقهر

  2. Marwan says:

    That’s sad. Not only that, the higher council of muslim clerks in Mecca and Azhar (the semi-official spokesperson for Sunni Islam) have approved of the “Mesyar” marriage. Not to be confused with the “Mut3a” marriage of the Shi’ite Muslims. This is far worse. basically, it’s islamically acceptable for a Sunni man to have a marriage where he has no responsibility towards the woman or his children if she approves. Of course when two consenting adults engage in what amounts to a relationship for purely sexual reasons, that’s’ their business. But to religiously sanction the evasion of responsibly by the male partner towards his children is criminal. Now how did the clerks rationalize this horrendous miscarriage of decency and responsibility? Listen to this “to preserve the honor of a Muslim woman who can’t find a husband.” HOW AWFUL. This was on MBC2 a few week ago. I read about it last year but thought it was nonsense. But my god it’s true. Of course in Sunni Islam there is no central religious authority, but the Mecca Shura council and Al-Azhar are the closest you will ever come to one.

    Now don’t despair. Do you want a far more perverse society? US and Israel. If you think wife beating is terrible, here are two democracies that, by a majority vote, send their mercenaries to kill innocents by the tens of thousands to capture land or oil. That’s far more perverse than anything I have ever come across to date. What’s’ more brutal, beating a woman or killing her in cold blood? I say beating is a crime but murder is something else. Which brings us to the conclusion of this post.

    I don’t agree with your flippant comment Ahmad about ” Imperialism and Globalization are the REAL REASON behind all of this.” This is like saying, we have social problems so let’s welcome murderous invasions and celebrate the misery of our underclass because university students have the wrong attitude about women rights. This is the mother of non sequiturs.

  3. Batir Wardam says:

    This is amother example of the schizophrenic personality of most of Jordanian youth. Seeking to emulate the west in appearance and language and yet maintain the same cave man mentality.

  4. MunaMuna says:

    This is great guys. Everyone has a blog now, everyone is yelling at the rest through their blogs for not doing anything. but no one does anything. What a way to avoid responsibility. You show the west how indignant you are but you do nothing about it, as if you live in Alaska.

    welcom to Jordan’s virtual heroes makign virtual progress.

  5. Humeid says:

    Omar:
    Just to be clear: My comment about Globalization and Imperialism was meant in a sarcastic manner (or in a “flippant” manner as Marwan comments). We cannot blame everything on Imperialism and Globalization.

    Marwan:
    How did you come to this ‘invading murderous invasion’ conclusion?! I am inviting no one to ‘invade’. I am just saying that our society needs to re-examine itself and not keep blaming everything on some outside factor. Yes this has been said before but no one is doing anything about it. All we get is perpetual glorification of the past and the preserving of ‘values’. This goes for underclass and ‘over’class.

    Your generalizing description of the US and Israeli societies as ‘more perverse’ does not make our society any less perverse. I don’t see this comparison helping anyone.

    MunaMuna:
    At least I am speaking my mind about this. Please suggest ways to us to accept responsibility. Also tell me how you are accepting responsibity. That would be far more productive than making fun of the dialouge on blogs and describing it as ‘virtual progress’.

  6. Jameel says:

    I can’t believe this statistic, I am Jordanian and I know a lot of Jordanians (naturally), there is no way 90%, 50% or even 20% of them approve of wife beatings. As they say, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Before anybody jumps into any conclusion he/she should look at the details of this poll, what exactly were the questions asked?

    As for Marwan’s comment about Misyar marriage, I can’t see what is wrong with it, after all it is the woman that is given the choice, so what is wrong with giving women more choices.
    A question to Marwan, when you say “HOW AWFUL”, what exactly do you mean? Is it awful to recognize women sexuality and give them another legitimate choice to satisfy their urges?
    Is this what is bothering you? The idea that women have urges and sometimes what they need is just companionship and sex.

  7. Humeid says:

    Jameel,

    Mr Rimawi is a respected columnist in Al Rai newspaper. He would not quote such a statsitic easily, I would think. But you’re right. The statistic has to be examined more closely. Does anyone have a link to the study?

  8. Batenjan says:

    Jameel, I think Marwan’s point was that the mesyaar relationship absolves the male partner from his parental responsibilities if pregnancy happens. No civilized country can sanction such a marriage. Who would take care of the kids if the mother has to stay home? You, I, the state coffers (which is you and I)? This just gives the male partner a blank check to f__k and walk out the door scot-free, no child support and no alimony, but to do it in the open and without any responsibility. I know some men would like that, regardless of religion or ethnicity, but let’s not screw women in the name of protecting them or under the banner of liberating women sexually. Bottom line, if a relationship results in children, marriage or not, the state and the religious establishment should force the male partner to live up to his responsibility, even if a woman signs a piece of paper giving up this right. Illegel contracts are illegal, no matter who signs them and who witnesses them. you can’t sign a contract to be a slave in return for 10 million or 1 billion dinars. The mesyaar marriage should be an illegal contract not to be upheld in Jordanian courts. To be honest, i think this mesyaar marriage is far more disturbing than the brutal act of wife-beating.

  9. Humeid:

    I got the sarcasm in your comment but I was talking in a different direction. I was talking about how the Arab-Muslim identity is lost between the past and the present. Imperialism and Globalization are just stations on the road.

    We talk of ourselves, as a society, to be open and liberated, yet we are still pull to some old “social” traditions and beliefs which are supposed to be dead long ago.

    Our country has been recognized regionally for the high magnitude of work done concerning women rights. And on the other hand most of us believe that it’s OK to beat the hell out of your wife!!!

    And if I am to blame anyone, it won’t be the society; it would be the so-called Arab intellectuals and the religion pretenders who call themselves Sheikhs. These to parties are supposed to educate people and drive beliefs and practices the right way. But our intellectuals are so busy debating the oppression they claim to be under, and the Sheikhs are also busy debating if (Tashahod) at prayer should be only lifting your right index up once or several times. So meanwhile, it’s all right for women to get a few smacks until they, intellectuals and Sheikhs, are done and ready to discuss meaningless issues like the half of the society!

  10. Ammar Ibrahim says:

    What do we exactly study at schools?

    This post just made me realize whatever sciences we study, don’t make any difference if we don’t mentally develop. I will stop complaining about the level of IT faculties in Jordan, there are far more important issues to consider first.

    damn, could it be worse?

  11. Marwan says:

    ”What do we exactly study at schools?”

    Ammar, look at the bright side. With all its flaws, at least our educational system does not produce killers and looters and a culture that sanctions such brutality, as in the case of the US and Israel. When was the last time Jordan invaded any country for its oil and land and slaughtered untold tens of thousands and expelled hundreds of thousands because they got in the way or because they are not like us. god knows we need lots of work, but far less work than the americans of israelis. just do the math of death.

  12. Firas says:

    I’ve talked to many people regarding this issue.
    I’ve talked to married people who come from poor areas and lots of them asserted that this will ruin their friendship and it’s not good for the kids, and afterall she’s a human being just like him!

    But I think we should look closer to that question that has been asked, because many told me that in Islam the man should discipline his wife when necessary and beating would be their final resort, one girl (not veiled) said god gave him that right so it’s okay with me as far as he doesn’t harm me!

    So I think they answer from a religious(Islamic) perspective regardless if their interpretation of the verses is right or wrong. Again what I meant to say that in principle they think it’s okay to beaten up the wife when necessary, but in reality, I don’t have much information regarding this.

    Anyways wife beating is a worldwide phenomena and isn’t limited to a certain ethnic/religious group.

    Again I think this explains the first poll ( that 87% of women approve their husbands beating)

    ———————————————————————————
    “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
    -WOMEN 34

    : “الرجال قوامون على النساء بما فضل الله بعضهم على بعض وبما أنفقوا من أموالهم فالصالحات قانتات حافظات للغيب بما حفظ الله واللاتي تخافون نشوزهن فعظوهن واهجروهن في المضاجع واضربوهن فإن أطعنكم فلا تبغوا عليهن سبيلا إن الله كان عليا كبيرا وإن خفتم شقاق بينهما فابعثوا حكما من أهله وحكما من أهلها إن يريدا إصلاحا يوفق الله بينهما إن الله كان عليما خبيرا

  13. kinzi says:

    Muna Muna, breaking denial of an issue is the first step to progress. For a man to step up and say wife beating is wrong is the first step, and a good one. Lenient laws governing spousal abuse and even penalties for honor killings can be repealed by ‘elected’ men in power if enough other ‘virtual’ men give voice to it.

    Ahmad, please keep talking. There is a lot of denial to be broken yet.

    Jameel, your gender is showing. You are viewing a woman’s sexual needs through your own. We need soul intimacy in relationship more than sex. Ask any woman whether she’d rather be married to a quadraplegic who adored her alone for life, or a misyar marrriage where she was wife of the month with no emotional intimacy still living with her parents. Where she had to trade God’s best plan for honorable marriage with it’s responsibilities and commitment for a second best (man-originated rather than divine) plan of men because she wasn’t ‘good enough’ for a real husband. No comparison.

  14. moi says:

    This is indeed a very disturbing finding. I hope that if it is accurate and reliable it will be publicized enough to encourage certain individuals and organizations to take action to raise awareness about such trends.

    I Googled “Jordanian Human Rights Center” but could not find any official or unofficial website that would have more info about this organization. Ahmad, please do link the article on this post if you happen to find it. Thanks!

  15. Khalidah says:

    Muna Muna, I think that the “virtual progress” that bloggers are doing is much better than the silence that we have been drowning in for ages … at lease we (bloggers) are doing something … what are you doing? it is always good to learn new things to fight negativity in our community and drive positive change … lead us be example please … and please don’t try to hush our voices that we fought hard to get them heard … only the fact that blogs are reaching readers who are not bloggers themselves (like your good self) is imrovement and progress on its own and proof that whatever we are doing is actually working!

    Talking about the subject is showing that more people are against the beating which is a good start and may draw the attention of those who organized the poll in the first place to dig deeper and ask more people to get realistic results … thank you Ahmad for sharing!

  16. Natalia says:

    Oh please, I just love it when discussions like this get bogged down in the whole “but the West is bad too!” crap. We all need to look out for ourselves. We all need to be aware that these issue transcend nationality and creed and exist everywhere, and that it doesn’t somehow absolve us from speaking out against them when we have the chance.

    Perhaps you’d find it interesting that some Russian Orthodox clerics are encouraging women to grow their hair out, “so the husband can hold you by your braids when he beats you.” This is a direct quote from a prominent Orhodox forum (it’s a shame it’s in Russian, ya’ll might appreciate it). Now, the second this cleric gets confronted with just how barbaric and despicable his views are, he points his finger at the nebulous monolith of “the evil West” (where he’s never even been, and he’s not destitute either) and tries to draw your attention away from the fact that he’s sanctioning domestic violence and abuse.

    This “long hair” issue is, apparently, derived from pre-Revolution peasant life, and is supposed to represent all that is “traditional” about Orthodox Slavic society. And what’s also interesting is that people who advocate this barborous “return to our roots” have no problem using modern inventions such as the Internet to spread their message. In case they are challenged, they have the perfect strawman to back-pedal to, “the West.”

    Well, guess what, I’ve lived in the West for nearly twelve years, and I’ve never been physically attacked like I’ve been attacked in the East. Not that this sort of thing does not happen here, but religious communities don’t stand for it. They stop it wherever they see it. They actively fight it. So who am I going to trust? Some bearded jerk of a priest? Or a supportive, loving community that would be shocked if confronted with these views.

    I’m not a practicing Orthodox anymore, for a variety of reasons, but I constantly see the same issues everywhere. In Jordan and elsewhere. Sometimes they are cloaked in religious rhetoric. Sometimes they invoke “culture.” Or biology. But they are always ugly.

  17. Jameel says:

    Kinzi, I believe that You are the one viewing women sexuality through your own, what you stated is what you need and what you choose (the quadriplegic), not ANY WOMAN. This is an unjustified generalization solely based on your personal needs and preferences (admirable as they are). In reality, many more women choose to be second wives and mistresses than those who choose to marry a quadriplegic, my proof, just look around you!
    However, this was not my argument, I simply said that this gives women the right to choose, where is the wrong in that. If all women were like you, they would simply choose not to marry this way, problem solved!
    Batenjan, I think this Mesyar Ftawa is misunderstood; it does not absolve the man from his parental responsibilities. It just gives the wife the option to release the man from some of the responsibilities imposed on him by marriage like providing separate housing and alimony.
    Instead of thinking of the different ways men and women could misuse this fatwa, let’s think of how society can make good use of it. Let me give an example here, wouldn’t it be much better for two college students (who cannot afford to be totally independent) to marry this way, each staying with his/her parents but going out together and visiting each other to study, have sex or any other activity they wish to have, isn’t this what many young men and women do secretly anyway! At least this way, it is legitimate, it is out in the open and the children rights are protected. Those who want to undermine and abuse the institute of marriage will find ways to do it with or without the Mesyar Fatwa.
    You can also think of it as a transitional stage to traditional marriage once the young couple’s circumstances improve.

  18. WaladKbeer says:

    Natalia:

    the US and Israel are not the West, they are the Wild Wild West. I don’t think people confuse US with lets say France or Germany. There are clear distinctions in culture. Above all ,the propensity to use deadly violence to secure natural resources is today a key characteristic limited to only two countries who consider themselves Western democracies: US and Israel. This has been the case from the birth of those two nations and it has not stopped. Very disturbing, when considering both countries are nuclear powers. The former already dropped the bomb twice, the latter continues to digest territory at the expense of Arabs while building walls to cage them in.

  19. The AlRai article is DECEIVING!

    1- first of all, the survey did not ask about “house beating”. “House beating” in english-speaking society is more of a term for people who sadistically beat their wives for any reason – usually frustration or even joy. Translating Arabic to English here gives the WRONG idea.

    2- The survey was much more detailed. I read several articles about it. It had questions like this “if the wife does X, is it ok to use strength/hit her to stop her”. Where X was some kind of an action. The questions graduatually asked about worst actions, all the way to adultry (or possibility of adultry). Unfortunately, the AlRai article looked at the question with the worst action, looked at the number of Yes, and then told you this is the number of people who support house-beating.

    The way the survey was put, and the many “vague” expressions used in it makes it totally unscientific. It was intended to cause controversy for no real reason.

    I think the question of the post is worthy, but I won’t put much value in this survey.

  20. Phree says:

    “Many of us are capable of killing, whether we actually do it or not is a differant matter.”

    I don’t remember who said this but he’s got a point. Besides, women should stand up for themselves and realise that being married to someone does not make them inferior or anything. I mean, please! How would a husband who beats his wife up feel if it were his sister or daughter involved? Well, guess what? The wife here is also someone’s daughter and/or sister.

  21. Natalia says:

    “the US and Israel are not the West, they are the Wild Wild West. I don’t think people confuse US with lets say France or Germany. There are clear distinctions in culture. Above all ,the propensity to use deadly violence to secure natural resources is today a key characteristic limited to only two countries who consider themselves Western democracies: US and Israel. This has been the case from the birth of those two nations and it has not stopped. Very disturbing, when considering both countries are nuclear powers. The former already dropped the bomb twice, the latter continues to digest territory at the expense of Arabs while building walls to cage them in.”

    Walad, you’re joking, right? Have you forgotten the British Empire? The behaviour of the French in Algeria and elsewhere? The iron fist of the Ottoman? Nazi Germany? The USSR?

    My point is, these things happen everywhere, and the strawman of the U.S. (where I, by the way, reside) and Israel simply muddies the issue. Like I said, we can back-pedal all we want, and watch people suffer, or we can stand up for what’s right.

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