The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Jihad on a woman's face IS permitted.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 683 times Debate No: 97896
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)




This topic is of special importance to me. It's a subject that is dear to me.
The noble Qur'an permits us to beat our wifes, surah 4:34.
This evening my wife rebelled against me. She actually tried to leave my house without my permission. I ran out the door and confronted her about her abhorrent misconduct.
I grabbed her and screamed into her face, 'what? Did I give my consent without knowing?'
When she didn't respond, I gave her a warning. (By the Mercy of Subhanalla the merciful shall walk) I yelled, 'you have 3 seconds to answer me!' When my countdown expired, I declared jihad on her face. I smacked her, "hard enough to feel, but light enough to heal", as taught by our scholars (pbut).

Do you agree with my actions?


I would like to begin in saying I do not condone or accept your actions, especially under the false justifications of religious motivation.

I suppose I'll start with a few questions before I discern whether or not I understand your situation - I would appreciate it if you could answer them for me in your next speech:
1. Where do you live?
2. Why did you feel it necessary to hit your wife?
3. Was there no other means of conflict resolution?

To begin, the Pro's insistence on use of religion brings an interesting question into debate: adaptation of religious law to suit one's own wants. It also raises the question of procedurals - in quoting the specific verse and line from which the Pro has been able to ascertain beating his wife is acceptable, I have gained the ability to quote for you this verse.
"Yusuf Ali: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly)"
The pro did step one and three, but failed to give his wife the proper warning clause as is specified by the refusal to share beds.

Now, the Pro's use of violence was not necessary under any means. The previous verse which I have quoted to you proves that his act of violence was an example of religion molded to his own will. Thus, in accusing him of reifying patriarchal aspects of society, I am not engaging in critique of his religion but rather his justification of the event in question - the topic of racism only seeks to cloud this and make it harder to see the truth. The pro describes himself like this: "I grabbed her and screamed into her face." "I smacked her, "hard enough to feel, but light enough to heal."
This use of violence against one's wife is simply another example of patriarchial dominance by the Pro.
"El Saadawi (1980) said that religion is not oppressive itself. It is the male dominance of religion that is the problem. This is due to the rise of monotheistic religions which are male dominated and where scriptures are interpreted/written by men."[1]. This applies specifically to the actions of the Pro - in defining the scripture for his wife - in yelling into her face and hitting her - in declaring Jihad on her face without consultation over what Jihad entails - he adds a new, original layer to the religion - one of patriarchial dominance.
As the Con, my job is to prove the Pro cannot justify his actions. Upon the removal of religious connotation from the first speech, it seems apparent that the Pro is engaged in a masculine, dominating role against the feminine body represented by his wife. This is compounded if one realizes that Jihad does not entail violence:
"Jihad of the heart/soul; in Arabic: jihad bin nafs/qalb. It is referred as "the greater Jihad" (al-jihad al-akbar).
It is one"s inner struggle of good against evil; refraining oneself from the whispers of Shaitan (Satan). This process involves allowing Islam to transform one"s soul to achieving internal peace; and forgoing the hatred and anger. [2]"
In fact, jihad of the heart entails a struggle AGAINST violence, in no way justifying the Pro's violent actions against his wife. Had he been civil about the matter and discussed it with her, the situation would not have happened.

The final point I would like to make is that the entire scenario presented by the Pro - the containment of the feminine body, the abuse and violence directed towards her as she attempts to escape, and the subsequent publication of this, shaming her via her own religion - all of these points are reflective of a Foucauldian 'control society.' First, the body is captured, meaning contained in an area. This area may be physical, such as one's presence. It may be emotional or ideological, like one's beliefs, interpretations or dreams. It may, like the Pro's scenario, be all three. Next, the body is subjected to humiliation or other forms of disempowerment intended to cement the State (in this case the Pro)'s control over the subjectified body. This can take the form of a structurally violent, needless act, such as the one the Pro presents. Finally, the subject internalizes their subjectivity - instead of realizing the micro-politics of their interactions, they begin to blame the effects of oppression on themselves, creating a cycle of passivity.[3] Specific to the Pro, the abused wife begins to doubt herself: Is she really worthless? Is she a traitor to her religion because her husband said so? Did she deserve abuse?

A radical restructuring of the way one views the feminine body's interaction with the masculine Other is absolutely necessary to end this cycle of internalized subjectivity. "History provides us with countless examples of those who have been subjected to terrible crimes resulting from their dehumanisation. Domestic violence is a very extreme but very real example which threatens women... She is vulnerable. Objectification justifies her submission.[4]"
[3] Foucault, Michel: Discipline and Punish (print version)
[4]Gregory, Katy: 1-22-2014, "Simone de Beauvoir and Page 3: Why Banning the Degradation of Women Still Matters," Huffington Post,
to reiterate: I do not accept your actions or the hollow justifications you attempt to justify them by.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you friend for participating.

Your questions:

1) My residence has no relevance to this topic. "It's the certainty of being punished and not the spectacle of PUBLIC punishment that must discourage crime."---Michael Focault
i would never punish my wife in public. The matter was my own affair.

2) It felt necessary to hit my wife for her sake, NOT mine.
"Knowledge is not for knowing, it's for cutting."----Michael Foucault.
Sometimes knowledge must hurt to be learned. I agree with this.
Simply rebuking my wife would not have benefited her.
"There is no glory in punishing."----Michael Focault
I felt no glory. It pained me to punish my wife.

3) No, there were no other means to resolve this. Her act was egregious to me. I made it egregious to her. If she felt comfortable leaving home without my consent, what's next, leaving town?

I dismiss your assertion about domestic violence.
"That which is asserted with out evidence can be dismissed without evidence."----Christopher Hitchens

Jihad has inward\outward implications. Her disobedience was a result of her listening to the inward whisperings of Satan. She should have fought this influence. She did not.

Jihad includes resolving marital disputes. Various hadith discuss this.


"Examination combines the techniques of an observing hierarchy and those of a normalizing judgement. It is a normalizing gaze, a surveillance that makes it possible to qualify, to classify and to punish. It establishes over individuals a visibility through which one differentiates them and judges them."

"It is ugly to be punishable, but there is no glory in punishing. Hence that double system
of protection that justice has set up between itself and the punishment it imposes. Those who carry out the penalty tend to become an autonomous sector; justice is relieved of responsibility for it by a bureaucratic concealment of the penalty itself"

"The soul is the effect and instrument of a political anatomy: the soul is the prison of the body"

- Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish

Keep in mind that "double system of protection that 'justice' has set up between itself and the punishment it imposes." Also bear in mind that to Foucault, normative statements concerning freedom, liberty and justice cannot apply in contemporary society. "Those who carry out the penalty tend to become an autonomous sector; justice is relieved of responsibility"
The Pro has successfully repeated that he his his wife for HER sake - it's this "expiation of evil-doing" that he claims to accomplish via a bodily attack but also through an attack on her soul that lets us see what his true intent is.

I did not contest that Jihad allows violence, or even that it involves resolving martial disputes. I did, however, contest the idea that one can blame their actions on religious motivation. Whether the religion allows it or not, the responsibility for the event of the decision and the responsibility for the decision-making within the event fall on the Pro. The Pro responded by attempting, again, to blame religion for the decision he made. This is unacceptable.

On to my answers:
1. "It's the certainty of being punished and not the spectacle of public punishment that must discourage crime."
There are a few implications to this:
a. Living under the fear of punishment: this is where the 'internalized subjectivity' from my first speech comes in. In making it known to your wife that you intend to punish her, and that if she deviates from your norm, regardless as to where that norm originates as you are the individual responsible for enforcing that norm, she will be punished.
An important note: Discipline and Punish doesn't glorify fear of punishment. It condemns it as a form of bio-political manipulation, used to control the futures of the subject.
b. "must discourage crime" is an incomplete quote:
"As a result, justice no longer takes public responsibility for the violence that is bound up with its practice.
If it too strikes, if it too kills, it is not as a glorification of its strength, but as an element of itself that it is obliged to tolerate, that it finds difficult to account for. The apportioning of blame is redistributed... Now the scandal and the light are to be distributed differently; it is the conviction itself that marks the offender with the unequivocally negative sign"
- Michel Foucault

While Foucault encourages a shift away from the old disciplinary society and towards a new 'control society,' he realizes this allows the punisher to escape responsibility for their actions. The 'offender' is marked as the reason the event occurs, as undeniably guilty - use of legal systems or trials, even if by an impartial jury, offer a means of commensuration that proves to be illusory.

2. In response to the Pro's insistence on his logical use of force: 'I was HELPING her!'
He says "Knowledge is not for knowing, it's for cutting" like it's offense for HIM - he misinterprets the quote. This ties in closely to something Foucault called the power/knowledge relation - that one cannot produce knowledge without a corollary of power also present, and cannot produce power without a corollary of knowledge present. Let's look at the ways this implicates our situation:

a. the assertion of power over knowledge-production: the Pro attempts to define the situation as he has pre-interpreted it, as opposed to being open or capable of epistemological inquiry - this is shown by his recourse to religion as a determinant. Instead of justifying his actions by claiming responsibility for them, he uses a textual interpretation of a holy book - that's a Derridean no-no on quite a few levels - to justify his actions. This lets go of responsibility one main reason: His singular interpretation of communication: the communication model goes like so:
intent (what is intended by the author) -> iteration (what is said by the author) -> meaning (what the reader thinks the author intended)
Obviously the communication model is imperfect. Rarely will an interaction occur when the meaning matches the iteration - one would need a numinous or some other messianic opening, which is constantly a venir (to come) and therefore will never be reached - to attain perfect communication. The only instance when intent matches iteration matches meaning is through a decision. A responsible decision goes like this:
Do I hit my wife? Why would I do so? Because she took initiative and empowered herself? That is not a sufficient reason to merit a violent act, therefore I will refrain from use of force.
Unlike the Pro's act of decision-making, which went like this:
Could I hit my wife? I interpret the holy book I believe in to say it is allowed, therefore I will draw from this that I should. The holy book is forcing me to do this, and therefore I will. (notably not: 'my interpretation of the holy book is forcing me to and therefore I will)
Obviously, drawing the conclusion that one SHOULD hit one's wife from a passage (among many) that has quite a few conflicting meanings is bad enough. However, blaming the decision one made both pre-event and post-event on one's 'universal' interpretation of a holy book is much worse.

b. the assertion of knowledge-production over power: the Pro uses his wife's attempt to leave as a justification to hit her. He implies, in his last speech, that it is not the act of punishment but rather the fear of being punished that should affect his wife. His assertion that "[T]here is no glory in punishing" only backs this confusing theme further into its own antithesis - that it is for her benefit that she should not be the one to think freely or do as she pleases. But this raises a question: who is to determine the future values of one's thought? Apparently the Pro believes it is he, that he must be the one to decide whether his wife acts in disobedience or in accord with his perception of the law. Foucault said it best when he remarked that we must be wary to let the State[in this case, as was explained and conceded last speech, the Pro] define what is and is not legal, for at times an act breaking the law - as Chomsky puts it in their debate, running a red light to stop a shooting - can be justified, even under the law. No one in their right mind, no jury, no judge, would convict the individual who ran the red light. However, the Pro has decided he is the sole arbiter of both how ad when to interpret the law. This is especially shown in how he bends Jihad - not an inherently violent concept - to allow himself to exercise violence on his wife.

3. This ties in to 2b. The Pro says, "Her act was egregious to me. I made it egregious to her." This implies the act was not inherently egregious - it also implies the wife did not intend to act egregiously. The Pro also says, "If she felt comfortable leaving home without my consent, what's next, leaving town?" To this we must ask, who determines hoe the Other feels? Who must answer to whose consent? And most importantly, why? How was the wife listening to 'Satan?' Who determines this? If we find the reasoning behind the prioritization of a masculine figure's consent is lacking, there is no way we can vote for him.
Debate Round No. 2


JudgeSchreber: The Pro has successfully repeated that he hit his wife for HER sake - it's this "expiation of evil-doing" that he claims to accomplish via a bodily attack but also through an attack on her soul that lets us see what his true intent is.

"That which is done out of love is always beyond good and evil."---Friedrich Nietzsche

JudgeSchreber: Do I hit my wife? Why would I do so? Because she took initiative and empowered herself? That is not a sufficient reason to merit a violent act, therefore I will refrain from use of force.

"Stupidity in a woman is unfeminine."----Friedrich Nietzsche
My wife knew that "empowering herself" would break our mutually agreed upon religious beliefs.

JudgeSchreber: Apparently the Pro believes it is he, that he must be the one to decide whether his wife acts in disobedience or in accord with his perception of the law.
Our mutually agreed upon religion grants my perception: " Men are in charge of women....", Surah 4:34.

JudgeSchreber: If we find the reasoning behind the prioritization of a masculine figure's consent is lacking, there is no way we can vote for him.

Our mutually agreed upon religion grants me priority. Before we married I told her how my interpretation of Surah 4:34 "is a topic of special importance to me. It's a subject that is dear to me." I told her my interpretation of that verse and she understood and consented to marry me under that condition.

JudgeSchreber, before I bid you farewell, I am curious of the following: You constantly spoke of me as an "it" (Pro said). I leave you with this: "Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."----Eric Hoffer

For the audience: This was a bit of an experiment. "There's a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about the head of a man."------ C.S. Lewis
"I'm a million different people from one day to the next. I can break my mold! No!No!No! ----Richard Ashcroft
Can there be empathy? Empathy for an "it"? If we're all struggling with our own internal perception wars, shouldn't we have empathy for those with theirs?


"That which is done out of love is always beyond good and evil."

Through this quote, Nietzsche begins to acknowledge another shift away from a good/evil binary - love is more than a definable event. One cannot measure love as a 'yes' or as a 'no,' one cannot say love lies further towards one end of the good/evil spectrum or that it is simply an abundance of life. I once heard it put, by a friend, as Derridean sur-vival: the flourishing and proliferation of life. If anything, this emphasized an inquiry into the motivations behind and the responsibility regarding this 'act of love' coupled with religion that, according to Nietzche, has died in the hearts and minds of its adherents.
However, the religious unaccountability issue raises another interesting question: who defines the "mutually agreed upon" religion's rules? Who, exactly, explained the verse to whom? And how does a mutually agreed-upon religion result in a transfer of intent or even of meaning between two individuals on either end of the communication model?
Specifically, we are given the example of pre-event consultation: "I told her my interpretation of that verse and she understood and consented to marry me under that condition." How does this account for his action? Who really made the decision to strike their wife? My opponent's only justification for his actions is a line that grants him power over his wife. While in a position of power, my opponent chose to act in a violent manner. It was not commanded of him, it was not expected of him. He simply chose to act.
Next, in response to my question concerning perceptual differance (spelling correct), my opponent asserts his control over his wife. This does not answer the question, however: What, exactly, gives my opponent the ability to decide what is and is not acceptable? What makes his wife unable to do so? Is it religion? No. It is not religion: if it were, his wife would have been unable to agree with him over his perception of the verse. Was the wife initially aware of her 'transgression of the law?' She was not: he "made [the action] egregious to her" in the moment of the event: when he hit her, she was made aware that her action was unacceptable. This leaves one plausible option: my opponent took it upon himself to define and connotate, to disseminate and interpret the text, in a didactic fashion: he expressed this through violence when his wife attempted to leave his purview.

Next, my opponent blames his wife for the events that transpired, transferring the burden of responsibility to her - the question changes from "Do you accept my actions?" to "Am I to blame for my actions? Is the fault not my wife's?" In response, I'd like to re-examine (if not partially deconstruct) the opening speech.

"The noble Qur'an permits us to beat our wifes, surah 4:34."
Notably, this does not say the noble Qur'an commands us to beat our wives, or recommend we do so. It simply allows for the possibility of the act. The subject in question took it upon himself to actually carry out the beating. His interpretation of the text justified this, while to his wife, the text simply permitted it - the lack of a clear dividing line on what justifies use of force led to this conflict of interpretation.

"This evening my wife rebelled against me. She actually tried to leave my house without my permission."

There are several interesting points to this construct:
First, the word choice of the first sentence: "my wife rebelled against me:" this implies several characteristics we unconsciously apply to the event: first, the wife felt the need to take action in her own favor. Either this has been disproven through reference to agreement, or the wife actually had reason to disobey her husband. If this is the case, we should certainly disagree with my opponent's actions.
Second, the possessives used in the second sentence - use of 'my' could imply several things. First, in terms of the agreement, it could (and, in this context, does) imply a prioritization of one interpretation. This means the wife's self-permission, the ipse, the 'I myself can" is disregarded - to my opponent, his partner had no input. Second, in the context of the home, it implies a singular ownership - 'my permission, my perception, my interpretation, my opinion, all that is mine is more important than what is hers: this is what the book tells me'. Noticeably not, 'this is what I believe the book means.' In the context of this interaction, the husband is a passive actor, simply acting according to code - is that any reason to accept his actions? Is a self-inflicted 'following of orders' reason enough to eschew responsibility? It is not.

" I ran out the door and confronted her about her abhorrent misconduct."

The first half of this sentence is not emphasized: attention is drawn to the modifier, abhorrent, and the focal point of the sentence, misconduct. These terms were chosen for shock value: to convince the reader that the husband's actions were, in his opinion, justified. However, the first half of this sentence is also reasonably interesting: "I ran out [of] the door" implies the wife's absence, her leaving, the negatie of abandonment, is the inciting incident. It appears the action of leaving, of exiting "my house," is enough to inspire a confrontation. This is a strong example of perceptual differance.

"I grabbed her and screamed into her face, 'what? Did I give my consent without knowing?'"

This line is especially interesting: look closely. "I grabbed her and screamed into her face" seems to imply a heated exchange. The prioritization of the husband "[giving his] consent" is especially emphasized, as is the terrifying potential of "not knowing." The main point of departure during this interaction is control. Who controls the actions of whom? Does the wife control her actions? Does she control her subjective paradigms, her ideologies? It would appear not. Both the husband's prior assertion that "Her act was egregious to [him]. [He] made it egregious to her." and "Our mutually agreed upon religion grants my perception: " Men are in charge of women...."" do more than imply a prioritization of thought - they directly state that the husband, the patriarch, is responsible for his thoughts, and that his thoughts, perceptions and interpretations should be mirrored by those of his wife. The fact that his wife did not initially perceive her act as egregious proves this further: regardless of her beliefs or their merit, according to the husband, she was to repress them in favor of her husband's. However, her actions prove that this was either not effectively communicated or was footnoted following an interaction not specified.

Now, back to the last speech. We're told "Our mutually agreed upon religion grants [him] priority." Notice the change in possession - emphasis of an equitable agreement may reveal its absence. If we grant he holds priority, he still decided to act as he did.

Regardless of the wife's consent, regardless of textual interpretation, and regardless of religion, I don't accept my opponent's justification for his actions.

As this debate closes, I would like to leave all readers with a few quotes.

"Before you speak/ Think about what you're trying to say/ Who else is there to blame for miscommunication?"
-Tegan Quin and Laura Jane Grace

"No, you don't have to fight to stay in control of the situation"
-Tegan Quin and Laura Jane Grace

"Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep."
-Eric Hoffer

And to Fred: I've tried to vary my pronoun use in my last speech. Hope that's acceptable. I hope there can be empathy - whether merited or not - and that empathy can extend to both sides of an interaction.
Thanks for the debate - as far as thought experiments go, it was fascinating
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by fred70 1 year ago
Suck a slong
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
such obvious race baiting, such trollish loser with not time on their hands.
Posted by fred70 1 year ago
JudgeSchreber, you are a wonderful, respectful, toughtful mind. :)
I hoped my barbaric topic would bring righteous indignation for the "wife" who had no voice. And it surely did. Yes, my experiment was a sucker punch. I do get devilishly wicked when I'm hitting the booze.
My intended effect on the audience:
1) The righteous indignation of the Husband.
2) The righteous indignation of a hero on behalf of the voiceless wife.
3) The righteous indignation of contemplative musings.
My point: we're all the victims of each others hubris.
As you were of mine! Apologies my fellow ponderer. :)
Posted by boozeandbabble 1 year ago
Fred70, that was very thought provoking! You're right about empathy. Empathy can be the numinous in disagreeable moments.
Posted by fred70 1 year ago
Anon1984, you're correct I'm not muslim. I was moved how you showed solidarity with those you viewed me as "defaming." :) I would love to debate you in the future. Different subject matter of course.
Posted by JudgeSchreber 1 year ago
Apologies if I've appeared too appeasing. I've tried as hard as I could to remove the aspect of religion from the debate and show it was the Pro's interpretation of his holy book, not the book itself, that led to his actions. I am sorry if this is offensive, but it is the most neutral way to deal with what I perceive to be a caricature that I am aware of. I do not intend to offend anyone through my comments or posts during this debate, and wholeheartedly apologize if I have.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
you make it sound like there is anything good about it..
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
islam is pure sickness moron
Posted by Anon1984 1 year ago
Glad to debate with you, just signed up to the site today and just finished a debate. To clarify, I don't despise this debate or any exchange of ideas in any topic, but I do despise poorly veiled attempts at defamation.
Posted by fred70 1 year ago
It's late in round two, and I must slumber now.
Unfortunately I will not remember this debate tomorrow.
Tomorrow will indeed be a blur.
A tip for debating: say want you want to say and never what you don't.
That may seem redundant, but I must insist.
It has been amusing. Farewell.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by EXOPrimal 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's main justification for his debate were religious. Con used sources and presented a very logical argument having to do with domestic violence. Con refuted all of Pro's points, and pro tried to justify them with quotes. Overall Con dominated in this debate.