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Franklin Graham Warns Women 'Islam Wants to Put You Behind a Veil of Horror' After Islamic Council Says Men Can Beat Wives 'Lightly'

( [email protected] ) Jun 01, 2016 12:03 PM EDT
Franklin Graham has warned "women of the world" that Islam wants to put them behind a "veil of horror" after the leader of a Pakistani Islamic council proposed a bill that allows husbands to "lightly beat" their wives as a form of discipline.
Shi'ite Muslim women walk past mannequins displaying black clothing in Nabatieh, southern Lebanon October 17, 2015. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

Franklin Graham has warned "women of the world" that Islam wants to put them behind a "veil of horror" after the leader of a Pakistani Islamic council proposed a bill that allows husbands to "lightly beat" their wives as a form of discipline.

Last week, Mohammad Khan Sheerani released a 75-page proposal suggesting that a light beating with a stick is acceptable should the need arise to punish a woman.

"A husband should be allowed to lightly beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods," Pakistan's Express-Tribune newspaper cited the proposal as saying.

CNN notes that the proposed bill was written in response to the rejected Punjab Women Protection bill for abused women. The council shunned it as "un-Islamic" and wrote its own bill, which includes the recommendation for the light beating.

On Tuesday, Graham, the leader of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, slammed the bill in a lengthy Facebook post.

He asked: "Where are the Gloria Steinems, the Bella Abzugs, or even the Hillary Clintons, that call themselves champions for women's rights when it comes to the teachings of Islam? Why aren't they screaming about the way Islam treats women?"

Graham issued a warning to "women of the world": "Islam wants to put you behind a veil of horror," he wrote. "With true Christianity, women are treated with dignity and respect. Jesus Christ elevated women, and if you put your faith and trust in Him, He will never let you down." 

The bill is supported by the Council of Islamic Ideology, the most powerful constitutional body that advises the Pakistani legislature whether laws are in line with the teachings of Islam.

The proposal also calls for a beating if a woman does not wear a hijab, if she interacts with strangers, speaks too loudly or gives others monetary gifts without her husband's permission, according to the newspaper.

In addition, it recommends bans on various activities, including women fighting in wars, and says that women should not be permitted to receive non-relatives or foreign officials, and they should not use birth control pills without asking their husbands.

"If you want her to mend her ways, you should first advise her. ... If she refuses, stop talking to her ... stop sharing a bed with her, and if things do not change, get a bit strict," Sheerani said.

Voice of America reports that earlier this year, Saudi Arabian national television aired a video showing a family therapist teaching men how to beat their wives "correctly."

In the tutorial, Khaled Al-Shaqby said he is "aware that this issue is a thorny one, which contains many hazards." But he added: "Allah willing, we will cross this bridge safely."

Al-Shaqby said that men should not resort to violence as a first option, but should "discipline their wives first" before using violence. He also suggested using a twig or a handkerchief to hit the wife, merely as a symbol to express their anger at the disobedience.

In response, a Pakistani photographer has launched #TryBeatingMeLightly, a photo series showcasing Pakistani women's reactions to the proposal.

"#TryBeatingMeLightly, I'll become the destruction you will never foresee," reads one reaction.

"#TryBeatingMeLightly, I'm the sun. Touch me and I will burn you like hell fire. I am light, you will try, but you can never stop me. You can never contain me. I am the kind of woman they name hurricanes after. I dare you," reads another.

Reads yet another, "#TryBeatingMeLightly, and you'll regret it for the rest of your miserable life."