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Domestic Violence: Hijab Is Not A Covering For Abuse!

October 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

As many of you may or may not be aware; October represents Domestic Violence Awareness Month. However, with respect to the Muslim community, this topic is covered as if in it of itself was covered with a hijab. So let’s unveil and talk!!!

FACTS:

1. 10% of Muslim women experience physical violence which is the same as the National Average in the United States!

2. Islam PROHIBITS oppression of any kind!

MISCONCEPTION:

1. Islam condones domestic violence!

2. Muslim women are mere objects for their husbands and the men can do with them as they please!

3. Islam is a violent religion!

4. Muslim men are oppressive to its women!

In my experience with working with several organizations that support victims of Domestic Violence; a woman’s religion is rarely if ever a topic of discussion during the initial interview process. However, for Muslim women in SOME instances her religion and misconceptions of it plays a role in how she is treated the minute she walks through the door when seeking help! THAT HAS TO STOP!!!

Many conceive that abuse in the Muslim community is an “Islamic” or religious issue and that could not be furthest from the truth. Islam under no uncertain terms condones the oppression of another; especially the women of Islam. In fact, more than any other religion; Islam guarantees more rights to women. This guidance is provided in the Qu’ran, and any form of oppression is prohibited (haram). Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) spoke of the treatment of women: 

  • Be kind with the soft and gentle one (female) 
  • The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in morals. And the best amongst them are those who are best to their wives.

So one may ask, if that is the stand that Islam takes, how does Domestic Violence exist in the Muslim Community? Let us be clear, just as you see this epidemic in the Christian community, Jewish community and Catholic community, it will surely exist in the Muslim community because what we ALL share and have in common is “imperfection.” Through the flaws derived from imperfection, it breeds the opening for Domestic Violence. Islam has another vice that supports the misconceptions of Islam and it being a violent religion.

ISIS, Al-Quada and the Taliban all play a role in the misconception. Domestic Violence has everything to do with the fact that it is a LEARNED behavior and lack of education.  The fact that Muslim women who are abused is more about a cultural matter masked under the umbrella of Islam. Here are some additional facts that support this:

CULTURE: 

  1. 92% of women in Afghanistan feel that a husband is justified in beating them. 82% of these women have very little to no education. 
  2. 54% of women in India feel that a husband is justified in beating them.  62% of the women in India have very little to no education. 
  3. 36% of women in Bangladesh feel that a husband is justified in beating them. 26% of these women have very little to no education.

Let me point out, these are NOT statistics just from Muslim women, it was of the women of that area…period. Even in the United States, 80-83% of those involved in Domestic Violence are recipients of some form of governmental assistance and do not either have a high school diploma or higher education. So lack of education perpetuates a woman (Muslim or otherwise)into feeling “trapped” and that she does not have the skills necessary to take care of herself or any children she may have if she chose to leave.

I write this to implore those who work with victims of Domestic Violence, that when a Muslim woman comes through the doors of your organization for aid, resources and support; please keep in mind…your organization may not only be her last resort, but her ONLY resort. Don’t be another form of abuse, welcome her, show her the compassion you would show any other victim with the knowledge that when a woman leaves she is at her most danger of being KILLED. Show her you are there for her and live the mission of what your organization represents. Remembering, her hijab is a covering and a representation of her modesty, NOT a covering of her abuse.

Comments

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