07 July 2011
Group to Wives: Be First-class Whores to Husbands
From the Huffington Post
RAWANG, Malaysia — As a new bride, 22-year-old Ummu Atirah believes she knows the secret to a blissful marriage: obey her husband and ensure he is sexually satisfied.
Ummu and some 800 other Muslim women in Malaysia are members of the "Obedient Wives Club" that is generating controversy in one of the most modern and progressive Muslim-majority nations, where many Muslim Malaysian women hold high posts in the government and corporate world.
The new club, launched Saturday, says it can cure social ills such as prostitution and divorce by teaching women to be submissive and keep their men happy in the bedroom.
"Islam compels us to be obedient to our husband. Whatever he says, I must follow. It is a sin if I don't obey and make him happy," said Ummu, who wore a yellow headscarf.
The club, founded by a fringe Islamic group known as Global Ikhwan, has been dismissed by politicians and activists as a throwback to Medieval times and an insult to modern women of Malaysia. But the group's activities, which previously included the setting up of a Polygamy Club, show that pockets of conservative Islamic ideas still thrive in Malaysia.
Groups such as Global Ikhwan are unlikely to gain much popularity beyond generating shock value. Still, there is concern that radical groups could garner support among other Muslims, who make up 60 percent of the 28 million population, and upset decades of carefully nurtured racial and religious harmony.
"Unfortunately even today, there are still many Muslim women who are ignorant of their rights or culturally inhibited to exercise their rights in full," said Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, a female Muslim minister in charge of family policy.
Despite the group's conservative Islamic background, Rohayah Mohamad, one of the founders of the club, openly talks about the virtues of marital sex even though most of her colleagues are shy about the topic.
"Sex is a taboo in Asian society. We have ignored it in our marriages but it's all down to sex. A good wife is a good sex worker to her husband. What is wrong with being a whore ... to your husband?" she said.