Posted by Isra on 7/17/2014 2:36 PM

When one lives in the solitude of their own mind it can lead them to believe there is no hope, no future, and ultimately no point. When they’ve been told time and again that no one would help or that their life and struggles meant nothing, it becomes easy to fake that smile, the carefree attitude, and quietly slip back into the abyss of sadness once they’re alone again. 

Posted by Isra on 5/22/2014 2:27 PM

Over the course of my life I heard that if I was patient, I would be rewarded. In my adolescence I sought answers by reaching out to different religious leaders. I rarely got a response …and when I did it was the same mantra of endurance and forbearance. Patience in an unrelenting environment does not come easy or free.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 2/7/2014 5:11 PM

This February marks five years since the beheading of Sr. Aasiya Zubair, the co-founder of Bridges TV, in Buffalo, NY. She was a victim of domestic violence. In public, her husband was a highly educated, courteous, very professional, successful business man. In private, he was a wild, heartless beast with no mercy or respect for women or the mothers of his children. Aasiya was his third wife. Both ex-wives divorced him because of severe domestic abuse. He was known as abusive husband within his community, but he still managed to marry a third time, to abuse his third wife for seven years and to brutally murder her in the Bridges TV channel’s office that they ironically co-founded to dispel negative stereotypes about Muslims.

In the past five years, more North American Muslim sisters have shared Aasiya’s fate: murdered by their own husbands. Their number includes Nazish Noorani in New Jersey, Shaima Alawadi in California; Sakina Williams in New York; Nasira Fazli in Ontario; Mona Elswedy in Pennsylvania;  and Sarwat Lodhi  in New York.

Posted by Karla Kellam on 9/27/2013 8:37 AM

Indian film makers are tackling child abuse in an innovative way... by releasing educational videos to YouTube.  One of these was made by documentary film maker, Sanjay Kumar Singh, and is called "Chuppi Todo" (Break the Silence.)

Posted by GuestBloggers on 8/21/2013 12:04 PM

By Yusra Gomaa  (courtesy of altmuslimah)

Brother and Sister “H-H-Hello, Asalaamu’alaykum. Umm, my name is Amna and I have two young children. The state is terminating my parental rights, and there’s nothing I can do. I didn’t know who else to call. I have one month to find someone before they go up for adoption. Can you please help me find a Muslim to adopt my children?” The mosque director began a three-week campaign in Tennessee to find Muslims both willing and qualified to adopt these two children, but found none.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 6/11/2013 3:53 PM

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?

Posted by Project Sakinah National on 6/10/2013 11:12 AM

Let's Team Up with Ramadan!

Project Sakinah and Ramadan are natural partners. We go along the same lines.

Ramadan requires one to be loving and merciful not just toward family and neighbors but towards all creatures while fasting and focusing on one's relationship with the Creator of all. This extensive control on one's negative behavior and longer worship hours during taraweeh prayers and throughout the day bring tranquility (Sakinah) in people's minds and lives who actually indulge themselves into fasting and other routine rituals of the month with sincerity.

Ramadan also brings family, friends and communities together in a big way. People open their hearts and homes for each other. People share not only their meals but also their time, wealth and other blessings with the community members. This is why, Ramadan gatherings are the largest and the most meaningful gatherings of the year.

Project Sakinah too gathers community to talk about growing strong, violence free families. We team up with organizations and community members to bring programs and workshops to the communities that would help individuals in controlling their anger, resolving their family conflicts, raising their children and taking care of their elderly with love and mercy. We aim to bring sakinah, the tranquility, in each household through our team work, inshaAllah.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 3/29/2013 10:46 AM

Khalil Wimes, a 6-year-old boy died due to parental abuse in Philly last March. His drug-addict parents starved him for three years. They would beat him with whatever they would find. They had him in a room that had nothing but a filthy, urine-wet mattress. After his death, doctors found his 29 pound body covered with a "sea of scars" and wounds. Full story here.

It's been a year, but I still can't get my head around the fact that this baby was suffering so much for so long and NOBODY around him DID ANYTHING to rescue him. The community has done nothing after his death to protect other kids either. 

What is our communal response to Khalil's death? 

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 2/13/2013 4:55 PM

AasiyaAs this week marks fourth year of that tragedy, we still reflect upon her loss and grieve for her children who are being raised without both parents since then. We know that we cannot change what has already happened, but we also know that we might be able to stop similar incidents from happening by taking solid preventive measures by changing community’s attitudes toward family violence and taking a wholesome approach to grow healthy families.

With this in mind, here are 4 quick things we can do to commemorate her memory and to take a step forward in growing healthy families and building tranquil homes.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 2/12/2013 3:00 PM
International Purple Hijab Day in EthiopiaBy Sr. Hadayai Majeed, Atlanta, GA

I was so shocked when I heard the news of Aasiya Zubair's murder four years ago. I was watching TV when the announcement came on CNN. For about five minutes I felt my den literally spin like in the movies. When an event is so traumatic it is unbelievable.

I had worked with Muzzamil on several promotional projects for Bridges TV. He always spoke so fondly of his wife. He spoke about her at presentations giving her most of the credit for getting the TV station started (idea and money). No clue he had a sinister dark side. I felt so bad the first few days immediately after the news broke I became physically ill. We were discussing (a group of us) how to have a time and way to reflect on domestic abuse (before Sr. Aasiya's murder) that would be truly Islamic. So many Muslims...
Posted by Zerqa Abid on 7/26/2012 2:07 PM

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.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 7/15/2012 12:00 AM

A major source of confusion and misunderstanding about the permissibility of domestic abuse in Islam to discipline one’s wife is the disputed translation of the famous verse 4:34 of Quran. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, like many other scholars, translates it as following:

“… As to those women on whom part ye fear disloyalty and ill conduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (And last) spank them (lightly); …

This and similar translations have been challenged on two grounds by several Muslim scholars in the recent years. The first is on grounds of alternate meanings of the word “durbahunna.” For example, the Global Muslim Women’s Shura Council  writes in its report Jihad Against Violence: Women Struggle for Peace:

In classical Arabic, the word daraba has 25 different meanings. “Beat” or “chastise” are two of them, but another is “go away from.” Therefore, the verse could be interpreted:

As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty, first admonish them, then abandon their sleeping places, then go away from them.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 6/12/2012 10:42 AM

by By Karla Kellam

 A little over a month ago, on April 17, a ten-year-old Muslim boy named Abdifatah Mohamud, was brutally murdered in Buffalo, NY by his stepfather—beaten to death more than 70 times with a rolling pin.  

One month prior to Abdifatah’s death, on March 19, six-year-old Khalil Wimes died at the hands of his parents. 

We cannot dismiss these stories with a pitying shake of the head because we, the Muslim community, share the burden of guilt. We have remained woefully silent on the issue of child abuse and family violence within our communities.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 5/7/2012 11:54 AM


  Khalil &  Abdifatah
“Khalil was dead from head trauma March 19 when his parents, Tina Cuffie, 44, and Floyd Wimes [aka Latiff Hadi], 48, brought him to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His corpse weighed only 29 pounds and bore a sea of scars across his face and the rest of his body, according to police reports. Authorities believe Khalil suffered beatings at the hands of his parents for as long as two years, and he was photographed with obvious scarring at the same time the social worker was visiting him and his siblings in 2011.” ─ Reports Philadelphia Inquirer.

“On the night of April 17, Ali Mohamad Mohamud tied up his stepson Abdifatah Mohamud, stuffed a sock in his mouth, covered it with duct tape and then beat the boy to death, Buffalo, N.Y.,” police told ABC News affiliate WKBW.

“An autopsy showed that the fifth grader died after being hit more than 70 times with a rolling pin.” --- ABC News.

We as a community seriously need to do something about such parents who torture their kids in all sorts of ways in the name of discipline. Police and children services come later. Where are family members, neighbors and community members? Why is there nobody to stop them? This does not happen in just one night. Instead, such deadly incidents happen after several incidents of lesser severity. In this case, it is apparent that nobody stopped these brutal people at all.

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

We are Shaima Alawadiby By Karla Kellam

As the facts about the Shaima Alawadi murder case continue to trickle in, it appears more and more that she was the victim of family violence, rather than a hate crime. As somebody who works to prevent family violence at Project Sakinah, this does not come as a surprise to me—nor was it an unexpected turn of events to many of us in the domestic violence/family violence community. Of all the women killed in America in 2007, 64% of them died at the hands of a family member or an intimate partner. While it is possible that this might be matricide, which is exceedingly rare (85% of children who murder one or more of their parents are male), family violence is not.

 

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 1/4/2012 1:26 AM

As we enter into 2012, we reflect upon the past year with mixed feelings. On one hand, our hearts are heavy with the memory of Nazish Noorani and many others who have been victimized by their own spouses in 2011.  On the other hand, the level of our community’s engagement with us, and with other efforts dedicated to stopping violence within our families over the course of the year gives us hope and encouragement to continue the struggle.

Our main focus during 2011 was on collaborating with existing organizations and upon launching our multi-faceted campaign. Here are our major achievements for 2011, along with future plans for 2012:

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 8/22/2011 7:39 AM

 As I write this post, it has been five days since the murder of Nazish Noorani, 27, a mother of two, in Boonton, NJ.   

A week prior to her death, she texted her brother...

 "I dont no wht to do…Cant talk to him cuz he abuse me than…He dosent wanna live with me…I dont no kids get scared of him sometimes…I m so tired of this…I dont no i m scared…someday u will find me dead but its cuz of kashi…he wants to kill me."

Unfortunately, regardless of her warning, she could not save herself. Her husband, Kashif Pervaiz, successfully plotted and killed her with the help of his girlfriend, Antoinette Stephen.  

Posted by Hesham A Hassaballa on 4/22/2011 2:49 AM

On April 21, the Supreme Court in Pakistan upheld the acquittal of five men accused in the gang-rape of Mukhtar Mai. To God we belong, and to Him shall we return.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 3/1/2011 12:00 AM

by Sandra Molinari

Sandra Molinari has worked in the sexual and domestic violence field for the better part of a decade. She discusses the need for prevention and the underlying causes of domestic and sexual violence, including the underlying causes at the community and societal levels.

"Why not instead ask the question, 'Why did X hurt Y? And how can X and others be prevented from hurting people in the future?' As a woman in one of my groups once put it: All this empowerment work that is focused on us survivors of domestic violence is great: I can tell you I’m never going to put up with that kind of abuse again! But what about my ex? He’s just going to move on to another woman and start beating her up. What are we going to do about him? Where does the violence end?…

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 1/26/2011 11:24 AM

 February 12, 2010, marked the first anniversary of the gruesome murder of general manager and co-founder of Bridges TV, Sister Aasiya Zubair Hassan. She was killed by her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, the other co-founder and CEO of Bridges TV.

Many of you know by reading my earlier posts on the topic that this particular murder had hit me and my family very hard. We felt the Zubair family’s pain directly, as we knew if we had not acted on time the dead victim could have been my first cousin, Sadia, instead of Aasiya. Sadia is Muzzammil’s ex-wife. We were thankful to Allah for saving Sadia’s life. At the same time, we were very sad for losing Sr. Aasiya at the hand of an established, known abuser. Since we personally knew many major players of the story, our reaction has been mixed with grief and anger. Grief for Aasiya’s children and her family. Anger toward the community and friends around the couple.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 12/1/2010 11:19 AM

Written by Anntoinette Cooper  

The stereotypical views and myths associated with Islam and Muslim women; the generalization of the Muslim population by mainstream society and the countless fears of victims which include the threat of deportation, blacklisting from the religious community, mistreatment from authority figures, undue scrutiny of Islam and the list goes on. All of these add to the already complex issue of domestic violence within our community making it even more compound.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/30/2010 8:58 PM

Written by Imam Johari Abdul Malik

I was quoted in a NY Times article  about the outstanding work that Muslim activists are doing across the country to prevent domestic violence in our communities. Many of us have been doing this work for many years, and I was featured in a front page article in the NY Times nearly 20 years ago about my work mentoring new fathers in a community based grass root effort in Washington, D.C. My wife, Nia Seale, was working in that same institution with young mothers.

However, I want to be clear that we reject the implication that Islam is somehow inherently violent against women and that a “new interpretation” is needed to address this problem. Our goal is to return people to the original and proper understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah on this issue. We believe that the Words of the Qur’an are the Words of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and that it has been preserved. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) – who is the best example – never beat his wives. The Qur’an calls upon men to be maintainers and protectors of women and this is a religion of expressing God’s love  (rahma) and being kind to one’s spouse. The goal of a marriage in Islam is to promote love and compassion between the spouses and the family in general.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/30/2010 8:01 PM

Written by Mehnaz M. Afridi 
Courtesy:  Common Ground News Service (CGNews)

Los Angeles, California - International Women’s Day on 8 March provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the work women are doing to combat gender inequality. Violence and inequality affect women around the world, including women in Muslim societies who, like their non-Muslim counterparts, are engaged on a day-to-day basis to improve their environments for the better.

Travelling back and forth to Muslim-majority countries such as Pakistan, I witness the amazing work that women are doing both for human rights and economic growth firsthand. Women are running companies, shelters and businesses, and countering the images of disenfranchised, illiterate and socially deprived Muslim women so pervasive in Western media.

Bushra Aslam, for example, opened an orphanage in Islamabad for young girls after the 2005 Pakistani earthquake. She provides educators, mentors, counsellors and interfaith activities for the 45 girls living there. Another inspiring figure is Rukhsana Asghar, the president of Fulcrum, a Pakistan-based human resources consulting company that offers scholarships to train girls from poor families in preparation for jobs.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/22/2010 8:00 PM

Written by Dr. M.N. Tarazi

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Your mother is so great that I did not have to beat her up once in the thirty years we have been married!" a father told his sons as he was trying to praise his wife.
 

"Every time she will talk back at me I will slap her," a brother told me as I was trying to provide marital counseling for him and his wife. Apparently he had "smacked" her before they came to see me. The mind boggling thing is that when I asked him, "What did she say to you that caused you to hit her?" he replied, "We had an argument and she provoked me so I said to her "Haywaneh!" (you're an animal!) Then she dared to talk back at me saying, "Inteh el Haywan" (you're the animal). Then I exercised my "God given right" to beat her up."
 

Though this is hardly a common idea in our community, if only a few brothers follow this misunderstanding of our religion, it damages their families and it damages our whole community.
 

The opponents of Islam often accuse Islam and Muslims of mistreatment of women and allowing men to beat up their wives referring to the Quranic verse 4:34. Unfortunately some Muslim men do strongly believe that this verse in the Quran gives them some "God given right" to beat their wives.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 3/21/2010 5:34 PM

Did you know that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime?

According to a carefully estimated guess by major Islamic social service organizations in North America, this statistic applies to the Muslim women too. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year 2. This number also includes thousands of Muslim women.

Yes, one in every four Muslim women. You must know some who are already abused.

I know many.

Nearly 17,000 people, mainly women, are killed each year by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Denver.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 3/21/2010 5:23 PM
Written by Laila Shaheen

The following article first appeared in Muslim Link.

Domestic violence is a reality in 10 percent of the homes in the United States regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status or education. That number includes those living in Muslim homes. Often times, women in abusive relationships who decide to leave will end up homeless. The hard economic crisis that we currently face is another factor in the increasing numbers of homeless women in the US. And again, this includes Muslim women.

On March 14th, Sisters in Solidarity to Educate, Respond & Serve (S.I.S.T.E.R.S) held their 3rd Annual Tea, where they honored one woman who has worked diligently to help alleviate the suffering of Muslim women who find themselves suddenly homeless. Sister Asma Hanif, operates a women’s shelter and clinic, Muslimat Al Nisaa, in the Baltimore area. The shelter offers a safe haven to Muslim women and children. While the concept and dream of opening the shelter was initially that of our late sister, Maryam Funches, Asma has carried on with her dream of her dear friend.
Posted by Zerqa Abid on 3/21/2010 4:37 PM

Written by Zerqa Abid

Muzzammil Hassan, the owner and CEO of Bridges TV has been arrested for beheading his wife, Aasiya Zubair.

INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAJAIUN, indeed everything belongs to Allah (God) and to Him we will return.

This is the news of the year that has once again damaged not only the Muslim image in American society, but it has also damaged our trust and the hope that we place in American Muslim leadership.

It’s been five days now that my family along with the rest of the community has been in shock. The fact that Muzzammil was married to my first cousin before marrying the victim still horrifies us. Ms. Zubair was his third wife. Both of his earlier wives filed divorce on the same grounds of severe domestic violence and abuses.

Contributors

 

Topics

 

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
Aftershock
Cope
Over
Handcuffed
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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Contact

Project Sakinah
Dar al Islam
P.O. Box 180
Abiquiu, NM  87510

703.531.8179