It comes to us from the city that gave us SlutWalks.
A year or so ago Toronto, Canada was the scene of the first SlutWalk. Then, proud young feminists paraded around in their unmentionables to assert their inalienable right to do as they pleased when they pleased with whom they pleased. They insisted that their SlutWalks would remove the stigma from the word “slut.”
More or less contemporaneously, an Islamic bookstore in Toronto, Canada was selling a new Muslim marriage manual.
Entitled, A Gift for the Muslim Couple, the book was published in India and authored by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. Apparently, the author is a “prolific writer on almost every topic of Islamic learning.”
As of now the book is no longer available in the bookstore, but it is available online and through Ebay.
For those who would like to know more about Muslim coupledom the Toronto Sun offers some details:
In the book’s opening pages, it is written that “it might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.”
Later, its author advises that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”
Page 45 contains the rights of the husband, which include his wife’s inability to leave “his house without his permission,” and that his wife must “fulfil his desires” and “not allow herself to be untidy ... but should beautify herself for him ... ”
In terms of physical punishment, the book advises that a husband may scold her, “beat by hand or stick,” withhold money from her or “pull (her) by the ears,” but should “refrain from beating her excessively.”
Predictably, moderate Muslims have denounced the book as a caricature. They insist that Islam treats women with the greatest respect and that books like these offer a false version of their faith.
If the book had been written by someone outside of their faith they would have a stronger case.
Worse yet, when it comes to honor killings and other acts of unspeakable violence committed against women in the name of Islam these same moderate Muslims fall silent.
The Toronto Sun reports on a recent Canadian case:
Mohammad Shafia, 59, his second wife, Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son, Hamed, 21, were each convicted in January on four counts of first-degree murder in what was characterized as an honour killing of four female family members as punishment for disobedience. They were handed life sentences with no chance of parole for 25 years.
If A Gift for the Muslim Couple is really a distortion, then we would expect moderate Muslims to denounce honor killings. If they do not, then it is not.
If they do not, their protestations are designed to shut down debate and to repress a truth that makes them look bad.
As for the feminist campaign against honor killings and Muslim violence against women… we will have to wait.
With the notable exception of Kirsten Powers, most feminists are currently consumed by the task of guaranteeing women a ready supply of free contraceptives. Besides, most feminists are far too fearful to make an issue of the way the Muslim community treats women.
It’s a lot sexier to protest for the right to be a slut.