The federal minister for women Michaelia Cash has condemned a Facebook video by Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir which condones domestic violence and describes hitting wives as “a beautiful blessing”.
The 30-minute video was posted to the Facebook page of the controversial Islamic political movement.
It shows two women Reem Allouche, a Sydney primary school teacher, and Indian-born scholar Atika Latifi involved in a discussion, interpreting verses from the Koran to explain issues such as gender differences, leadership roles, and domestic violence.
“The third measure which is permitted, I want to make this point very clear that he is permitted, not obliged here or encourage, but permitted to hit her,” Ms Latifi says in the video.
“It’s very evident that this is symbolic in nature and it’s not as what people have understood or what people would like to have understood. This is the reality of the third disciplinary option.”
The video was shot during an all-women’s event in Sydney’s west.
Senator Cash said the attitudes promoted in the footage “have no place in modern Australia”.
“Domestic violence is abuse – plain and simple,” she said, adding that on average one women is murdered every week by a partner or former partner.
Watch: Cash critical of Hizb ut-Tahrir online video
Labor’s shadow minister for women, Tanya Plibersek, has also condemned the video.
“”I think it’s very important to say again and again that men and women are equal,” she said.
“There is circumstance in which the man in the relationship gets to call the shots, to control the relationship.
“I think it’s very worrying that people might interpret the video as justification for domestic violence when domestic violence is always wrong. It’s always a crime.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia’s media office has issued a statement on Facebook saying it understands “concern expressed from sections of our Muslim community” in relation to the video.
“We firmly believe that we, as a community, must not shy away from the clarification of Islamic injunctions, however controversial, let alone succumb to reinterpretations of Islam forced by liberal hounding,” the statement said.
“Nevertheless, there is a need to be sensitive to the environment in which we operate and the context in which we are speaking.
“When mud-slinging at Islam is the order of the day in an increasingly hostile West, more thought needs to be given to the question of purpose, worth and risk of sharing content online.
“We acknowledge our mistake in this respect in this instance. We would especially like to acknowledge in this regard sisters in our community involved in the domestic violence space and their advice on how things can be misconstrued on this topic and we thank them for their tremendous ongoing work.
“Domestic violence is an abomination that Islam rejects in the strongest terms.”
The statement also condemned the portrayal of Muslim women in the media.
Under Section 61 of the NSW Crimes Act and similar legislation in all states says common assault is an offence in Australia, regardless of whether serious harm is done.
National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.
– with AAP