Outrage after Moroccan song promotes domestic violence

Outrage after Moroccan song promotes domestic violence
Outrage was triggered across Morocco's online community after a new song promoted the idea of physical abuse against women being a sign of love.
3 min read
19 Aug, 2017
The song sparked outrage for its controversial lyrics [YouTube]

A female Moroccan singer sparked outrage after releasing a song suggesting women "love" being physically abused by their husbands.

Imane Bent el-Howat’s new track, dubbed ‘al-Banat Kamouniyat’ claims women enjoy domestic violence.

The 9-minute upbeat song says “a slap fixes the mood” and “They say beating is from paradise, the one who tastes it gets peace”.

Social media users took to a range of platforms to denounce the “offensive” song which they say promotes domestic violence against women in a society already dealing with the issue.

“I can’t find the words to express what I feel about these kind of songs that encourage violence by a woman,” one Facebook user wrote.

“This song is trash. A woman is my mother, my sister, my wife, a respected lady. This song does not respect women and we do not want to listen to it,” a male user posted.

“Women like being respected, not beaten,” another poignantly pointed out.

But despite the backlash, the 24-year-old singer has adamantly defended her choice of words in an interview on Morocco’s first online channel, Chouf TV.  

“How will a woman know her husband loves her and cares about her?” el-Howat asked.

“I’m not supporting violence, a man that would take a woman and beat her up, or permanently scar or something.. No. I am for the sweet beating. The love one, the jealousy one,” she said, giggling at the camera.

But this is not the first time domestic violence was taken lightly in Morocco.

In November, a Moroccan state TV channel faced public backlash after airing a make-up tutorial for victims of domestic violence, ahead of Elimination of Violence Against Women Day.

The segment was aired on Sabahiyat on Channel 2M just two days ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The programme was quickly met by a public backlash, including a petition calling for the channel to apologise and for broadcasting watchdog HACA to take action.

"We as citizens of Moroccan and campaigners for women's issues in Morocco... express our condemnation of this act, which considers this taunting experienced by women as normal," the petition said.

Sabahiyat, broadcast daily on channel 2M, had wanted to "show the kind of make-up to use when a woman is beaten".

A woman, lying in an arm chair, is seen wearing theatrical make-up to show a swollen and bruised face, while the presenter uses make-up to conceal the black and blue marks.

After the "makeover" the host tells viewers: "We hope these beauty tips will help you carry on with your daily life."

The clip sparked a social media storm, with astounded viewers calling it "disgusting".