A Gaza-based Islamist cleric on the payroll of the Palestinian Authority explained this week when it is permissible for men to use violence against their wives.
In a clip found and translated by Palestinian Media Watch, the sheikh, Hassan al-Laham, who holds the title of mufti in Gaza, said that religious edict decrees that men should “not hit [their wives to the point] that will bring the police, or break their hand and cause bleeding… or hitting that makes the face ugly.”
Al-Laham said that in instances of marital strike, Islamic law commands the husband to first issue a warning to the wife.
If that doesn’t work, then the man is to “separate” from his wife by staying in a separate quarter inside the house. Only then, if there is no reconciliation, “comes the hitting.”
“The hitting is not meant to disfigure, harm, or degrade,” the sheikh said. “The hitting will be like a joke. He will hit her jokingly. Not a blow that breaks a bone or makes the face ugly, and he will not curse and the like. This hitting is a kind of reminder that the love and friendship that Allah commanded, is still found between us.”