book news, July 26, 2000

Spanish women outraged by book that gives advice on beatings
By The Associated Press

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Women's organizations in Spain are outraged by a book written by a Muslim cleric that contains advice on how men can beat their wives without leaving marks.

The sixth chapter of "Women in Islam" says verbal warnings followed by a period of sexual inactivity can be used to discipline a disobedient wife.

But in some cases, beating is appropriate so long as the punches "don't leave cuts or bruises," the book says, according to the Spanish news agency Europa Press.

The book's Egyptian-born author, Imam Mohamed Kamal Mostafa, is the leader of a mosque in Fuengirola near the southern city of Malaga. He could not be reached for comment.

"This book promotes and give instructions on abusing women. It is a guide that should not be in circulation," Angeles Ruiz, the president of the European Women's Lobby, said Tuesday.

On Friday, the coalition of 30 women's groups filed a lawsuit in a Barcelona court to have the book withdrawn. They invoked a Spanish law designed to protect women from discrimination in the home and the workplace.

On Monday, Mostafa's Barcelona-based editor Mowafak Kanfatch defended the book, which he said was published three years ago and has three thousand copies in print.

"What it says is that there should not be blows to the face or to sensitive parts," Kanfatch said on Spanish television. "Blows should be done to parts where the woman will not suffer damage."

Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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