An Islamic scholar from Malaysia is causing an uproar after he insisted marital rape does not in exist in Islam and that wives have no right to deny their husbands sex, even when they are riding a camel.
In an interview last week, Perak Mufti Tam Sri Harussani Zakaria said women should give sex to their husbands when they ask for it.
“Even the Prophet says when they’re riding on the back of the camel, when the husband asks her, she must give,” he said.
He also denied the existence of marital rape and insisted it was a European invention.
“There is no such thing as rape in marriage. This is made by European people, why should we follow?” he asked, adding the Europeans only came up with the concept after the 18th century when they learned about Islam and attempted to revise its laws.
He pointed the only times a woman can refuse intercourse is if she is in her period, is ill or just gave birth as stated in the Koran.
Another scholar, Wan Ji Wan Hussin, concurred and said rape in Islam means sexual intercourse between two individuals who are not married.
Zakaria’s comments have caused outrage among women’s groups in Malaysia, a country where marital rape is not yet recognized but metes out prison terms for husbands who force their wives to have sex through violence.
All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), a group which launched a rape awareness drive a week before Zakaria’s statement, said it was stunned by his words.
“To say that a husband has the license to rape his wife is incredibly shocking,” said an AWAM spokesperson.
“Just because the woman is married does not mean she’s the husband’s property, nor does she lose her basic human rights,” the spokesperson added.