On Wednesday night, Mr Trad told Andrew Bolt on Sky News that beating a woman was “step three” in a process to deal with relationships.
He said people should not reach that step.
“What that verse is really putting as a scenario is if you come home and you’re really, really angry — we’ve seen many men act violently towards their women — what this verse is saying really is playing on the psychology of the man saying violence is a last resort,” he said.
“A good person would never get to that step because the first step would eliminate the problem.”
The comments led to widespread condemnation, with Mr Trad failing in his first attempt to backtrack.
He told Studio 10 on Thursday it was “a last resort…that you actually never get to”, before appearing on other television networks to denounce domestic violence “unequivocally”.
I condemn violence against women, it is never ok to hit a woman, I acknowledge the clumsiness of my reply to Andrew Bolt and I apologise.
— Keysar Trad (@keysartrad) February 23, 2017
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, the Islamic leader issued an apology.
“I condemn violence against women – it is never ok to hit a woman,” he posted.
“Acknowledging my clumsy attempt to explain a verse from the holy Qur’an, I want to categorically condemn all forms of violence, especially violence against women.
“I condemn and deplore it and stress my continued zeal to support women against violence. I sincerely apologise if my attempt to explain the verse is understood any differently.”
‘Not a man’ – Muslim leaders slam Trad
Australia’s Islamic communities have led the criticism levelled at Mr Trad.
Inam ul-Haq Kauser, an imam from Australia’s Ahmadiyya Muslim community, told SBS that “hitting or beating is not permitted” in their religion.
“Islam gives full respect and honour in being a mother, being a wife, being a daughter and sister,” he said.
“The Holy Prophet Muhammad never hit all his life. He said the best Muslim is ‘he who is best with his family’.”
Sydney imam Ahmed Abdo was unequivocal in his condemnation of Mr Trad on social media.
“I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women. This is my Oath as an Australian Muslim Imam,” he tweeted.
“If you beat your wife, you are not a man.”
In a series of subsequent tweets, Mr Abdo continued to let fly at Mr Trad’s comments.
“I counselled a married couple today. I told them to beat their own egos, not to beat each other.”
I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women. This is my Oath as an Australian Muslim Imam.
— Ahmed Abdo (@AhmedAbdoAU) February 23, 2017If you beat your wife, you are NOT a man! Let the Prophet of Islam speak now!#linkinghearts#whiteribbon… 苏州美甲培训学校,长沙SPA,/rsIPQwwAXf
— Ahmed Abdo (@AhmedAbdoAU) February 23, 2017I counselled a married couple today. I told them to beat their own egos, not to beat each other.
— Ahmed Abdo (@AhmedAbdoAU) February 23, 2017
Prominent young lawyer Mariam Veiszadeh tweeted “Domestic violence is NEVER ok or justified”.
Domestic violence is NEVER ok or justified.
— Mariam Veiszadeh (@MariamVeiszadeh) February 23, 2017
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton called Keysar Trad “mad”, while Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said she was seeking contact with the under-fire leader.
“I have one very clear message for Mr Trad and anybody who holds those views: they are completely, totally and utterly unacceptable,” she said.
NSW Domestic Violence Minister Pru Goward welcomed the apology.
“I’m very pleased that he’s apologised, because there’s only a one-size fits all answer to that question, and that is domestic violence in Australia – or anywhere – is unacceptable,” she said.
Read Keysar Trad’s full apology below:
Post by Keysar Trad.