A prominent Muslim community leader has been hauled through the headlines this morning over an interview in which he referred to domestic violence as “a last resort”.
Keysar Trad, President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, made the comments on Sky News program The Bolt Report on Wednesday night after being questioned about a verse of the Quran that deals with spousal conflict.
“I’ve studied that verse in depth and I’ve discussed it with a number of Islamic scholars,” Mr Trad told host Andrew Bolt. “What this verse is saying is playing on the psychology of the man, saying ‘violence is a last resort’. The first thing you must do is counselling.”
The verse is designed, he said, to have a “calming effect”. That before a man even considers raising his hand against his wife he should “bring her a box of chocolates” or take her out to dinner to resolve the issue.
Viewers, social media users and the press pounced, many accusing Mr Trad of trivialising or even condoning domestic violence.
But speaking to Mamamia this morning, the Sydney man denied the accusation and said he simply wasn’t permitted enough time during the Bolt interview to properly explain the issue.
“I would like to make it very clear that, no, Islam does not condone violence against women,” he said.
“What I tried to elaborate, even though I unfortunately used the words ‘last resort’, it’s not a resort that you’re ever meant to get to.”