On Shaima Alawadi, family violence, and hate crimes

Posted by GuestBloggers
4/11/2012 10:34 AM  RssIcon

We are Shaima Alawadiby By Karla Kellam

Although I would rather the Muslim community had been a bit more cautious before rushing to judge the Alawadi case as a hate crime, the reason so many Muslims and non-Muslims hastily attributed the murder to Islamophobia is that we all recognize that anti-Islamic rhetoric in America today is vociferous enough to lead to this kind of tragedy. Alawadi’s murder followed at the heels of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, and we began to question whether racial and religious stereotyping had gone too far.

Fear, suspicion and hatred are not the American values that I, nor anybody else I know, was brought up with. These sorts of irrational and poisonous emotions have no place in a country that was pieced together by immigrants—each one adding yet another ethnicity, religion and color to the mix. In fact, our persity both sets us apart from the largely homogenous nations of world and gives us an edge—more innovative ideas, more creativity, more tolerance. Yet, we seem to have forgotten that; many even call into question the religion of our President, implying allegiance to Islam would compromise his loyalty to the United States. This slipping away of our core values is why I believe so many Americans—Muslims and non-Muslims-- rallied first around the death of Trayvon Martin and then Shaima Alawaidy. 

If the facts do prove that Shaima Alawadi was the victim of family violence, then this is a problem that reaches far beyond the Muslim community. Statistically speaking, family violence is affecting an American you personally know. Guaranteed. It does not matter if you’re in the top socio-economic percentile, or the bottom. It does not matter if you identify yourself as a Muslim or a Christian. It does not matter if you’re Iraqi-American or Irish-American. 

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

One in four college women have been the victim of rape or attempted rape.

More than five children die in the US every day from child abuse.

A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.

And between one and two million elderly Americans have been the victims of elder abuse—(and this is a conservative estimate).

We at Project Sakinah are mobilizing the Muslim American community to stop family violence in its tracks. We believe that domestic violence is not sanctioned in Islam and we ask that whether Shaima Alawaidy was bludgeoned to death by a family member or by a hateful stranger, you will contact your senators and congress people and ask them to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Donning a hijab is one means to remember Alawadi’s death and condemn her killer, but directly speaking with or writing to your state’s representatives is an even more effective one.

(Photo Credit) 

Karla Kellam is a competitive intelligence and marketing consultant who works for Project Sakinah in social media. She reverted to Islam 15 years ago. 

Editor's Note: This article was first published on altmuslimah.com. It has been republished here with their permission.

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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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