CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Australia's prime minister has joined
Muslim leaders in condemning a cleric's comments that husbands are
entitled to smack disobedient wives and force them to have sex.
Samir Abu Hamza made the comments in Sydney during a lecture in
2003, but they were first reported Thursday after they appeared in
a video posted on the Internet.
During the lecture on marriage delivered to a male audience, Hamza -- who has previously had no national profile -- ridiculed Australian law that regards forced sex within marriage as rape.
He also said a man was entitled to use limited force as a last resort to punish a disobedient wife.
While Australia is a relatively tolerant and multicultural society, ethnic and religious rifts occasionally flare, with the treatment of women under Islam a flashpoint in the majority-Christian nation.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd condemned Hamza's comments, saying
violence toward women was permissible "under no circumstances."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.