Kuwaiti scholar says it's OK for Muslim men to beat their wives, because they probably won't die

Headshot image of Robert Laurie
Published by: Robert Laurie on Thursday June 20th, 2013

By ROBERT LAURIE - In fact, the health benefits are irrefutable.

If you’re unfamiliar with MemriTV, it’s a Washington-based non-profit which monitors, records, and translates Middle East TV broadcasts. The clips are then uploaded to their website. As you would expect, they’re often accused of bigotry and anti-Muslim bigotry, but it’s rare that anyone seriously disputes their translations. When they do, it usually boils down to petty word-parsing.

UPDATE: After a littlemore digging, I found that this clip originally ran in 2002 in Saudi Arabia, not Kuwait.  It ran again a few weeks ago, and the Memri recording comes from this rebroadcast.

We’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff crawl from the Mid-East airwaves, but recently, MemriTV.org posted a clip that just may take the cake. It’s an interview from Saudi Arabian television, featuring Kuwaiti Scholar Jassem Al-Mutawa and Dr. Mahmoud Al-Hajj, the Jordanian University’s Professor of Islamic Faith.  This interview aired at least twice, most recently in April.

The pair discusses the proper time to beat your wife, and the proper methods for doing so. Yes....seriously.

Obviously, they claim physical violence is a last resort. However, if a woman is refusing to obey and shows no interest in correcting her behavior, Al-Mutawa says you’ll be forced to take more drastic action.

According to the interview, you should first verbally admonish her. Then, you must refuse to share her bed. However, if that doesn’t work, you may have a “rebellious wife” who is making “family life a living hell.” In that case, you’re going to have to get tough. After all, Allah placed the family "steering wheel" in the man’s hands.

Basically, beatings are recommended when your wife gets stubborn. Of course, there are caveats. You shouldn’t hit her hard enough to create wounds or break bones, and the face is strictly off-limits. Follow these guidelines and you'll be able to remind the woman that the husband is dominant both morally and legally, while simultaniously strengthening the family dynamic. Hooray!

In case any husbands are worried that this tactic could be used against them if they step out of line; fear not. Al-Mutawa says that a woman who strikes her man has committed an “immoral” act that would undermine the man’s authority. You should be safe from reprisal.

“Islam,” he says, “has spared the wife the need to beat, in order to preserve her femininity, her honor, and her moral values. How very considerate.

If you’re a reactionary “westerner” who finds misogynist, stone-age, abuse unpalatable, you should just relax. According to our host, it’s uncommon for women to die from their beatings. So, hey, it’s really not the big deal you’re making out to be. Plus,Al-Mutawa says that beatings also have the added health benefit of curing your wife’s mental health condition, which makes her pre-disposed to Masochism.

It’s win-win!

Here's the utterly disturbing video, and be sure to "like" Robert Laurie over on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. You'll be glad you did.