An Afghan MP has denied he suggested a journalist's nose should be cut off in a video in which she asked his views on marital rape.
Nazir Ahmad Hanafi was accused of saying: "Maybe I should give you to an Afghan man to take your nose off" to reporter Isobel Yeung, in VICE film posted online.
The video - in which the Islamic theologian suggests that Islam and the West define rape different - went viral when posted on Twitter, receiving more than 4,400 retweets and sparking widespread condemnation.
Ms Yeung was questioning Mr Hanafi, who represents the Western city of Herat, about his opposition to legislation cracking down on violence against women.
The Elimination of Violence Against Women Act was submitted to parliament in 2009 but has yet to be passed due to resistance from MPs.
The reporter asks: “What if a husband rapes his wife, is that domestic abuse? Should the man be punished or should the woman be punished for that, in your opinion?"
Mr Hanafi replies: “There is a kind of rape you have and another we have in Islam."
He then cuts Ms Yeung as she tries to answer another question, adding: "I think you should stop it now.”
Turning in another direction, he is then heard to seemingly make the remark about cutting off the journalist's nose.
According to AFP, Facebook user Mohammad Bashir Haidary wrote on Facebook: “Dear MP...you have defamed the dignity of the entire Afghan people. May you face the wrath of the Almighy, you are representing the ancient province of Herat.”
User Aminullah Farahi, wrote: “This dirty man knows well that the interview is watched by millions of Easterners and Westerners, and you are representing Islam, is this Islam?”
But the MP denied making the threat in an interview with Radio Free Europe, AFP reported.
He said: "Actually I haven’t said such a thing, neither have I behaved in a such a way with anyone."
The clip is from a VICE film highlighting the plight of women in contemporary Afghanistan, where rape and violence remain commonplace.
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