Afghan Husbands Can Legally Starve Their Wives

A few months ago, there was a proposed law in Afghanistan for the Shia minority that would have forced Afghani women to have sex with their husbands.

Not only did the law pass, it’s worse than we thought.

Last week, though, Human Rights Watch discovered that a revised version of the Shiite Personal Status Law had been quietly put into effect at the end of July — meaning that Shiite men in Afghanistan now have the legal right to starve their wives if their sexual demands are not met and that Shiite women must obtain permission from their husbands to even leave their houses, “except in extreme circumstances.”

Reader Brian puts it very simply:

Islamic law, my foot. This is legalized abuse.

President Obama needs to condemn this brutality. With allies like this, who needs enemies?

  • medussa

    Brilliant. And I’m sure this is justified somewhere, somehow, in their holy texts.

  • http://terrierchica.blogspot.com erica

    What if the women want sex and their husbands deny it? Can they then refuse to cook for their husbands?

  • narpas

    Morbid point of clarification: if a wife is starved to death under this rule, is the husband treated like a murderer in the same sense as if he attacked and killed her?

    Of course, that doesn’t matter, because the husband can simply hide the body and declare that his wife is never allowed outside the house again. Agreed that all modern countries should condemn this wholly.

  • Anon

    This is like a extreme version of the verse in Quran on this subject.

    Sura 4, Verse 34
    Different translations of the verse.
    From:http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/004.qmt.html

    YUSUFALI: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). ”

    PICKTHAL: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.”

    SHAKIR:” Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.”

    http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/004.qmt.html

  • keddaw

    Glad we’re over there liberating Afghanistan.

    Imagine how much worse it would be if we weren’t over there ensuring free and open elections.

    Why, when glad handing Hamid Karzai, didn’t the US and UK get an absolute guarantee of at least a basic form of human rights enshrined in a basic constitution?

    Honestly, the short-sightedness of politicians never ceases to amaze me.

  • http://denkeensechtna.blogspot.com Deen

    How does that even work? How can they starve the people who they want to do the cooking for them?

  • Neal O

    That this is just dreadful is obvious. The issue seems to be do we support one lot of Muslim nutters, in this case the Afghan government, on the basis that the alternative group, the Taliban are even nuttier!

    My hearing of Obama on the radio the other day is that his view of the mission there is largely for the benefit of US homeland security post 9/11.

    My view is that the only case for being there is civil rights, particularly of Afghani women. Perversely I am sure if these are strengthened so will ours and US security be enhanced too.

    It is intolerable that laws like this are being enacted under the umbrella of our military intervention and it does nothing for our security let alone our civilisation that they are.

  • Ex Partiot

    I think it is time the U.S, Britain and the rest of the NATO countries quite losing men and spending untold amounts of money on crap country like that and get out It will never change, it will always be sh–t hole

  • jemand

    if being starved doesn’t qualify as “extreme circumstances” what the hell DOES?

  • http://none shane

    hummm, normally i wouldn’t give up on situations like Afghanistan, but the religious nutters’ keep crankin it up a notch …i’m now at the point that i agree with the Ron Paul approach – get out / stay out / and leave them to settle thier own problems …since most of this is all muslim on muslim / chiristian on muslim (and vice versa) / & muslim on jewism / attacks …sounds like all religious folk to me – so the less the better.

  • Jen

    Holy shit.

  • valdemar

    Nothing will be done to stop this sort of thing – the US has staked all its money on Karzai and his cronies. The Afghan regime is obviously a corrupt warlord/bandit kleptocracy, and millions of women are being prevented from voting – but hey, we’re defending freedom, civilization and mom’s apple pie. The Taleban are undoubtedly worse, but they’re not looking beatable while Karzai’s gang have shown little real backbone. It’s a bit like Vietnam, really – except of course Britain had the sense to stay out of that.

  • thilina

    Karzai’s there to make sure the Americans and British can do whatever they want. In the process the Afghan government can do as they please (as long as they stay out of the way of the US army).

    For the Afghan people its really no better than when the Taliban were in control.

  • http://asad123.wordpress.com Asad

    I am a Muslim and I find this outrageous. Neither the Quran nor the teachings of Prophet Muhammad support domestic violence. It turns out that the law in question was amended (http://www.lemondrop.com/2009/08/17/afghan-wives-can-now-suffer-starvation-for-refusing-sex/) but that misses the point.

    As for Anon’s suggestion that the oft-maligned 4:34 gives Muslim men license to abuse their wives, the reality is much different. Notice that the ayah begins by reminding men that they are to act as “protectors” of women. Also the verb that has been translated as “beat” or “scourge” has a host of meanings including “to exclude” or “to avoid.” Prophet Muhammad himself treated his wives with kindness and generosity. If he had ever abused any of his wives, a host of Orientalists would have written dissertations on the event. Never happened.

  • Gribblethemunchkin

    Asad

    You are of course correct that that verse has different interpretations. However, some of those interpretations are indeed sanctioning domestic violence. The problem really isn’t the verse itself, its that people would find divine wisdom in a book that can be taken different ways (as all books can).

    Likewise, in the bible, other translations of virgin (related to Mary) mean simply young woman, and carpenter (refering to JC and his pops) mean “Learned man”. Both of which kinda put a different spin on things.

    Aren’t we all glad we freed afghanistan from the tyranny of the Taliban, I’m totally happy that the warlords we put in power are supporting the rights of everyone.

    More seriously, who honestly didn’t see stuff like this coming? I mean really, you put warlords, drug barons and fundamentalist thugs in charge and they are going to do this kind of thing. Just another fuck up to further stain the pack of lies that Bush and Blair fed us when they declared war.

  • 3D

    Every time I read one of these things, I wonder how bad these guys must be in bed that they need to pass a fucking law to make women sleep with them or be punished.

    It’s like what a 15-year old would pass as legislation if he somehow got elected to Congress.

  • H.

    Why are you surprised?? A marriage where the woman does not work outside the home is de facto necessarily _alsways_ prostitution to a certain degree even in “Western” civilization. The degree is partly a consequence of actual legal and economic circumstances, like if a housewife has the possibility to go out and find herself an other job providing a decent living, as in the US, or not, as in Afghanistan. Even if the money-provider (usually the husband) is a decent and considerate person who won’t make any fuss if the partner is not in the mood: when one of the partners is economically dependent, they won’t be in the position to decide as freely as possible (freedom is of course not absolute) about deciding on whether to have sex or not (remember stereotype cartoons of the 1950′s where the wife is being nice to her husband because she wants a fur coat).
    If you have a job and don’t do your work, you won’t get paid. If you’re a housewife and don’t do your job (including sexual and childbearing services), you won’t get paid. The difference: no political correctness in Afghanistan, they’re just spelling it out as it is.
    And the core problem: as a woman you don’t have any other possibility to earn your bread than by prostituting yourself (being sold by your male head-of-household) into a marriage.

  • We Are The 801

    Interesting that they fell they NEED a law stating hubands can starve their wives if she won’ “put out.”

    The only way women will have sex with these creeps is by starving them?

  • Matt

    3D Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 2:19 pm
    Every time I read one of these things, I wonder how bad these guys must be in bed that they need to pass a fucking law to make women sleep with them or be punished.

    It’s like what a 15-year old would pass as legislation if he somehow got elected to Congress.

    I and all my teenaged “peers” certainly appreciate your insinuation that we’re sex-crazed, abusive partners by default.

    As you condemn the prejudices of others, think about your own.


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