Controversial figure Farhat Hashmi has landed herself in hot water again after she used religion to dismiss the idea of marital rape.
The Islamic scholar, Muslim televangelist and founder of the Al-Huda Institute was giving a usual sermon when she made the statement after a woman confided in Hashmi about the rape she was facing in her marriage.
According to Farhat Hashmi, the husband has the right to “take” his wife whenever he so desires. It is the woman’s duty to “submit” to her husband, even if she isn’t consenting. According to Hashmi, by denying a husband his right, women are committing an act against Islam, and the husband has every right to “take” his wife.
Hashmi went on to say that this problem arises more with working women, as they are too tired to “perform” for their husbands. The statement is not only an unfortunate one, but an odd one as well given that Hashmi is a working woman herself.
While her statement comes as a shock, many in Pakistan believe this to be a reality. And worse, many young girls will now “submit” themselves to their husbands because of her use of religion to justify marital rape.
In a 2003 domestic violence survey published in the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences (PJMS), nearly 46.9 percent of married women living in Islamabad and Rawalpindi reported to having non-consensual sex.
Another study published in PJMS in 2000 reported that 77.1 percent of the 70 men interviewed admitted to having nonconsensual intercourse with their wives. Only 35.4 percent of married women ever told anyone about their situation.
These jarring facts paint a bleak picture and the statement made by Hashmi legitimises the mistreatment of married women.