According to Siti Maznah Mohd Taufik, “domestic abuse happens because wives don’t obey their husband’s orders.” The Malaysian Star Online reported today that Global Ikhwan, an organization that grew out of the banned Islamic group Al-Arqam and that also founded the Ikhwan Polygamy club a couple of years ago, is now launching an Obedient Wives Club. According to the Malaysian Star article, Taufik, a spokesperson for the club, believes that “many social ills were caused by disobedient wives who failed to bring joy to their husbands.”
The Telegraph reported that the reason for the Obedient Wives Club is to give women “instruction in how to ‘obey, service and entertain’ their husbands to promote marital harmony and cut the risk that their spouses will stray or misbehave.”
The women who founded this group believe that the ever-increasing divorce rate among Malay Muslims is the result of women not “entertaining their husbands.” They believe that it is critical for women to make themselves sexy for their husbands in the privacy of their own home and that it is their responsibility to provide their husbands with a fulfilling sex life.
Not everyone agreed with their hypothesis, however, especially where polygamy comes into play. The Telegraph article reported that “a study last year by a Muslim activist group found that men in polygamous relationships invariably found it difficult to meet all the needs of their wives and children, which resulted in unhappy families which struggled to make ends meet.”
Regardless of the reasons for marriages breaking down, a club designed to teach women to be obedient seems to be little more than a way to reinforce the oppression these women are facing. While all parties to a marriage, whether monogamous, polygamous or otherwise need to work at the relationship, simple obedience, with a bit of sexiness sprinkled in, certainly can’t be the secret to happiness.
Image credit: ashi on flickr