Feminists and the NSW Attorney General have expressed concern after a Sydney Muslim preacher declared it was a ‘major sin’ for a wife to refuse sex with her husband.
Nassim Abdi, a fundamentalist Sunni, told an Auburn mosque in the city’s west a woman would be ‘cursed’ by angels for withholding marital intimacy. He said on Friday night...
If the husband calls the wife to be intimate and there’s no legitimate reason for the woman to say no, then she must answer the call of her husband.
‘She must answer the call of her husband and if not she has committed a major sin.
If the man calls the wife to bed and she refuses, the angels curse this woman and he sleeps with her whilst he’s angry, the angels curse her until she wakes up.
Mr Abdi preaches a seventh-century fundamentalist version of Salafist Islam from Saudi Arabia with the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah Association, which also advocates aspects of Sharia law.
Long-time feminist Eva Cox described him as a ‘nutter’, while stressing Islam was not the only religion with fundamentalists who disrespected women’s rights.
‘Somebody needs to inform the preacher that he’s preaching something which is illegal,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Preaching something which is illegal maybe should be banned.
‘I’m sorry we’ve got these nutters.’
Macquarie University research professor Catharine Lumby, a gender adviser with the National Rugby League, described the sermon as ‘hate speech’. She said
That kind of speech should be investigated. I believe in freedom of speech but I believe in limits to freedom of speech where violence is being advocated.
‘It is absolutely against the law in this country what he’s advocating.
‘It’s a form of hate speech.’
Both feminists from an academic background stressed that fundamentalist Christians, too, had described women as the sexual property of men and said the sermon was not a reflection on all Australian Muslims.
Mr Abdi has previously declared it sinful for Muslim women to show their ears under their hijabs in public and for parents to allow their children to listen to music in the car.
Professor Lumby said Mr Abdi’s sermon could encourage Muslim men to commit domestic violence. She said
I would say it’s incitement to commit a criminal offence: if your wife doesn’t submit, then you still have the right to take her. That is a crime under Australian law.