Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Copenhagen: Prison imam publishes book guide to better relations with wife that says husbands allowed to beat wives


Blegdams Prison on Nørrebro in Copenhagen has a large room which is used both for worship and prayer rooms for Muslims.


According to a book by a Copenhagen employed prison imam, it's OK for a Muslim man to beat his wife.

If a Muslim woman publicly behaves in a way which conflicts with Islam, according to the Copenhagen prison imam Jan Leon Soudari-Hansen, it's OK to beat her.

The imam counsels Muslim inmates at the Vestre prison, Blegdamsvejen prison, Politigården prison, all of which belong to the Copenhagen Prisons.

Further he wrote the reference work "Råd og vejledning om ægteskab & samliv” (Advise and guidance on marriage and cohabitation), where, with the help of koran quotes, gives the prescription for how to live together properly in a Muslim marriage.

Overall he rejects violence in marriage, but according to the book it is acceptable, if two conditions are met:

* The woman commented an "evident abomination", that is to say adultery or a very serious sin, writes the imam.
* It should be the last resort. The husband should first attempt to talk and then refuse to have sex with his wife.

According to Jan Leon Soudari-Hansen it's a requirement that the 'husband has given up all hope that the wife will listen to reason from him or others and that he has given his wife time to consider his feelings by refraining from having intercourse with her for such a long period, that he is convinced that it's not helping."

In the book Jan Leon Soudari-Hansen emphasizes that Allah will determine on the "Day of Resurrection" if the woman really committed an 'evident abomination'. Otherwise, the husband would be punished.

Jan Leon Soudari-Hansen is paid by the civil service as a full-time academic and his book includes a range of topics.

For example, that the husband should try to give his wife an orgasm, that a white lie can be OK, and how a woman (under difficult requirements) can obtain a divorce. Everything is interpreted from the Koran and religious traditions.

Regarding the possibility of beating one's wife, the basis is a quote from Allah: "I enjoin you to be good to your wives, except if they comment an evident abomination. If they do that, then avoid them in bed and beat them in a way that leaves no marks."

Karen Jespersen (Liberal Party), chairperson for the parliamentary integration committee (currently on leave due to a book project), has read the book and wants to question the justice minister about it.

"I would like the justice minister's appraisal on whether it contains incitement to violence."

Imam Jan Leon Soudari-Hansen didn't want to talk with Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten.

The newspaper contacted his boss, prison warden Peter Vesterheden yesterday. After contacting the imam he got back and said that by mistake it didn't say that the guidance on when a husband should beat his wife did not apply in Denmark.

"It should have very clearly said in that section that according to Danish law it's illegal to beat and therefore that that is what applies," the imam thinks according to an email.

For the same reason, Peter Vesterheden sees no problem with the matter:

"I completely agree with him, that it should have said that. Because in Denmark we beat neither spouses nor children."

Q: And you think that it was just a mistake, that this passage wasn't included in the book?

A: Yes, I think so. I know the feeling when I write a reader's letter and then afterward think: why did I not clarify that?


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The book ”Råd og vejledning om ægteskab & samliv” was written by prison imam Jan Leon Saudari-Hansen under the name Abû Yûsuf al-Fûnû.

On page 98, it says:

"To beat is also firstly a possibility, which can only be considered after the husband has given up all hope that the wife will listen to reason from him or others, and that he given the wife time to consider his feelings by refraining from having intercourse with her for such a long period that he's convinced that it's not helping."

"Secondly it [ed: violence] a possibility, that can only be considered if there's an issue that she continues to commit something about which there's no doubt that it's an evident abomination. The expression ”fâhisjah bajjinah” [Fahisha Bayyinah] normally means to be unfaithful, and if one chooses that translation, one is allowed to beat only if the wife had been unfaithful to him, and yet [he] wants to keep her despite that. If one chooses (like most scholars) to translate ”fâhisjah bajjinah” more literaly, it means a very serious sin against Allah's commands."

Source: JP ,Europe News

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