A prominent Muslim community leader has said he "condemns all forms of violence, especially against women", after he was crticised for defending a passage in the Koran permitting a husband to beat his wife as a “last resort”.
The president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Keysar Trad, was questioned by Sky News presenter Andrew Bolt over a verse from the Koran that it “is permissible for him (the husband) to beat her (the wife) light with his hands.”
Mr Trad defended the verse and said that if counseling, flowers, chocolates don’t work, then physical violence might in fact be a viable option.
He has since issued a statement saying he acknowledges his "clumsy attempt to explain a verse from the holy Qur’an".
"I want to categorically condemn all forms of violence, especially violence against women, I condemn and deplore it and stress my continued zeal to support women against violence,” Mr Trad said.
"I sincerely apologise if my attempt to explain the verse is understood any differently.
"Our beloved prophet Muhammad said: 'The most perfect believer is one who is the best in courtesy and amiable manners, and the best among you people is one who is most kind and courteous to his wife'."
In his television appearance on Wednesday morning he said: “If you come home and you are really, really angry. We've seen many men act violently towards their woman."
“This verse is saying really, is playing on the psychology of the man saying violence is a last resort."
A perplexed Mr Bolt sought out clarification, interrupting his guest saying: “Maybe you should beat her if she doesn't see any sense? Beat her? That's what this says. Beat them. I'm reading the Koran.”
“I understand what you're saying, but what I would say to you is a good person would never get to that step,'” Mr Trad responded.
The controversial exchange follows a petition put to the ABC to sack Yassmin Abdel-Magied after she defended the practice of Sharia law in Australia, telling the panel that she considered Islam to be “the most feminist religion”.
“Do you know what Sharia law is? Do you know what it is? Me praying five times a day is Sharia,” Ms Abdel-Magied asked Senator Jacqui Lambie on Monday night.
“I'm not going to deny it: some countries run by Muslims are violent, sexist and do oppress their citizens.
The ABC have stood by the beseiged Ms Abdel-Magied.