Waleed Aly last night told viewers of The Project that he is infuriated by a video released by a local radical Islamic group that suggests men are “permitted” to hit their wives.
The clip, uploaded to Facebook by the women’s branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia, features a panel discussion between members Reem Allouche and Atika Latifi about discipline within a marriage.
Latifi claims that, according to the Quran, a husband is “permitted to hit [his spouse]”, and adds that that scholarly interpretations of the text suggest that “striking should be done in such a way that it should not cause harm or pain”, for example with a “small stick” or “coiled scarf”.
On Thursday night’s episode of Channel 10’s The Project, Aly dismissed the group as “jerks”.
“It’s infuriating that those views still exist within the community,” he said, “even if it is a radical group you’re talking about.”
Aly went on to praise the 34 signatories of the Australian Muslim Collaborative, which on Thursday “unequivocally” rejected Hizb ut-Tahrir’s assertion that their is a religious justification for violence against women.
“In fact, the denunciation from the Muslim community has been really strong and swift all day, which I think has been an interesting development,” Aly said.
“And if you look at the signatories on that [document], I reckon they’re able to agree on just about nothing, but they were able to agree on that.”
Aly also pointed to a video created by The Lebanese Muslim Assosciation in late 2015 which high-profile leaders demonstrate a united position on the prohibition of domestic violence.
“It’s a really important statement,” he said. “If that got the publicity that [Hizb ut-Tahrir] got, then maybe we would have a different conversation.”
Aly joined a chorus of high-profile Australians to condemn the video, including fellow television journalist Ben Fordham who on Thursday labelled the group's views "dangerous".
"It’s not OK to hit your wife gently, or softly, or occasionally or any other way you want to spin it,” he said on Today.
Both Minister for Women Michaelia Cash and Shadow Minister Tanya Plibersek expressed their objections, as did White Ribbon CEO Libby Davies.
"This video is abhorrent, it is not in keeping with the fundamental right of every woman to live free from violence and abuse,” she told Mamamia.
“Respectful relationships, regardless of culture, are built on mutual respect, and it is never okay to use violence in any relationship.”