Egypt: Fatwas say wives may hit back in self-defence

Sunni Islam's highest authority has approved a woman's right to fight back if her husband uses violence against her.
The declaration by Sheikh Abdel Hamid al-Atrash, who heads Al-Azhar University's committee for fatwas or religious rulings, comes after similar rulings by clerics in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
"Everyone has the right to defend themselves... all human beings are equal before God," Atrash said.

Domestic violence accounts for 35 percent of the deaths among Egyptian women each year.

Saudi Sheikh Abdel Mohsen al-Abyakan says a wife should use the "weapon" her husband uses against her. Turkish Sheikh Fathallah Julun says a woman should return two blows for each received.

29 October 2008

Source: AFP