A volunteer Toronto police chaplain who has faced criticism for a 2013 webinar in which he stated that a woman must be ‘obedient’ to her husband says his remarks were misinterpreted.

Musleh Khan recently came under fire after video of the hour-long seminar, titled “The Heart of the Home: the Rights and Responsibilities of a Wife,” surfaced.

In the video Khan says that a wife should be “obedient” to her husband and should not abstain from intimacy unless they have a “valid excuse,” such as sickness or fasting.

Khan also reportedly says that a wife should seek permission from her husband before leaving the home because he is "the main decision maker of the home."

In a statement issued to CP24 on Wednesday morning, Khan defended the meaning of his remarks but expressed regret for using the word “obedient.”

“In the Arabic language, the term Ta’a is often, ineffectively translated, as obedience. However, this is not entirely accurate. The Arabic Ta’a portrays a depth of emotion that denotes loyalty, devotion, yielding, sacrifice and love towards the object of one’s affection,” he said. “I realise how someone unfamiliar with this nuance can misunderstand my imprecise translation to mean something different to my intended meaning, and the meaning that I know my audience at the time understood clearly. My aim was to encourage couples to go out of their way to care and nurture one another.”

Widespread criticism

After video of the seminar surfaced on Monday a number of people and groups criticized Khan for his message, including Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack and Canadian Council of Muslim Women.

McCormack told the Toronto Star that he had received a number of complaints from members about the video.

“I think a lot of our members have an issue with that type of viewpoint,” he told the newspaper. “We're dealing with domestic violence and getting women to come forward, to help victims, because of this type of viewpoint.”

In his statement, Khan says that he “appreciates the criticism” of his “choice of words” and will be more mindful in clarifying his “steadfast support of women’s equality” in the future.

Khan also says that he remains “ready to serve the community as Muslim Chaplain of the Toronto Police Force” after recently being appointed to the position.