Saudi advertising campaign not enough

KKFABUSEAD1 Monica Lanfranco has written an article in Italy’s Il Fatto Quotidiano on the first Saudi campaign against domestic violence here. A poster of the educational campaign can be seen above.

In the article she quotes me saying:

This anti-violence campaign in Saudi Arabia is clearly in response to the public outrage over the death of 5 year old Lama after facing horrendous and unspeakable tortures at the hands of her father, who was effectively let go. Any move to highlight domestic violence is hugely important but the problem is not just a matter of education and raising awareness. Stopping domestic violence has to start with changes in the law that criminalises it and prosecutes abusers. Under Sharia law, however, violence against women and children is often seen to be the prerogative of the male guardian as Lama’s case highlights.

The Saudi Government wants to be seen to be making an effort against violence in the face of public outrage. The first perpetrator of violence in Saudi society though is the regime itself and its medieval laws.

The best way to begin to end violence against women and children is to end the implementation of Sharia law – not  an advertising campaign.

Beating your wife honours her

Here’s a video clip of an Islamic ‘scholar’ speaking about the wife-beating ‘etiquette’ in Islam; he says ‘Allah honours wives by instating the punishment of beatings’. Yes, it is such a sign of respect and honour not to have a man shake your hand, to be segregated, to be veiled and to be beaten, amongst other things.

Not surprisingly, the scholar’s ‘interpretation’ is not very different from the [not so] ‘moderate Ahmadiyaa speakers I debated last week. They too said beat her only after admonishing her, don’t leave marks, and so on and so forth. Listen to the ‘scholar’ here: [Read more…]