The city police department’s new chaplain to its Muslim officers holds rather archaic and sexist views when it comes to the role of women.
The Toronto police department has appointed a new chaplain to service its Muslim officers.
As reported by CIJ News, Musleh Kahn was born in Medina, Saudi Arabia but raised in Toronto. He obtained a BA in Islamic Law from the Islamic University in Madinah in Saudi Arabia.
The chaplain not only helps Muslim police officers but also serves as a community chaplain. “If they ever are confused about certain behaviors or rhetoric thrown out on behalf of Islam, I’d like for them to have someone authentic, that has studied the religion and can say, ‘Hey, I can explain this to you’,” Khan says.
The police department says Khan’s goal is to provide support and bridge gaps. Yet, there is one gap not being addressed: the gap between men and women inherent in his teachings – and that of “authentic Islam,” as he claims.
In 2013, Kahn taught a webinar titled The Heart of the Home: The Rights and Responsibilities of the Wife.
In the webinar, Kahn states the wife should be obedient to her husband at all times (since he is her protector and maintainer and supports the family). She should respect him as the ameer (lord) of the house. Moreover, women should not view this obligation as a chore, but rather as a means of gaining eternal reward. (There is no similar obligation of the husband to obey his wife.)
Also in the seminar (see video below), Kahn states that a woman must be careful to ask permission from her husband to leave the house. In addition, she should be available for sexual relations whenever he desires unless she has a valid excuse (illness or fasting). But even so, Khan said,
“Even some scholars went as far as saying that even if it doesn’t feel right, or you’re just not in that emotional relationship you know it’s not the right manner, you’re not feeling that at that particular time, still try to make it happen, still try to force yourself even if you have to do that.
“Why? Because this is crucial and even scientists, even doctors, even psychologists, all of them, have proven that this here, this intimacy with your spouse is a crucial, crucial ingredient for a successful marriage.
That a woman should need permission from her husband to leave the house is demeaning and oppressive, putting women under archaic control of her husband.
That she should force herself to have martial relations when she knows it is not coming from the right place due to problems in the couple’s relationship at the time means a woman can be used like an object. (While Kahn may be right that intimacy is a crucial ingredient for a successful marriage, marital relations under these circumstances are the antithesis of any real definition of intimacy).
If the Toronto police department desires to create a position to support its Muslim police officers and be a community chaplain, it should not be hiring and promoting an imam that leaves half of the community in a secondary role and teaches its officers that’s the way it is supposed to be.