Sheikh Omar Speaks at Domestic Violence Education Summit
November 4, 2010
Source: The Muslim Observer
With the ever increasing cases of domestic violence happening in the American Society,
especially most recently occurring in the Muslim & Pakistani families, where
a father killed three of his children and a son killed her mother; the Houston Police
Officer Muzaffar Siddiqi with the help of his colleagues at the Houston Police Department
(HPD) and the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) hosted a Domestic
Violence Education Summit at the River Oaks Crown Plaza Hotel located at 2712 Southwest
Freeway. Staff of several local agencies and HPD special department that handles
such cases was present. The panelists included: HPD Sergeant Jim Babb; HPD Officer
E. J. Joseph of the Community Affairs; Teresa Catillo Crime Victim Liaison HPD;
Senior HPD Officer Janette Arceneaux of the Special Crimes Division Domestic Violence;
Dr. Lisa Berg Garmezy Staff Psychologist HPD; Dr. Aziz Siddiqi President ISGH; Sheikh
Omar Inshanally Imam of ISGH; Eddee Hestand Member of Police & Clergy Team;
Celeste Gilliam of the Houston Area Women's Center; and Lilas Taha of Asians Against
Domestic Abuse (AADA).
This program was very well organized and all the much needed resources available
in the Houston Region for the suffers of family violence (both women and men) got
discovered by the persons of the Muslim and Pakistani communities, as this information
was not very much known in the community.
Usually people are hesitant to get involved with the police. As such in the case
of Domestic Tensions, if the affected people do not get to good people in the families
or their community, who may able to resolve the issues at an initial stage, their
situation from tensions reach to violence, which is catastrophic for the persons
involved (husband, wife, children, people living around them can get affected and
then the whole community & society gets vulnerable & weaker).
People, who may want to avoid the police in the initial stages, and as suggested
by Sheikh Omar that just with some tensions, suddenly 911 should not be called,
as Islam asks for mature people from both the sides (wife and husband) to try to
resolve the issues, so as to keep the family unit intact and once family unit is
preserved, the society gets built on sound footings.
“There is need that all the sons and daughters of Adam should accord dignity to
each other and at times this needs spiritual and psychic hygiene,” added Sheikh
Now if the person feels she or he (both women & men are suffers of abuse at
the hands of each other) But in the absence of such help from the family, no one
should live the life of fear. Instead they need to consult several of the area agencies,
like: ISGH - 713-524-6615
Shifa Foundation (that now has a women shelter) - 713-779-1555
Asians Against Domestic Abuse (AADA) who can provide services in 14 languages including
Urdu & Arabic - 713-339-8300
and the Houston Area Women's Center - 713-528-6798 - Ext. 2269.
It was emphasized that no one should live under any threat or fear, as resources
are available. But it was also highlighted that religious & cultural norms suggest
not to break up families: So according to Imam Omar, much effort should be spent
in avoiding the breaking of the family unit, since as family unit breaks, it affects
negatively the very fabric of the community & then the society at large: However
if the case is extreme, then there is no way physical abuse should ever be approved
and should be stopped as soon as possible.
Some of the important websites to refer and learn more are: www.tcfv.org; www.taasa.org;
www.hssf.org; www.aadainc.org; & www.hawc.org.
Editor's Note: This story has been republished with the permission of
The Muslim Observer.