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Reem Allouche and Atika Latifi of the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia group (Facebook).

Best practices?

Provocative video of Muslim women discussing how men should hit their wives ignites outrage

April 13, 2017

A video from Australia showing two Muslim women discussing the best practices for Muslim men to use to decide when and how to strike their wives has sparked a major uproar for apparently condoning domestic violence. The video was posted on Facebook by the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia group and clips of it have been shared on social media showing the women, Reem Allouche, a primary school teacher, and Atika Latifi, talking about when it’s appropriate for a husband to beat his wife, and, at one point, taking out a small stick and demonstrating proper technique.

The statements were made in a conversation about how a husband should deal with a “disobedient” wife. Before resorting to striking her, Latifi explains, a man should try withholding intimacy. But if that doesn’t work, “He is permitted … not obliged here and encouraged, but permitted to hit her.” Allouche nods in agreement. “It’s a blessing from Allah,” Latifi adds, before clarifying that, according to one cleric’s teachings, the hitting “should not cause pain.”

The recommended tool for hitting a wife is a “small stick” known as a “sivaak.” Latifi then takes one out and shows it to viewers before handing it to Allouche, who gently swats Latifi on the hand. Another method for hitting a wife, Latifi continues, is to use a coiled up piece of fabric. Again, Allouche demonstrates by lightly hitting Latifi on the hand with one.

“It’s very evident that this is symbolic in nature,” Allouche says, before Latifi reiterates that striking to discipline a wife should be done in a way “so as not to cause harm.”

The backlash to the commentary was fierce from pundits. Perhaps one of the loudest voices criticizing the women was Ben Fordham, who lashed out at them during a segment on a Channel 9 morning news show. “When you have people in positions of power spreading dangerous messages it is important to call them out,” Fordham said.

Government officials chimed in too. Michaelia Cash, the Turnbull Minister for Women, issued a statement calling the video “abhorrent,” and adding, “these attitudes have no place in modern Australia. Attempts to teach the next generation of young Australian Muslims that violence from a husband to a wife is completely out of touch with community standards and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Domestic violence is abuse — plain and simple. It is not, ‘a beautiful blessing’ as the video describes it.”

On Thursday, the media office of the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia posted a measured apology on the group’s Facebook page. “We acknowledge our mistake,” the statement said, adding that “domestic violence is an abomination that Islam rejects in the strongest terms.” But the group blamed the uproar on the media, which it says is looking to foment anti-Muslim sentiment. “Apparently the likes of The Australian shock-jocks like Ben Fordham and Andrew Bolt, and government ministers care about women and the violence against them!” the statement continued. “These are the same folk whose careers have been built on the consistent shameless demonization of Muslim women (and Islam generally).”

Watch a clip of the controversial discussion below.


Read the full story at The Daily Mail and


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