Wife beating and rape okay - Islamic cleric

January 24, 2009 (Melbourne, Australia -NSV) - A lecture , keys to successful marriage, by an outspoken, Australian Islamic cleric has sparked outcry all over Australia. The lecture was given in 2003 but the video was posted on the internet last year. The cleric advised his male audience that forced sex and beating were permissible against one's wife.

Reacting to the lecture, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that such rhetoric has no place in Australian society.

"Under no circumstances is sexual violence permissible or acceptable in Australia - under no circumstances," Mr Rud said.

Mr Rudd called for the cleric to apologize.

"Australia will not tolerate these sort of remarks. They don't belong in modern Australia, and he should stand up, repudiate them and apologise."

Other Islamic leaders have joined hands with Mr Rudd and condermed the remarks.

In the lecture, the cleric argued that men are allowed to demand sex from their wives even if it's not in the interest of the wives. The wife has to accept her husband's call however busy she might be.

"If the husband was to ask her for a sexual relationship and she [wife] is preparing the bread on the stove she must leave it and come and respond to her husband, she must respond," Mr Hamza told his audience.

He believes that forced sex on one's wife is not a rape.

"In this country if the husband wants to sleep with his wife and she does not want to and she hasn't got a sickness or whatever, there is nothing wrong with her she just does not feel like it, and he ends up sleeping with her by force...it is known to be as rape," Mr Hamza mocks by asking "Amazing, how can a person rape his wife?"

Mr. Hamza further added that wife beating is allowed in Islam as a 'last resort' after having advised the wife and as long as too much physical harm is not inflicted on the wife.

"After you have advised them (not to be disobedient) for a long, long time then you smack them, you beat them and, please, brothers, calm down, the beating the Mohammed showed is like the toothbrush that you use to brush your teeth."

"You are not allowed to bruise them, you are not allowed to make them bleed."

Mr. Hamza rejected bruising women arguing that beating is only meant to shapen them up.