A high school exam question in Malaysia asked students to delineate the acceptable ways to “hit a disobedient wife.”
The question was part of a test in Islamic Studies for seniors in public schools. Malaysia is considered a “moderate” Muslim country.
Lawyer and activist Siti Kasim posted the exam question on Facebook and asked the education minister, “Is this what our Malay children (are) learning in school?? “
The question reads, “Ways to hit a nusyuz (disobedient) wife.” An accompanying charts states two ways — “Not too overboard that it would cause injury” and “Not on sensitive areas” — and asks the student to fill in the third permissible way.
The question was from a Sept/Oct 2018 model exam for the Form Five Islamic Studies class and was issued by the government education department.
Siti later said, “We should not be teaching our children such rubbish in schools. If they really want to teach (this), teach all other interpretations too. Let them decide which is best in Islam in accordance to the Quran, which is all about mercy and compassion.”
Clarion Project previously reported on a book being distributed in a popular downtown square in Toronto, Canada from an Islamic dawah (outreach) group advocating wife beating (under the right circumstances). The book professed some “women may even enjoy being beaten at times as a sign of love and concern…”
Wife beating is viewed as the third and final stage of “discipline” used “to treat a wife blameworthy of immoral behavior,” according to the book, which states how it should be done: “Beating without hurting, breaking a bone, leaving black or blue marks on the body, and avoiding hitting the face or especially sensitive places.”
The book goes on to state that, according to psychologists, this “treatment” has “proved to be effective with two types of women:”
“The first type: Strong willed, demanding and commandeering women. These are the type of women who like to control, master and run the affairs of their husbands by pushing them around, commanding them and giving them orders.
“The second type: Submissive or subdued women. These women may even enjoy being beaten at times as a sign of love and concern…”
The book was written by Saudi scholar Dr. Abdul-Rahman al-Sheha and printed by the Saudi dawah (outreach) organization the Muslim World League.
The book compares wife beating to spanking a recalcitrant child and as a remedy much like bitter medicine which an ill person will gladly take to be cured of their ailment.