A member of Malaysia's Obedient Wives Club. Photo: Reuters
JUST months after telling its members to serve their husbands better than prostitutes, prompting widespread criticism, the Obedient Wives Club of Malaysia has stirred further controversy by publishing a guide to Islamic sex.
The 115-page pocket-sized book, which will outrage many Muslims and non-Muslims, says a Muslim man can have sex with all of his wives at the same time. Under strict Islamic tradition a man have can up to four wives if he can provide for them all.
The club prompted an outcry from women's groups and Islamic religious authorities when it was established in June, claiming to have 1000 members.
Malaysia's Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, asked government officials to monitor the club to ensure it would not ''muddle'' the minds of Malaysia's younger generation. But Ms Shahrizat said the government could not restrict the club's activities, saying ''we are, after all, a democratic country''.
Among organisations that condemned the club was the Wanita Malaysian Chinese Association, which passed a motion describing its advice to women as an insult to their basic human rights.
In its foreword, the book says studies showed women gave their husbands only 10 per cent of what men desired of their wives' bodies. It contains explicit sex details, including fondling of a breast, and one chapter deals with ''how sex becomes worship''.
The book says sex is sanctioned by God and is intended to make a new life.
''You [God] have said that all these acts are halal, pure, beautiful and like a prayer [between man and wife],'' it says.
In June, club members said they planned to set up chapters in other Asian nations, including predominantly Muslim Indonesia.
But there has been little support for an expansion of the club after criticism of its policies by a number of Muslim groups.
Malaysian media have reported the club has links to a religious cult banned by the Malaysian government 20 years ago.
In June, the club's vice-president, Dr Rohaya Mohamad, prompted criticism when she advised women to behave like a ''first-class whore'' while in the company of their husbands if they wanted their marriage to succeed.
The book is circulating in Malaysia at a time that radical Islam is expanding across Asia through a movement called Hizbut Tahrir, which is attracting many middle-class Muslims, including businessmen, lawyers and mothers.
The organisation's Indonesian chapter has hundreds of thousands of members. Hizbut Tahrir wants to unite all Muslim countries in a globe-spanning bloc ruled by strict sharia law.
Although banned in some countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hizbut Tahrir is operating openly in Australia.