Anglican Samizdat

May 10, 2009

Domestic violence seminar, Saudi style

Filed under: Islam — David Jenkins @ 5:33 pm

The civilised world would expect a seminar on domestic violence to condemn it in all circumstances and explore ways that it can be avoided. Not so in Saudi Arabia, where men are encouraged to slap their wives for overspending on the black sheets their husbands force them to wear on their heads.

Just so we’re clear, a Saudi domestic violence seminar instructs men on when to be violent.

From here:

A Saudi judge said it is okay for a man to slap his wife for lavish spending at a seminar on domestic violence, according to a report from Agence France-Presse.

Jeddah judge Hamad al-Razine told the group a husband was justified in smacking his wife, using overspending on a high-end abaya, the black shroud Saudi women must wear in public, as an example, according to AFP.

“If a person gives 1,200 riyals (320 dollars) to his wife and she spends 900 riyals (240 dollars) to purchase an abaya from a brand shop, and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment,” Razine said, AFP reported.

The seminar was on the role of authorities in preventing domestic violence that was attended by activists and officials, including members of the National Family Safety Program.

While the judge recognized the country’s domestic violence problem, he said some of the blame must lie with the wives.

“Nobody puts even a fraction of the blame on them,” Razine said, AFP reported.


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