- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

An Egyptian cleric appearing on a recent religious television show on Iqra TV Europe/Africa told a woman who sent in a question from Norway: It’s okay for Muslim husbands to beat wives, so long as they don’t touch the face.

The Middle East Media Research Instituted reported that cleric Mahmoud Al-Denawy read a question from a woman from Norway during a June 17 show: What’s the Islamic view on the beating of wives? He then said the non-believers — those of faiths other than Islam — often use that issue as a point of criticism.

He then said, MEMRI reported: “Indeed, many people take this as something to stab Islam and to stab Muslims. They say, ‘Here Islam is calling for the beating of wives.’ … There are so many sayings and many misconceptions about this, but they forgot an important thing. Allah says that if there is a problem — if a lady, for example, who is disobedient, she has a bad behavior, for example — the husband should do his best to correct her, to fix this issue.”

First, the husband should try to verbally correct her, the cleric said, MEMRI reported. If that doesn’t work, he should then move to a different bed. Only after that, should the man beat her, he said, MEMRI reported.

But even then, there are rules that must be followed.

“At the end … Allah says: ‘Sleep in beds apart, and beat them.’ … When it comes to beating, he should never beat her harshly. He should never raise his hand. He should never beat her on her face. But he can use something very simple — like a siwak [dental stick] or something like this pen. The beating should not lead to breaking her arm or a tooth,” the cleric said, MEMRI reported. “He should avoid this because the prophet urged us and told us that when you beat someone, you should never beat him or her on his or her face. This is because the face is owned by Allah.”

SEE ALSO: Islamic cleric decrees it OK for Syrian rebels to rape women

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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