Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wife-Starving Law

Yes, it exists.
Where? Afghanistan.
For what? Denying your husband sex.

"The original bill caused outrage earlier this year, forcing Afghan President Hamid Karzai to withdraw it.It allows a man to withhold food from his wife if she refuses his sexual demands; a woman must get her husband's permission to work; and fathers and grandfathers are given exclusive custody of children."

So apparently the revised version (that has now become a law) is not as bad as the original. What did the original contain then?! This:

"The original version obliged Shia women to have sex with their husbands every four days at a minimum, and it effectively condoned rape by removing the need for consent to sex within marriage."

Okay, I personally find it absolutely ridiculous that there is a minimum amount of times a woman is forced to have sex with her husband. I wonder, though, how they came up with the number 4? Did they somehow find it in the Qur'an? I also don't understand how this law only applies to Shias? If it's a law doesn't it apply to all Afgan people?

I mean, I don't really even know what to say about this. I'm starting to think the Qur'ans I've read are different than the ones these people are reading. These types of stories make me angry but they also make me really sad. So many horrible things are done in the name of Islam, and because of this we have such a negative image. Yes of course Western racism plays a part, but when someone reads a story like this what are they supposed to think? We can't expect every non-Muslim to read the Qur'an and see that this is not what God wants from us. There are Muslims who read the Qur'an and can't see that!

Read story here.


Stephanie said...

I heard about this new law this morning. This is just utterly ridiculous. These men should be absolutely ashamed of their disgusting misuse of the rule of law. I have so much to say but for now I'm utterly speechless.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was following this story a couple months back when it first broke the airwaves.

This is another power and control ploy men are using against women, and there is no way this is found in the Quran, just no way..

I found it interesting that it only pertains to Shi'ite Muslims and not all Muslims.. What is the reasoning, I wonder.. Is there something that happened in history that they are emulating?

I don't know..

I cannot imagine what it would feel like to live and sleep with a man who follows these rules.. The relationship between men and women is unique in that only women are so intimate with their enemies...

If a Black person is hated by Whites, or treated badly, they do all they can to stay away from Whites..

Not so true for women, eh? Instead we are conditioned to be submissive and taught that we need men, in order to make our oppression more bearable, no?
This is not a Muslim issue, it is a patriarchy issue.

Maybe if Westerners would stop seeing it as an "Islamic" issue, people could stop being so defensive and start looking at themselves a little more clearly.

One thing women across the entire world have in common, although varying in extremes of course, is that we are workhorses, and maids, and servants.

It does not matter how progressive a society, this is still something seen as a natural role. I think spoiled little girls find a rude awakening when they marry and find out all too soon that they must cook, clean, and fuck, for the pleasure of their man. Men do not work half as hard as women. Yet they say we are treated princesses, protected, and spoiled rotten, in the same breath as they sit back and watch us break our backs doing menial labor.


Yes, these are all of the feelings that come bursting out of me when I hear stories like this. I cannot help but think of the strong ass women who are living this, not just reading it in the paper.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Sarah Elizabeth, I couldn't have said it better myself. How is a woman supposed to love or respect the men in her life who think this is ok. Then her own sons will be trained to perpetuate the horror.

Sara said...

I woke up this morning and seen a picture by Islam-haters and it really got me upset because it causes confusion and doubt for me. Which is such a huge battle for me. Its so hard reading stuff like this because even though I am born muslim I still have to deal with negative feedback and hearing things like this does not make me feel happy at all. Id rather keep away from all the propaganda and just stick to the prophet Muhamad PBUH and his sunnah.

Faith in Writing said...

This is ridiculous! And I must say I think there's a big difference between being a Muslim and understanding Islam. Some people are Muslim by birth but they can't or haven't read the Qur'an. I knew a girl in another online group who said one day she was trying to learn how to pray but her Turkish husband couldn't teach her because HE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND ARABIC.... um, so how was he praying then????? They had an Islamic marriage and everything, and she was American and new to Islam. What was the point???

Anyway, I can only suggest that it may be sex every 4 days because they assume the men will have 4 wives, so on a rotation he gets sex every day that way. Just a guess.
I saw a documentary about a woman (Aussie or American journalist) who travelled through Afghanistan to get a story on doctors there (or more like, people acting as doctors and treating the women through holes in a piece of fabric/wall so they wouldn't have to look at them) or something and she had to go around as one of some guy's wives, so she wouldn't stand out and get in trouble. It was just assumed in some parts that a man would have 4 wives, because that was his allowance. I don't think all rules were followed to gain the extra wives.
..........Afghanistan is a bit of a mess, I think. Islamically and in every other way. It might be an Islamic country but it's gone way off the deep end in terms of bad ideas.

ellen557 said...

That's just... utter crap really. It's not even about the Qur'an. It's about hadiths that people don't bother to check if they are authentic or not. And I don't see how it can only be targeted at Shia women either... A Shia marriage contract asks both the husband and the wife to be open to sex during the marriage but consent always has to be given! I just don't get it. Sometimes I think Hamid Karzai is alright and other times, like now, I just think he is a nutter. He is giving too much to the misogynist men who have the real power in Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

That's crazy. :(

Well like what ellen said, it's about the hadiths ... and I don't think that everyone has the resources to check if certain hadiths are authentic. And then also some people believe every single hadith to be unquestionable and that it's a sin to question them. So it depends on how you look at things...

Stephanie said...

I don't even see how this can be contributed to the ahadith. there is a hadith which does say a women shouldn't deny her husband sex, but that in itself implies consent and not the okay to rape. There is also a hadith about foreplay and numerous ones about the kind treatment of the wife. Where's the punishment if a man doesn't comply with them. this is just chauvinism in it's nastiest form and another way to give a man ultimate power over the women of the society.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie - true, according to what I've read, wives should have sex with their husbands unless they have a legitimate excuse.
Some hadiths could be twisted, to say since the women is supposed to not reject her husband's advances, that means the husband has the right to her regardless of what she wants.
If the wife does not go to bed with him it falls under the category of Nushooz.

«لو كنت آمراً أحداً أن يسجد لأحد لأمرت المرأة أن تسجد لزوجها»

“If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself before another, I would have ordered a woman to prostrate herself before her husband”. [At-Tirmidhi]

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Stephanie - I totally agree, these men should really feel bad :S Unfortunately they probably think what they're doing is 100% right.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Sarah Elizabeth - great comment! You put into words exactly how I feel. Female subordination is one of the only universal things we have, which is really sad.

"This is another power and control ploy men are using against women, and there is no way this is found in the Quran, just no way.." AMEN!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Stacy - exactly, if a mum thinks this is okay, or she surrounds herself with men who think its okay, then her sons will probably feel the same.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Sara - I agree. The problem is men like these think that these things are in the sunnah/Qur'an/hadith.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Faith in Writing - yes, polygamy might be one reason. I wonder how many men in Afghanistan are polygamous?

"I think there's a big difference between being a Muslim and understanding Islam." Very true!!!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Ellen - so true about the hadith, we need to put more effort into trying to find out which ones are authentic and which aren't. I find it weird that the Prophet fought for women's rights, and yet there are so many hadith that take rights away from women. Hmmmm.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Aynur - yes, I've heard about the thing where a woman can't refuse her husband sex unless she has a legitimate excuse. It kind of bothers me, because what constitutes a legitimate excuse? And why isn't the same applied to men?

Stephanie said...

Well I have read that lack of sexual gratification is grounds for divorce Islamically but I don't have the source and certainly most women in Islamic countries would dare initiate a khul on these grounds.
Either way don't let the abhorrent behavior of some men lead us into a gender war. Marriage in Islam can and is a beautiful thing if both parties recognize the rights and contributions of the other.
Also, men and women certainly don't have the same rights and responsibilities. For example when I get my week off from fasting, while I'm sitting at home eating lunch and drinking afternoon cofee, my husband will be fasting and he will be doing it while out working his very long workday so he can support his family, which is his obligation, not mine.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

"Marriage in Islam can and is a beautiful thing if both parties recognize the rights and contributions of the other." Amen!
I think this goes for so many aspects of Islam, whose beauty gets tainted by cultural and backwards practices of Muslims.