The Fractured Nation Interviews
The Supreme Court and Wife-beaters
Muhammad: As I said before, it was the unprovoked murder of a faithful follower of Allah, The Praiseworthy that caused the explosion of violence. It was not because the Supreme Court of Canada refused to acknowledge the supremacy of Allah, The All Powerful as required by the Canadian Charter of Rights and such.
Johnny: You’re not referring to the Supreme Court of Canada's rejection of an appeal by a man who regularly beat his wife and claimed that his religion gave him the right to do so, as did the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom by its guarantee of freedom of religion?
Muhammad: Of course.
Johnny: All the Supreme Court did, from my understanding, was rule that, just because the Charter began with the words "Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:" it did not mean that religious laws took precedence over man-made laws.
Muhammad: More nonsense from men who only pretended to believe in God! Imagine man-made laws taking precedence over God's laws. Anyone who believes that will surely spend eternity in Hell.
Johnny: I must admit I was surprised when I read that the Supreme Court of Canada had ruled against the right to beat your wife even if your religion said you could. Until that ruling, the Court, it was said at the time, had never met a religious demand that it did not like. It’s most famous ruling allowing children to bring concealed weapons to school if it was a requirement of their Faith.
Muhammad: Husbands not allowed to physically discipline their wives! Where did these alleged legal scholars get these preposterous notions?
Johnny: Too much Friedan and not enough Koran perhaps?
Muhammad: WHAT! ARE YOU MAKING FUN OF THE KORAN?
Johnny: No, of course not! I was not making fun of the Koran. I would never make fun of the Koran. Only a fool would make fun of the Koran. No, I just wanted to point out that the Court might have been influenced by the early feminists who successfully argued that men and women are equal and who are largely responsible for the inclusion of the equality between the sexes provision, section 28 of the Charter, equality which the Koran denies.
Muhammad: The Koran does not say that men and women are not equal, just that men are more equal.
Johnny: I don't understand.
Muhammad: The Koran could not be clearer. Surah, or chapter 2, verse 228; "women have rights equal to what is incumbent upon them according to what is just, although men are one degree above them."
Johnny: One degree above them!!! If one is above the other, how can they be equal? Is it because this degree is so small that Islam considers men and women equal?
Muhammad: NO! They are equal. Most scholars agree that "one degree" only means that "the male has the superior authority" and this authority gives him the right to discipline his wife if she misbehaves or even thinks of misbehaving. It means that women must obey the men in her life in everyway and in everything without question or be punished … even killed.
Johnny: That is one significant degree!
Muhammad: Yes it is.
Johnny: The Court, again from my reading of their decision, wanted to agree in theory with the "degree" argument but not in practice. In practice it meant a husband could beat his wife, claim a larger share of an inheritance, claim a larger share in any divorce settlement. In practice it meant he could divorce his wife on the spur of the moment and claim the children, and there was nothing the mother could do about it ... and so on and so forth.
Muhammad: Allah’s law is not a theory. If Allah, The Perfectly Wise declares that something is allowed, who am I, WHO ARE YOU to contradict Him! No man can contradict God. For Muslims that is obvious. How could the Court, how could Canadians not understand that for Muslims our religion is not a theory but a way of life. For a supposedly informed society, Canadians were astonishingly ignorant of Muslims, their traditions, customs and beliefs.
Johnny: And, when they finally understood, they began to question the wisdom of making all those exceptions in law for religious beliefs and placing God and religion front and center in their Charter.
Muhammad: All those exceptions! What are you talking about? All Muslims wanted was, when there was a conflict between a man-made law and Allah’s law that they be allowed to follow Allah’s law.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT?
Johnny: Nothing, absolutely nothing except Allah’s law in practice meant the Sharia.
Muhammad: People living in Québec have the Napoleonic Code, in the former English-Canada it was Common Law, why could Muslims not live under Islamic Law.
Johnny: Why not indeed, and I believe it could have if Trudeau had not brought in that pesky Charter of Rights and Freedoms and its declaration that every citizen was equal before the law and guaranteed equal protection and benefit.
Muhammad: Except for the equality provision, which does not recognize that there are "degrees" of equality, which the Sharia does, it is not a completely imperfect document.
Johnny: For some of our viewers who may not be familiar with the Sharia, would your Excellency mind …
Muhammad: The Sharia is the code of law derived from the Koran which is the literal word of God as revealed to God’s Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad, the peace and blessings of God be upon him, and the Sunnah, the sayings and acts of the Prophet – including his silent approval of actions performed in his presence – and finally opinions of his immediate followers.
From these sources, Islamic law provides a complete set of rules on how a Muslim must conduct himself in private and in public; the duties incumbent upon husbands and wives, including how they must raise their children and their duty to Allah, His Messenger and the Muslim community.
Islamic law combines personal morality, civil and criminal law into one overall code of conduct that conforms to the religious view that in Islam there is no difference between the secular and the spiritual sphere. The application and interpretation of Islamic law is the exclusive domain of Muslim clerics and of all-male Islamic courts, what you call Islamic tribunals.
Johnny: Thank you for that both succinct and comprehensive explanation.
Muhammad: Do you know what was the first freedom guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights?
Johnny: Freedom of speech???
Muhammad: Don’t be silly. Freedom of religion!
Johnny: And a wise choice it was to make religion the first freedom.
Muhammad: It is first, because religion is the most important freedom. Do you not agree?
Johnny: Of course, but ...
Muhammad: First they say that God’s law is supreme and make religion the first guarantee of their cherished Charter and then, when we say this is God’s law, they say no, there is another law that is more important.
Johnny: But asking the Court to recognize that Muslim men are in charge of women, and that husbands are allowed to beat their wives because the Koran grants them that right, isn’t that a bit extreme?
Muhammad: As I said before, what the Koran allows no man can deny and no, Mr. MacDonald, the Koran is not extreme, it is logical and consistent.
Johnny: Yes, but what about verse 4-34 [reaches for an approved interpretation of the Koran by Majid Fakhry which was placed on the table in anticipation of the interview with the Ayatollah as a sign of respect]? For the handful of viewers who may not be familiar with this controversial verse may I...
Muhammad: If you must.
Johnny: Thank you. "Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made some of them excel the others, and because they spend some of their wealth. Hence righteous women are obedient, guarding the unseen which Allah has guarded. And those of them that you fear might rebel, admonish them and abandon them in their beds and beat them. Should they obey you, do not seek a way of harming them; for Allah is Sublime and Great!"
Muhammad: If Allah, The Equitable One, declares that MEN ARE IN CHARGE OF WOMEN because they spend some of their wealth on them and, if women are not as smart as men, then a slap now and then to make her understand is quite acceptable.
Johnny: Women are not as smart as men?
Muhammad: I thought you said you read the Koran!!!
In Chapter 2, verse 282, Allah, The Perfectly Wise, reminds us that women don't remember things as well as men which is why if you must call a women to witness the writing down of a debt because two men are not available "call to witness two witnesses of your men; if not two men, then one man and two women from such witnesses you approve of, so that if one of them (one of the two women) fails to remember, the other will remind her."
Johnny: If women are feeble-minded, then why beat them at all. Why not show them how you want them to behave and, if they don't behave as you want them to, adopt a non-corporal form of punishment?
Muhammad: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Denial of sex is a non-corporal form of punishment. In any event, Muslim husbands don’t beat their wives for no reason and when they do beat them, it is in accordance with the directions of the Prophet, the peace and blessings of God be upon him.
Johnny: The Prophet left instructions for wife-beaters?
Muhammad: The Prophet, the peace and blessings of God be upon him, was a kind man who did not want women or girls to be overly brutalized for misbehaving or thinking of misbehaving, therefore he left instructions as to how much of a beating they deserved and the size of implements, if any, to be used in the beating.
Johnny: So you were allowed to beat your wife with a stick or a broom. I didn’t know that?
Muhammad: According to the Prophet Muhammad, the peace and blessings of God be upon him, the beating should not be severe and yes, implements are allowed but should not be bigger than a toothbrush.
Johnny: A toothbrush!!!
Muhammad: The Prophet was said to be brushing his teeth when he answered this question. It was not, of course, a modern toothbrush, but a reed of some type. Therefore, a small whip to punish your wives or to get them to behave the way Allah wants them to behave would not be out of place.
Johnny: A small whip. How thoughtful, and what an original way for the Prophet to impose a size limit on wife-beating instruments.
Muhammad: Even with the Koran as a guide and the Prophet’s example, Muslim scholars still struggle with how much a beating a wife should be forced to endure.
In our appeal to the Supreme Court, we recognized that, and because the Prophet, the peace and blessings of God be upon him, had set limits on the severity of the beating we were willing to allow the Court to place its own limits … within reason.
Johnny: And they would not accept this compromise.
Muhammad: No. And they call Muslims inflexible.