Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pat Robertson On Wife Beating

Pat Robertson
I recently saw a headline that read “Pat Robertson,Televangelist, Encourages Man to Become Muslim So He Can Beat His Wife”.

I was appalled before I even got to the context of the article. I couldn’t imagine any scenario where this statement would be okay to think to yourself, let alone say it out loud.

As I read the article and then watched the video clip, I actually felt sick to my stomach. My daughter was sitting in the room with me and said in alarm, “Mom, you don’t look well! Are you okay?” I responded, “No, I am not okay”. 

Many people respect this man, and he is telling a man to move to Saudi Arabia so he can beat his wife. The look on my daughter’s face, I suspect, was similar to the one on mine.

I am angry that we still have people who think it is okay to make light of domestic violence, condone it, or even recommend it. I don’t begin to know what Pat Robertson was thinking when he made the comment, but whatever it was, in my opinion, it was completely inappropriate.

In the video clip he we hear him saying “She doesn’t want to submit to authority” and since “scripture doesn’t allow for divorce” his advice is to move to Saudi Arabia become Muslim, and then he can beat her into submission.

I find this offensive on so many fronts. I am not going to debate what the Bible or the Quran say about wives, submission or divorce. I understand everyone has his or her own belief system about marriage and religion.

However, domestic violence is not okay, ever. It is not okay to joke about it, or to suggest that it’s a way for a man to get his wife to recognize his authority over her.

We must stand together to say this is not acceptable under any circumstance.


  1. Thank you, MaryAnne, for your passionate stand on this issue. I too was moved to comment on Pat Robertson’s despicable comments. I am offended and outraged on many levels. As a woman. As a Muslim. And as an advocate against domestic violence.

    Truly, domestic violence at its core is about power, control, and oppression. Islam is not about any of those things. I have said on a number of occasions that I was born into Islam, but as an adult, I choose daily to remain Muslim. I’ve evaluated the religion and find it aligns with the majority of my sociopolitical values. At its core is justice. I’m moved by the Quranic* verse that reads, “O Humankind, we created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you in to tribes and nations so that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah [God] is he who is most righteous of you." (Chapter 49, Verse 13). From this I take that we are all brothers and sisters, none of whom is inherently better than the other. Furthermore, the Quran reads, “[God] created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts…” (Chapter 30, Verse 21). Clearly, this shows the religion of Islam is antithetical to domestic violence.

    It is terrible that such hatred is being spread and that domestic violence becomes a joke and a justifiable act. I’m glad there are competent, inclusive organizations like Hope House for intimate partner and family violence survivors.

    *The Quran is Islam’s holy book.

    ~Tehani El-Ghussein

    1. Thank you Tehani for your feedback and for sharing your perspective on this issue.