Norway: Preacher defends husband's right to beat wife
Islam Net claims they correct misunderstandings about Islam. Which is why, I suppose, they invite the most radical preachers to their conferences. The preachers in this conference included: Bilal Philips, as the (secret) featured speaker, Abdurraheem Green, Ali Mohammed Salah, Yusuf Chambers and Hussain Yee.
Hussain Yee is supposed to speak next weekend at an Islamic conference in Antwerp (Belgium) on family values (Family Matters - Foundation for Success), organized by the Al-Mawada organization. Vlaams Belang protested that the conference is taking place in a hall in the provincial gov't building, but the province saw no reason not to rent out the hall. (NL)
Several hundred young Muslims were in attendance when the Chinese Muslim preacher Husain Yee defended the right of Muslim men to beat their wives at a Muslim conference this past weekend.
The organizers Islam Net is a quickly growing organization, with mostly young members, both ethnic minorities, but also Norwegian converts.
On March 27th the organizations held a seminar on 'human rights in Islam' during its big Peace Conference in Oslo.
To the question by author and blogger Olav Elgvin on whether men in Islam have a right to beat women, Husain Yee answered as follows:
"A Muslim men doesn't have a right to beat his wife in anger or in order to injure. But you can do it if you do it in love, out of consideration," answered Yee, according to the author.
The preacher said that in the Muslim country of Malaysia, parents have a right to beat their children - out of love.
"In the same way men have a right to beat, but only if it's in love and out of consideration for the wife. Moreover, it shouldn't be on the head or other places that can be harmful to beat on, but only on other places in the body," Yee answered.
Yee is a famous Malaysian preacher who has his own program on the Islamic TV channel Peace TV. He converted from Buddhism when he was a teenager and now actively lectures in Europe.
In the Norwegian-Muslim community, reactions are strong and the debate is raging on various forums.
"I think this is idiotic. It's exactly such things that are the basis for misunderstanding. To give men who beat such legitimacy and acceptance completely misses the point," says Basim Ghozlan, head of the Islamic Association (Islamske Forbundet).
The organizers didn't want to comment to Aftenposten.no Tuesday on the contents of the lecture of the Muslim preacher.
"I don't know what he said. I don't know what he meant by this, it's impossible for me to say anything about this," says Fahad Qureshi, spokesperson for Islam Net.
Q: Are the lecturers representative of Islam Net's views?
A: What they say is not what Islam Net says, what they say is what Islam says. But everybody's human and everybody can say something wrong," responds Qureshi.
Linda Noor, a Norwegian convert to Islam, is among those who responded strongly to the statements of the Malaysian sheik, pointing out that it's not the first time his opinions caused a split.
"I think it's very inappropriate, first and foremost for those who organized [it]. I think they should check a bit who they put on the agenda, it's not the first time that he comes up with such unfortunate statements," says Noor, who is a board member of Abid Raja's Minotank.
Q: What do you think about what Islam Net says, that their lecturers represent Islam?
A: I think it's bold of such young people to define "true Islam'. They're taking on themselves a great responsibility, which I would probably be very careful with," says Noor and continues: sad.
The islam.no forum is one place where the issue is being intensely discussed. Some defend the statements, but many Norwegian Muslims responded strongly.
"I think what's sad about Islam Net is that they themselves say they work to counteract misunderstandings about Islam. Such lectures confirm, rather than weaken prejudices," says Noor.
It's not the first time Islam Net gets to the headlines. In February Liberal Party politician Abid Raja appeared on TV2 and warned of the student network's events, which he thought had 'extreme overtones'.
On May 8, 2008, Islam Net arranged a meeting with imam Zulqarnai Sakander, where the lecturer spoke of theories that Jews were responsible for 9/11.
The network is active at the Oslo University College and are very active on Facebook.
Source: Aftenposten (Norwegian)
* Copenhagen: Prison imam guides husbands on wife-beating
* Oslo: Imam blames 9/11 on US in college lecture
* Netherlands: Speakers at the National Islam Congress