“If a woman does not fulfil her responsibilities in marriage first you advise her, if that doesn’t work, then you consult her relatives. If that doesn’t work then you desert her in bed. If all of this doesn’t work, then light beating is allowed.” The definition of marital responsibilities if she refuses to dress up for her husband; turns down demands of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take a bath after intercourse or menstrual periods.
When asked to be precise at what light beating means he said it was with a handkerchief or hat, but not on her face.
The reason the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) in Pakistan came up with this shocking idea is because the Pakistan government just passed a law to allow women legal protection from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. Large amounts of the Pakistan population are now in uproar of the idea that women need a light beating to get them back into line. Social media has been using the hashtag trybeatingtmelightly:
The Qur’an doesn’t mention homosexuality at all, and when it does mention “men who are not in need of women” it doesn’t condemn them. All of this might be surprising when you consider the impression most of the media has given about Omar Mateen’s killing of nearly 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
The Independent reports how the recent rise of political Islam and jihadism by extremist groups, had lead to more homophobic talk by not only Muslim extremists but also the general Muslim population. A study in the UK over the last 12 months showed that 50% of Muslims thought homosexuality should be made illegal. I wonder what the Christian population of Britain would say? Would they have a similar opinion?
Whereas homosexuality is not explicitly condemned in Islam sacred writing, in the Bible it is clear: homosexuality is a sin.
Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
Leviticus 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
However we know from studying Christianity that different denominations of Christianity follow these Bible teaching to different extents. That some Christians would rather follow the Golden Rule or try to follow Jesus’ teachings of always doing the most loving thing and remembering to forgive.
Year 8 have given themselves a really good grounding in RE this year with the two units: What does it mean to be a Christian, and, What does it mean to be a Muslim. These two updated units were specifically designed to drip some of the new GCSE Religious Studies into Key Stage 3 so when students get to Year 10 and 11, they’ll understand a lot already!
We also have the Caring for Others, Genesis (creation and environment) and Suffering and Evil units to revise for the summer exam.
Here are some things to watch from BBC Bitesize Learning to get you started:
A 3 minute video of a man explaining his belief that God created the world on the BBC
Year 9 have enjoyed some updated units this year, helping them to prepare for the new AQA Religious Studies GCSE which we’ll start after the May half-term. So what will they have to revise for their summer exam?
A TV programme on Wednesday evening on Channel 4 might be worthwhile watching for our GCSE RS students. Channel 4 commissioned face-to-face, at-home interviews with a representative sample of 1,000 Muslims across the UK between 25 April and 31 May 2015 so they would be able to report on what British Muslims really think. Obviously a thousand is no where near the actual number of Muslims living in Britain (2, 706, 066), but as a survey it is found to be enough to be representative. The Guardian has reported in quite some depth about the TV programme’s findings but I still think watching it would be worthwhile.
A few interesting facts were unearthed by the survey:
The research suggests that 86% of British Muslims feel a strong sense of belonging in Britain, which is higher than the national average of 83%.
A large majority (91%) of the British Muslims who took part in the survey said they felt a strong sense of belonging in their local area, which is higher than the national average of 76%.
However, when asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed that homosexuality should be legal in Britain, 18% said they agreed and 52% said they disagreed, compared with 5% among the public at large who disagreed.
39% of the Muslims surveyed agreed that “wives should always obey their husbands”, compared with 5% of the country as a whole.
A Muslim woman out shopping in London was faced with Batman jokes, the Batman theme tune being sung and then ‘My kids can’t even see your face, who the f*** are you? Are you a man or a woman?’ being shouted at her. All for wearing the Niqab which is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. It is worn with an accompanying headscarf.
The Qur’an, Islam’s holy book and treated as the word of God (Allah), tells Muslims – men and women – to dress modestly. Male modesty has been interpreted to be covering the area from the navel to the knee – and for women it is generally seen as covering everything except their face, hands and feet when in the presence of men they are not related or married to. How much of the body needs to be covered is open to interpretation by different Muslims and Muslim communities. Some French practise for you!