Pave welcomes the clear statements by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Faishal Ibrahim and Ustaz Irwan Hadi that violence has no place in a marriage under Islam (Violence is not acceptable in any form, says Faishal; Oct 16).
As Singapore's pioneer agency dealing with domestic violence, Pave has come across Muslim men who believed that they had a right to beat their wives. We have also worked with Muslim women who accepted that their husbands were justified in abusing them.
The result for many women in such marriages is that the domestic violence continues and worsens over time, seemingly with no help available to the abused women.
Pave has collaborated with mosques and Islamic religious leaders in conducting public talks to make it clear that Islam does not condone violence in a marital relationship. We have also consulted Islamic religious leaders in our work with men who abuse, to clarify their mistaken belief that husbands are justified in using violence.
The recent episode - which arose after an article in the Malay-language Berita Harian suggested that it is permissible for a Muslim husband to hit a disobedient wife within certain limits - shows the importance of the proper understanding of religion.
Pave is grateful that Dr Faishal and Ustaz Irwan have made clear Islam's position on marriage and violence.
We hope that Muslim husbands know that support is available for them to end the violence and foster a respectful relationship, and for victims to be aware that they do not have to put up with violence in the mistaken belief that their religion allows their husbands to abuse them.
Adisti Jalani (Ms)
Principal Social Worker