Inviting Muslims to Respond to Domestic Violence

Posted by Anas
9/7/2010 9:10 AM  RssIcon

Here we are, sitting in front of our respective screens, each with our own motivations and intentions, each with our own life experiences, each of us choosing to spend a few moments – me in writing these words, you in reading them. Violence in Muslim families is not a happy topic, and each of us responds to the idea the words conjure in different ways. Issues like this are daunting, and can seem monumental. But family violence is a reality, and now that we know it exists in our community we must each make a decision about how we are going to respond to this knowledge.

Perhaps if there were enough of us engaged and dealing with this toxin poisoning the families in our community, we could pass over the issue, knowing that our sisters and brothers had it handled. As I have become more aware of the issue, I have been privileged to meet truly heroic Muslims (mostly sisters) who are addressing domestic violence, and whose work is simply outstanding. But the need is far larger than we can address with our current level of resources. Just consider this: Dr. Najma M. Adam did a study on domestic violence against women within the immigrant and South-Asian communities in the United States and found that nearly 73% of the women had experienced psychological abuse, 48% had experienced physical abuse, and 54% had experienced sexual abuse. (reported in Domestic violence: Cross Cultural Perspective, edited by M. Basheer Ahmed MD, 2009) Think about all the suffering, all the damage that represents for everyone – the victims, their children, and yes, the perpetrators. Think about all the mothers whose broken hearts and physical pain are compounded as they struggle to muster a smile for their children. Think about all the children who can’t concentrate in school because the memories of father shouting and mother crying intrude upon them. Think about the darkness spreading throughout the heart of a batterer, as he watches himself destroying his own life and those of the ones he holds most dear. In a situation this grave, it becomes obligatory for all of us (fard ayn) to take action to end the oppression being perpetrated by some Muslims upon others.

How? We have to begin very close to home indeed, with ourselves. We begin by breaking our silence, by engaging. Project has lots of resources to give you specifics on ways you can get engaged. It is a process, and it will unfold over time. But right now, in these minutes you are taking to read these words, you can engage. Just respond. Just post a comment. It is that simple.  It doesn’t have to be profound. Of course it is going to take a great deal more than some blog post and the comments it receives. But our work together begins with a simple exchange. When you respond to a post, it is a way of acknowledging that you are “response-able” for the time you have spent reading it. It isn’t my words, or yours that are of primary importance – it is the conversation we begin and build with others. As each of us joins our voice to those of our sisters and brothers, we gain a collective strength. As we realize our collective strength, we gain the courage to move from raising our voices to additional action to prevent violence in our families. As we work together, the actions we take help spread the conversation, and the virtuous cycle of waking up, and speaking up, and teaming up spreads to more of our brothers and sisters.

Our hope with this website is that we can contribute to this process of raising awareness of domestic violence in our community, that we can facilitate the conversation of those who are responding to the call to engage, that we can provide a space where that conversation flourishes and we support each other in learning to be ever more effective in our efforts. We need your support and your du’a. That’s how it looks to me, sitting behind my screen, writing these words. What do you say?

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Blog List

In The Beginning
Emotional Literacy -- The Key to Preventing Domestic Violence
Feeling Like an Expert?
Forebearance and the Family
The Heartsick Judge
Letter to a Stranger
True Love in Marriage – A Mirage, Why?
Wholeness of Love - The Tranquil Home
Greatness of Women
Stand with Purple
Indian Documentary Film Maker Tackles Child Abuse
Cultural Differences and Child Abuse
Adoption in Islam: Not in my house
The Plight of Abused Muslim Parents
Team Up with Ramadan
Revive the Spirit: Do 4 Things for Aasiya
The Origin of The International Purple Hijab Day
E-Wali--A Good Idea
One Easy Thing to Do to Help Keep Kids Safe
Five Tips on Finances / Your Financial Safety Plan
The Issue of Child Abuse: What We Should Do
It's all about Saving Muslim Lives at Home!
Stop Domestic Violence: Wake Up, Speak Up, Team Up
Please Help Me: The Child Abuse Epidemic
On Shaima Alawadi, family violence, and hate crimes
Hurting Homes
Honor is Gender Neutral
My Khutbah Against Domestic Violence
Abuse of Women is Sadly Endemic
Do we have a Will to End Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence, Islam and Muslim Women
Domestic Violence: A Violation of Islam
Honor and Terror
Muslims Working Against Domestic Violence
Muslim women wage jihad against violence
Imam Zaid Shakir: The Problem of Domestic Abuse
The Wife-Beating issue and its impact on our community
ALLAH Prohibits Domestic Violence
Does the Quran Tolerate Domestic Abuse?
Inviting Muslims to Respond to Domestic Violence
VOICE TO ACTION: Muslims Against Domestic Violence
SISTERS Annual Tea Honors Muslimat Al Nisaa Shelter
Did We ever Bother to know Muzzammil?
Downtown Chicago Event
He Stood Right Here



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