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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 14:57 GMT
Imam rapped for wife-beating book
Mohamed Kamal Mustafa
Mustafa reportedly says he opposes violence against women
A Muslim cleric who wrote a book that advised men how to beat up their wives without leaving incriminating marks has been sentenced by a Spanish court.

Mohamed Kamal Mustafa was given 15 months in jail, which he will not serve as Spanish law suspends sentences of under two years for first offences.

Mustafa's book, Women in Islam, sparked outrage among women's groups when it was published three years ago.

In his defence, the imam said he was interpreting passages from the Koran.

A jury in Barcelona found Mustafa guilty of inciting violence against women, lawyer Jose Luis Bravo told reporters.

He was also fined euros 2,160 ($2,735).


In his book, Mustafa wrote that in disciplining a disobedient wife: "The blows should be concentrated on the hands and feet using a rod that is thin and light so that it does not leave scars or bruises on the body."

Mustafa - imam at the mosque in the southern Spanish town of Fuengirola - said he was opposed to violence against women and had been simply interpreting the Koran.

The book incensed women's groups and, in July 2000, around 90 groups filed a lawsuit in a Barcelona court to have the book withdrawn.

The book - some 3,000 copies of which had already been distributed - was removed from Islamic cultural centres around Spain.

Spanish concerns

The BBC's Katya Adler in Madrid says domestic violence is an issue of growing public concern in Spain, where until just over 25 years ago it was not considered a criminal offence.

Women's groups across the country were celebrating the sentence, she added.

Two groups representing Spanish Muslims came forward ahead of the trial distance themselves from the cleric's book, saying that the Koran and other sacred texts condemned violence against women.



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