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Friday October 14, 2011

OWC sex book a cheap stunt, say women’s groups

PETALING JAYA: Women's groups have hit out at the Obedient Wives Club' for its “explicit sex book” which called on a Muslim husband to have joint sex with all his spouses.

Sisters in Islam (SIS) acting executive director Ratna Osman called it a “cheap stunt” to get its name in the local and international media spotlight.

She said the group failed to look at the demands of society, which called for gender equality and progress in education.

“Apart from talking about a woman's subjugation to her husband and how to give him the best sex, they do not have anything concrete to contribute to society when we are facing many problems,” she said.

The 115-page book titled Seks Islam, Perangi Yahudi untuk Kembalikan Seks Islam kepada Dunia (Islamic Sex, fighting Jews to return Islamic sex to the world) had, among others, encouraged Muslim husbands to have sex simultaneously with their wives.

The Obedient Wives Club was formed by Global Ikhwan Sdn Bhd, an organisation founded by former members of the banned Al-Arqam.

Ratna stressed that “nowhere in the Quran does it talk about marriage as just about sex and serving the husband as a master. It talks about love for one another, about kindness to each other.”

She questioned the source of the book, which quoted research claiming that women only gave their husbands 10% of what they wanted from their wives' bodies.

Ratna said SIS research showed that 64.8% of first wives said they were not informed when their husbands took another wife, thus leading to a feeling of betrayal and pain, and 53% of them cited an increase in domestic violence.

“How would OWC respond to this in their mission to teach good sex? Will OWC's book help these women in their problems?” Ratna asked.

All Women's Action Society programme manager Betty Yeoh said “it takes two hands to clap” and that both spouses must play their part in a marriage.

Empower executive director Maria Chin Abdullah said the stand by Obedient Wives Club was “a slap in the face to women”.

“Women have contributed greatly to the nation but they (OWC) have diminished us to being mere sex objects,” she said.

Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Ivy Josiah said the book was a “tawdry way” by the club to raise its profile.

However, she did not believe the book should be banned as people were entitled to their own opinion.

The Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said it would restrict the distribution of the book, which it viewed as “shameful” and “nonsensical”.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said they would investigate the contents of the book.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the ministry believed that the club and what it stood for had undermined the important gains made towards gender equality in Malaysia.

“Should this publication be in contravention of the law whether civil or syariah, then the law here will take its course,” she said.

Leaders of the club could not be reached for comment.

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