believe Her

by Alia Azmat #NAK news has me reflecting on spiritual worthiness. My thoughts and prayers are with the brave women who have come forward and disclosed interactions to individuals they trust. My thoughts are also with those who are surprised and in disbelief about this incident. I am angry, hurt, and feeling betrayed alongside you. Some of you maybe feeling confused and uncertain about your relationship with your faith and faith community. Some of you may not know what to… Read more

A Message to our Community on Gender-Based Violence

by Nadiah Mohajir The recent allegations of sexual misconduct against Nauman Ali Khan (NAK) have caused a social media uproar. We’d like to start out by saying that our hearts and prayers are with the brave women who have come forward and disclosed these interactions to individuals they trust. We hear you, we see you, and we believe you. Moving toward healing and justice will continue to be hard, but know you are not alone, and there are people ready… Read more

Reflections on Gender Based Violence in the Muslim Community

By Sameera Qureshi Whenever there are allegations of gender-based violence against a prominent figure in the community, social media erupts. Just a few reflections this morning. The Need for Training. The Muslim community has developed, overnight, a large number of experts in gender-based violence (GBV). This is fascinating. While we need more people doing this work, I would think that training, experience, and understanding the multilayered complex nature of this topic are prerequisites. But I could be wrong – perhaps… Read more

Sexual Health Knowledge and Practices of Muslim American Women

Earlier this year, HEART partnered with researchers at UIC for a clinical study on Muslim American women’s health knowledge, practices, and desires for improved care. We surveyed 730 self-identifying Muslim American women ranging from ages 18 to 45. Check out some of our crucial findings below, as well as our recommendations for health care improvement on personal, community, and institutional levels. Read more

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse: RVA Starts the Conversation

Child sexual abuse is a crime that occurs far too frequently. And unfortunately, these instances are often ignored or brushed under the table, particularly in Muslim communities. It is time to break the silence surrounding child sexual abuse, and to gain the tools necessary to both address the problem and facilitate healthy dialogue with our children. We understand that this is not an easy task. Oftentimes, parents and caregivers may feel that they lack the knowledge or vocabulary to talk to children… Read more

Mourning the Tragic Loss of Nabra Hassanen

Our hearts and prayers are with the Hassanen family and the ADAMS Center community after the burial of a beautiful young woman by the name of Nabra. Nabra’s tragic death is a loss being felt greatly by the American Muslim community nationwide. Because details of this investigation are unfolding each day, at this time we do not encourage speculating what happened out of respect to all involved. While this news is devastating, we urge you to consider centering the voices… Read more

FGM, Islam, and Sexuality: One of these Doesn’t Belong

Written by Sameera Qureshi Given the recent events concerning Dar Al-Hijrah and the statements made by Imam Shaker regarding the religious permissibility of female circumcision (i.e. Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting – FGM/C), I feel the strong need to share points of discussion that aren’t being considered in most circles. Given that I have worked extensively in the field of sexual health and not religious scholarship, many of my points relate to the former field with some elucidations to religious contexts with… Read more

A Sexual Assault Survivor Pushes Back

originally published on By Sheerin Siddique Pushback. Unsolicited advice. Threatening jargon. Incomplete information. Unforeseen intimidation. Mischaracterized evidence. Cold isolation. Deafening silence. Unfair commentary. One-sided assumptions. Crude judgments. Never-ending blame. Plain old-fashioned pushback. This is what trickled down when I was “coming out” to the world, especially to the Muslim-American community. I was invited on April 30 to be a part of a guest panel on a Detroit radio talk show on station 910 AM called Between the Lines with… Read more

Removing Roadblocks: Recommendations for Direct Service Providers to Build more Victim-Centric Services for Muslim Survivors of Sexual Assault

After two years of development, we are proud to share this important research, “Removing Roadblocks: Examining Barriers to Justice & Healing to Build more Victim-Centric Services for Muslim Survivors of Sexual Assault.” Partnering with the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum (MAWPF), this white paper provides recommendations for institutional responses to sexual assault based on surveys with direct services providers.While much progress has been made in the greater movement, it is clear that there is still work to be done in order to… Read more

Nurturing Shame-Free Environments: An Open Letter to Faith Community Leaders

This letter was originally published by Rape Victim Advocates. It is part of a series by Kat Stuehrk, Northside Prevention Educator at Rape Victim Advocates, developed for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s 2017 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Theme, “Engaging New Voices”. Dear Faith Community Leader, Sexual violence is a spiritual issue. As the topic of sexual violence has slowly become less of a taboo subject, plenty of information has become available about how abuse and rape affect someone emotionally, physically, and… Read more

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