Who Says Muslims Don't Have a Softer Side?
Good news from Pakistan for Pakistani women.
Or at least I think it's good news. Well, maybe not good news...maybe it's not all bad news.
You see, the Islamic Council of Pakistan is a powerful body that's part legislative and part fanatical enforcer of Islamic discipline. And after thinking long and hard, these wise men came up with a 75-page proposal that will allow husbands to "lightly" beat their wives.
In the 75-page proposal, Mohammad Khan Sheerani suggests a light beating is acceptable should the need arise to punish a woman. The proposal bans forceful beating, saying only a small stick is necessary to instill fear.
Because that's just what every marriage needs. A small stick and a little bit of fear.
The Council of Islamic Ideology is a powerful constitutional body that advises the Pakistani legislature whether laws are in line with the teachings of Islam.
Its proposed bill is seen as a response to the rejected Punjab Women Protection bill for abused women. The council shunned it as "un-Islamic" and wrote its own bill, which includes the recommendation for the light beating.
Real Islamic women aren't "abused." They're just knocked around a little.
"A husband should be allowed to lightly beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods," Pakistan's Express-Tribune newspaper cited the proposal as saying.
Where "not tonight dear, I have a headache" can get you bashed across the face -- with a small stick, of course. And the next time your hubby tells you to dress like a Nazi jailer, or a French maid, or a school girl, you better comply.
The proposal also calls for a beating if a woman does not wear a hijab, if she interacts with strangers, speaks too loudly or gives others cash without her husband's permission, according to the newspaper.
Minus the hijab thingy, I've dated and lived with several women who loved talking to strangers, were loudmouths, and would loan friends money from our joint account without telling.
Where's a small stick when you need one.
It also suggests bans on various activities, including women fighting in wars. But it allows women to participate in politics and become judges, and proposes that the need for a guardian for women of age is not required.
The proposal also says that women should not be permitted to receive non-relatives or foreign officials, and they should not use birth control pills without asking their husbands.
Proposals by the Council of Islamic Ideology are recommendations and are not applicable unless passed by legislators.
In truth, we shouldn't make fun of foreigners and especially Muslims. They're just different than us. I'm sure a lot of the stuff we do seems strange and alien to them.
Except in this country, if you hit your spouse with a small stick she will either hit you back harder or call the cops on you. I suppose Muslim women should be grateful the masters let them out of their sight for stuff like running for office or presiding in court.
But after they're done with their jobs, it's back to the salt mines and the little stick. This may all seem very harsh to you, but trust me.
This is the softer side of Islam.