German media has reported that for 15 years, the website of the Islamic Center Munich (IZM) had contained a controversial passage advocating the beating of wives in connection with domestic difficulties. According to one report:
In the case of a marriage in greater difficulty or when the partner is “unruly”, the Islamic Center Munich (IZM) invokes the Koran. Accordingly, the husband should comply with three steps: First: exhortation. Second, separation in the marriage bed. And thirdly, beating. That’s what’s being told to visitors of the website of the Munich mosque for 15 years under point 10 “Women and Family in Islam”. For better understanding it states that the beating “has a more symbolic character.” [translated from German]
The report also notes that Munich city council members from all parties harshly criticized the recommendation of the IZM, saying it “fundamentally contradicts the values of our society” and calling for the immediate deletion of the comments from the website. In March, German media had already noted other controversial passages on the IZM site such as positive comments about Islamic penal law and polygamous marriages. The original passages concerning punishment of wives have since been removed from the IZM site while the comments on Islamic law and polygamy remain.
The GMBDW has in the past reported on the topic of corporal punishment for wives. In November 2007, the GMBDW reported on a dispute between two North American Muslim Brotherhood organizations over a new translation of the Koran which reinterpreted the Quranic passages in question to mean “to go away” or “to leave,” not some form of “to beat.” In February 2009, we reported on the following comments by prominent Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi:
Instead of divorce, the husband may resort to another measure that may save the marriage, at least in some cases. Such a measure is more accurately described as a gentle tap on the body, but NEVER ON THE FACE, making it more of a symbolic measure then a punitive one.
The Islamisches Zentrum München (IZM) sometimes referred to as the Freimann Mosque, has close relations with the Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland (IGD) (renamed to Deutsche Muslimische Gemeinschaft in 2018) the main organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany.