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German judge rules Koran allows wife abuse

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Xenophanes:

--- Quote from: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 06:14:52 AM ---References to when it is proper to beat one's wife are to be found in almost any culture.  The expression "rule of thumb" derives from the English Common Law, which states that a man shouldn't beat his wife with a stick greater than the width of his thumb.  In cultures where women are considered as chattel, it's to be expected that a few blows here and there (and I'm being sarcastic) are unremarkable.  IMO, the Prophet was probably trying to set limits to a practice that was and in many cultures still is more prevalent that most wish to believe.  If anyone wishes to discuss spousal abuse, then it would be far more beneficial to admit that it's not something that is unique to Islam or the Koran.

--- End quote ---

What? You dare to question traditional marriage?  ;)

I am somewhat amused that many of the most vocal proponents of "traditional marriage" don't mention things like spousal abuse, marital rape, the wife as chattel of her husband, involuntary arranged marriage, polygamy, and so on.   Once I started looking up on the history marriage, it was hard to avoid the name of Stephanie Coontz and I got her Marriage, a History from Chapters. While not comprehensive world-wide, it covers a lot of ground and puts a good deal of order into the subject.  A great work.

http://stephaniecoontz.com/

There is a fascinating audio interview available at this link:

http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/2005/06/20050623_b_main.asp

Redbeard:

--- Quote from: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 06:14:52 AM ---References to when it is proper to beat one's wife are to be found in almost any culture.  The expression "rule of thumb" derives from the English Common Law, which states that a man shouldn't beat his wife with a stick greater than the width of his thumb.  In cultures where women are considered as chattel, it's to be expected that a few blows here and there (and I'm being sarcastic) are unremarkable.  IMO, the Prophet was probably trying to set limits to a practice that was and in many cultures still is more prevalent that most wish to believe.  If anyone wishes to discuss spousal abuse, then it would be far more beneficial to admit that it's not something that is unique to Islam or the Koran.

--- End quote ---

I wouldn't argue that most (all?) cultures likely have a history of abusing wives if you look back far enough.  I wasn't aware of the origin of the term "rule of thumb", but that doesn't surprise me.  The phrase I recall from British Common Law was the "any reasonable instrument"  rule (same idea).  What I disagree with is the equation of current practice with historical practice.  Using this argument one could justify slavery, after all. 

Islam has the stage set today for a reformation similar to what has occurred in many other religions, but it doesn't help the issue to wish/pretend this has already happened.  Denying the current barbaric aspects of Islam (in practice) only makes it far more difficult for the brave few who would attempt to reform it (including the translator you posted the article about).  After all, Christianity started with women in a far superior status as compared to widespread Islamic practice today (no multiple wives, no "Divorce Divorce Divorce" clause for men only, etc), and even so this took a great deal of courage, effort and time by reformers to achieve equality. 

Redbeard:
I'm very interested in etymology, so I thought I would read more on the term "Rule of Thumb".  According to Wiki, this is a common misunderstanding of the origin of the phrase:


--- Quote ---It is often claimed that the term originally referred to the maximum thickness of a stick with which it was permissible for a man to beat his wife.[1] This explanation for the origin of the term was popularized in the opening of the 1999 movie The Boondock Saints.

Linguist Michael Quinion, citing the research of Sharon Fenick, notes that there are some examples of a related usage historically — most notably with regard to a supposed pronouncement by a British judge, Sir Francis Buller, that a man may legally beat his wife, provided that he used a stick no thicker than his thumb. However, it is questionable whether Buller ever made such a pronouncement and there is even less evidence that he phrased it as a "rule of thumb"; the rumoured statement was so unpopular that it caused him to be lambasted as "Judge Thumb" in a satirical James Gillray cartoon. According to Quinion, the term "Rule of Thumb" was first documented in English in 1692, long before Buller's reported pronouncement. The first known usage of the phrase "rule of thumb" in direct reference to domestic violence was in 1976, in the book Battered Wives by Del Martin.

--- End quote ---

Xenophanes:

--- Quote from: Redbeard on April 09, 2007, 10:52:52 AM ---I wouldn't argue that most (all?) cultures likely have a history of abusing wives if you look back far enough.  I wasn't aware of the origin of the term "rule of thumb", but that doesn't surprise me.  The phrase I recall from British Common Law was the "any reasonable instrument"  rule (same idea).  What I disagree with is the equation of current practice with historical practice.  Using this argument one could justify slavery, after all. 

Islam has the stage set today for a reformation similar to what has occurred in many other religions, but it doesn't help the issue to wish/pretend this has already happened.  Denying the current barbaric aspects of Islam (in practice) only makes it far more difficult for the brave few who would attempt to reform it (including the translator you posted the article about).  After all, Christianity started with women in a far superior status as compared to widespread Islamic practice today (no multiple wives, no "Divorce Divorce Divorce" clause for men only, etc), and even so this took a great deal of courage, effort and time by reformers to achieve equality. 

--- End quote ---

Domestic violence is not merely historical but still goes today.

http://dl.mass.edu/stoptheviolence/pages/his.html

http://www.tubmanfamilyalliance.org/want_info/philosophy/violence_history.html

And some history:

http://stephaniecoontz.com/articles/article27.htm

Bunny:

--- Quote from: Redbeard on April 09, 2007, 11:03:36 AM ---I'm very interested in etymology, so I thought I would read more on the term "Rule of Thumb".  According to Wiki, this is a common misunderstanding of the origin of the phrase:


--- End quote ---

I'm not sure about where Wicki is getting it's information, but the business with the stick and the thumb has been around at least since I was in middle school which was well before 1976.  It has also been suggested that the expression may have derived from the use of the first joint of the thumb being the basic unit for the inch.  Thus the thumb rule or ruler shifts its meaning, and becomes the rule of thumb. 

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