Have you ever seen an elderly mother/mother-in-law become a free maid for cooking, babysitting and taking care of the household while the couple is resting, watching TV, going out and partying?
Have you ever seen adult children and grandchildren yelling at and abusing their parents and grandparents all the time.?The forms of abuse might include physical, emotional, financial and social abuse.
Have you ever seen an old parent dumped into a nursing home for 10 years or more where nobody understand their language, halal food is not served, and family members and friends are not allowed to or unable to visit?
Have you ever seen adult children picking on their elderly parents' weaknesses, digging into their past, putting them down in front of others including their grandchildren, making fun of them, accusing them of things that they never did, and then calling them liars?
A major problem in handling the issue of family violence is the lack of funding. Although Muslim Americans raise tens of billions of dollars each year, most of this money is sent overseas in the name of relief efforts. Most of what stays home is spent on building mosques and Islamic schools. Domestic violence shelters and social services organizations hardly get any support from the community across the country.
This has to change. We need to learn, as individuals and as a community, to portion our charity. While it is important to help Muslims all over the world, it is obligatory to help the oppressed, the needy, and the vulnerable at home first. We need to understand that the entire world responds to natural disasters and relief efforts in the most cases, but hardly anybody responds to a child or woman abused behind the closed doors. How that money sent overseas is being used/misused and what impact it really makes is a topic of another discussion.
We also need to understand that the future of the Muslim community is only secured by building healthy communities and nurturing healthy individuals. This goal can only be achieved by addressing various issues that a Muslim American family faces today. The active investment in strengthening our families is a long overdue and avoiding it is a communal crime.
Dar al Islam
P.O. Box 180
Abiquiu, NM 87510