When a Muslim man married an 18-year-old girl, he believed he was acquiring a subservient wife who would fulfill his every desire. However, as soon as she stood up to him and made a very “dishonorable” request, he took a butcher knife and hacked away at her face before burning her bleeding body with a hot iron.
Over 1,400 years ago, the Islamic Prophet Muhammad told his followers that men are superior to women by right of Allah and that they must prove this to disobedient wives by physically beating them. The most devout Muslim men obey this scripture from Quran 4:34, although many get a little too creative with what Allah has commanded.
After Alamzeb Rehman married 18-year-old Gul Shifa in Karmang, Pakistan, he soon realized that his teen bride needed extra instruction on how to be a good Muslim wife. Faithfully adhering to Quranic scripture and Muhammad’s own demonstration of wife-beating, Alamzeb took to regularly beating his young wife for two years, hoping that she would learn to submit. Instead, she mustered up the courage to request something wholly un-Islamic — a divorce.
The simple request enraged the husband, who decided that beating his wife wasn’t enough to teach her to know her place. In March 2016, Alamzeb invited his brother, Rafique, to come over to the couple’s house, according to The Express Tribune. While there, the men attempted to force Gul under horrific torture to confess to having an affair. When she refused, they shaved her head, hacked off her nose with a kitchen knife, and began round two of their torture session.
“They also burnt my body parts repeatedly with a hot iron,” she said.
As Gul lie bleeding and near death, she cried for her husband to bring her to a local hospital. Instead, the brothers offered their own inexperienced medical treatment, bandaging her various wounds to little avail.
Although badly injured, Gul miraculously managed to flee to her parents’ house in a nearby village, where they rushed her to receive the emergency medical attention that saved her life. Permanently disfigured and suffering from the trauma she endured, it’s recently come out that Gul’s horrific plight could’ve easily been prevented by authorities several times.
Soon after their marriage in August 2014, Gul attempted to escape her new husband’s brutality by running back to her parents’ house. On two separate occasions, the battered and terrified woman was returned to Alamzeb, who had convinced her father that he would stop the abuse.
After a third instance, an assembly of religious leaders called a jirga came together to decide the couple’s fate. Adopted by many Muslims in Pakistan, the jirga concluded that Gul should not be granted separation from Alamzeb and that she should be returned to his house immediately.
Again, the physical abuse resumed, and Gul was forced to flee for her life. Knowing that her parents would be forced to send her back to Alamzeb, she chose to leave the area. It was when she reached Gandiyan Bridge just miles from her house that she knew she’d been caught.
“Tired of the constant walking, I decided to rest under a tree for a few minutes,” she said. “That is when a police van stopped near me and the personnel took me back to my husband’s home after questioning.”
This was the final straw that prompted Alamzeb to accuse Gul of adultery, which subsequently increased the number and severity of her beatings. It was not long after her return that Alamzeb locked her in her room and invited over his brother to carry out his gruesome plans.
Police are currently investigating Gul’s case. Fortunately, Rafique has been arrested, but Alamzeb is still on the run, believed to have fled back to his home village in Karachi.
This kind of abuse is not only prevalent in Islam, it is a fundamental of the violent ideology. From the moment Muhammad ordered men to beat their wives, and beat his own in the process, billions of Muslim men would be encouraged and justified in domestic abuse over the next millennium. Since their prophet’s tyrannical reign, Muslims have committed 91 percent of honor killings worldwide, and it is only increasing in brutality and number.