“My words were taken out of context.”
That’s the defence you will get from almost anyone who has said something controversial when they are faced with the fury of the masses.
This week, it was Australian boxer Anthony Mundine, who used the tired trope to excuse the claims he made about the benefits of the Koran’s stance on violence against women.
Just so you do have context, here it is:
The men moved onto a broader discussion of Islam and its merits as a “feminist religion”, as Abdel-Magied previously described it while appearing on Q&A in February.
During the discussion, Latham quoted Mundine a verse from the Koran, “…men are in charge of women. Good women are therefore obedient. For women who might disobey, it’s recommended to admonish them, leave them alone in their sleeping places and then beat them.”
“That doesn’t sound very feminist,” Latham said to his Muslim co-panellist.
And that’s when Mundine made this statement: “it’s not a term [that refers to] to beat [but] as to hit.”
“In the Koran, you know what a beating is? You know the Arab toothbrush? Little stick. That is a beating. But you cannot harm the lady, cause any injury or any bruising,” he said while pretending to lightly tap Latham’s arm.
Mundine went on to say that violence against women was “totally unacceptable” and that he thinks Muslim leaders need to take a modern stance on their interpretation of this passage and not to see it as promoting beating “your woman or anybody by beating them physically”.
Fast forward to Friday night, and Mundine responded to widespread criticism he received from almost all who heard his statements or read the news reports about it.