A couple of deluded Muslim women from Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) made a video and placed it on Facebook. It stated that if a woman is disobedient, a man can; firstly advise them to behave; secondly, leave them to sleep alone; and finally hit them. According to HT, men can apparently hit women with a scarf or a short stick (about the size of a kebab skewer) and that striking would be done so as not to cause injury or pain. While it is ludicrous in itself, that a woman could be considered ‘disobedient’ and treated like a small child, it is most unlikely that such admonition with a scarf or small stick would do much damage1. The attitude that disobedience is considered to be a problem, perhaps says more about some Muslim men than Muslim women.
Of course, the dog-whistle aficionados were off like a shot out of a gun. The Federal Minister for Women Wearing Motorbike Helmets, Michaelia Cash, said the video was absolutely abhorrent and was an attempt to teach young Muslims that violence against women was acceptable. Of course, Corey Bernardi was also busy being outraged, seemingly forgetting that he had once said that just because you may put your partner “in a headlock, didn’t mean it was automatically a domestic violence situation”2. He stated that this HT video was the “latest extension of the encroachment of fundamentalist Islam”. On what it was encroaching was not made clear3. However, he was presumably more concerned about trying to drum up trade for his Australian Conservatives, apparently having attracted only Kirralie Smith so far4. Such statements from Bernardi would probably make her feel comfortable. Tanya Plibersek and the NSW Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller, among others, put out more subdued statements. In addition, peak Muslim bodies put out a statement stating that Islam does not tolerate domestic violence.
To hear such outrage expressed by the usual Conservative idiots as Cash and Bernardi, who happen to be two of the thickest parliamentarians, you’d think that these women had suggested using a piece of four by two and a whip. Conservatives never let the facts get in the way of a good long blast on the dog whistle.
HT is a very small organisation in Australia, having perhaps a couple of hundred members. They should be a target of derision rather than outrage, as they have views more like those suited to the late Middle Ages than the modern world.
To put all this in perspective, Irfan Yusuf had an excellent analogy: “compare some elements of HT to Andrew Bolt. Like him, they are fringe in their own sector. But I doubt as many Muslims take HT’s caliphate nostalgia as seriously as Liberal voters do Bolt’s nostalgia for Tony Abbott”5. Like Bolt, HT are fruitcakes, not dangerous insurgents. Someone should tell them this is the 21st century, not the 14th, or in Bolt’s case, the 19th.