A sad but true case from the United Arab Emirates that made headlines recently: The Federal Supreme Court of the United Arab Emirates, the highest court in that country, ruled earlier this month that it is perfectly OK for a man to beat his wife and young children, as long as the "discipline" doesn't leave any physical marks.

The ruling came during a case in which the court stated that the defendant crossed the line suggested by Sharia Law because the daughter he beat was not a minor and the wife sustained visible injuries. Lovely, right?

In fact, this particular beating left the man's wife with injuries to her lip and teeth and his 23-year-old daughter with bruises on her knees and hand.

The irony here is that the court ruled against the man — but not because he beat his wife and daughter. The court ruled against him because he "abused his right of discipline" and therefore was not "exempted from punishment."

Islamic law allows for "discipline" if no marks are left. It also says children who have reached "adulthood" — approximately puberty — cannot be struck. In ruling against the defendant in that case, Chief Justice Falah as Hajeri said there are conditions when domestic violence is acceptable, but this case was not one of them.


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