An interview with Muslim cleric Sa’d Arafat clearly defines the Sharia attitude (and Allah’s) of honoring women by the scaling back of deserved beatings for women in need of discipline. It is somewhat surreal to hear this guy seriously present these views and very disturbing that he believes them. You can’t make this stuff up.
Sa’d Arafat: Allah honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings…If the husband beats his wife, he must not beat her in the face. Even when he beats her, he must not curse her…there must not be more than ten beatings, and he must not break her bones, injure her, break her teeth, or poke her in the eye…the beatings should not be hard, so that they do not leave a mark…The beatings should be on the body and should not come one right after the other…The honoring of the wife in Islam is also evident in the fact that the punishment of beating is permissible in one case only: when she refuses to sleep with him.
Read about it here, if you can stomach it: Annals of Sharia