#TryBeatingMeLightly: Wife Beating from Toronto to Pakistan

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A book being distributed in a popular downtown square in Toronto, Canada from an Islamic dawah (outreach) group advocates wife beating (under the right circumstances) and professes that some “women may even enjoy being beaten at times as a sign of love and concern…”

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The book in question, Women in Islam & Refutation of some Common Misconceptions, was obtained by Jonathon D. Halevi, who wrote an expose about the distribution and content of the book in CIJ News.

Halevi obtained the book from a booth advertising “Free Info on Islam” operating in Dundas Square.

He notes that the book, written by Saudi scholar Dr. Abdul-Rahman al-Sheha and printed by the Saudi dawah (outreach) organization the Muslim World League, was also handed out at Central Square of York University by women students belonging to the Muslim Students Association (MSA), a Muslim-Brotherhood linked organization.

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 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.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, in response to a proposal by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) that a husband be allowed to “lightly beat” his wife, a hashtag #TryBeatingMeLightly is trending.

Photographer Fahhad Rajper took photos of 12 Pakistani professional women with their promise of what will happen if “beaten lightly.” (See video below and Rajper’s Facebook page.)

The CII is a constitutional body consisting of 20 members charged with making recommendations to Pakistan’s parliament regarding Islamic law.

After the CII rejected a proposed women’s protection bill drafted by the Punjab Assembly, the council proposed its own bill, which included the following provisions:

  • A husbands is allowed to ‘lightly’ beat his wives if she:
    • Defies his commands
    • Refuses to dress as he desires
    • Turns down demands of intercourse (without a religious excuse)
    • Does not take a bath after intercourse or her menstrual period


  • CII’s proposed law also suggests that he is allowed to beat her if:
    • She doesn’t wear a hijab
    • Speaks loudly enough to be heard by strangers
    • Gives monetary support to others without permission of her husband

CII has further proposed bans on:

  • Co-ed education after primary school
  • Women in military combat
  • Women welcoming foreign delegations
  • Women interacting with men
  • Female nurses taking care of male patients
  • Women appearing in advertisements






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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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