Islamic Books and Souvenirs, located in Toronto, is where Eric Brazau bought A Gift For Muslim Couple, a marriage guide that includes advice on how to control and 'properly' beat a wife.
Credits: Terry Davidson/QMI AGENCY
OTTAWA -- It's supposedly a guiding hand for newlywed Muslim couples, advising husbands to raise their hands to their wives if they step out of line.
The book titled "A Gift to Muslim Couple" was sold in a Toronto store, containing advice for Muslim men with the itch to discipline their brides including: slapping, ear pulling, scolding, withholding cash and confining her to the home.
"Canada's tolerance does not extend to barbaric cultural practices, such as honour killings, violence against women, forced marriages and female genital mutilation," Immigration and Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney told a press conference in Ottawa. "Such practices are condemned and carry the full sanction of the law in Canada, that's the message we send to anyone who is selling or buying such filth."
The owner of the Toronto store, Shamim Ahmed, told another news outlet that he only ever had one copy of the book, presumably the one bought by a Toronto Sun reporter last week.
Ahmed refused to answer any questions about it, saying it would be "stupid" to order more.
The book is written by Islamic scholar Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who died in 1943. The guide is also sold out on Idarastore.com, a large online Islamic book seller in India. The site describes the book as including: "Quranic verses and fine examples of real life incidents, different aspects of family life and explained how to run the institution of marriage successfully."
The book is not offered at the Islam Care Centre bookstore in Ottawa, and the director vows he would never knowingly stock it and would be alarmed if a woman told him she was being hit.
"I would tell her that she has to do something. That he has no right to do that. She should not stay with him. She shouldn't accept any form of abuse whatsoever," said Sulaiman Khan, who has helped run his downtown location since 1999. He said wife abuse is often a cultural problem, not specifically religious. "Some cultures allow it more than others; some men might try to take advantage of their wives, and try to defend themselves, saying: 'look I am doing it because I have a right to do it,' and that is not OK."