Book Review: Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition

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Content note: This post includes discussions of domestic violence and of scholarly attempts to justify it.For a number of Muslim women I know (myself included), one of the most complicated Qur’anic passages to contend with is verse 4:34, a verse that, at least in many of the most straightforward translations, appears to establish men as superior to women and to authorise (or even encourage) men to hit their wives if they “disobey.”  Muslim feminist scholars have tried to address it in variou … [Read more...]

The Art of Airing Dirty Laundry: A Deeper Look at the Muslims for White Ribbon Campaign

Banner for the Muslims for White Ribbon Campaign.  Via muslimsforwhiteribbon.com.

Having survived a father who used religion to justify his violence, I’ve spent a lot of time grappling with faith. The process of grappling has taught me the value of difficult, uncomfortable questions and conversations, through which I’ve learned about myself, my ummah, and Islam. But Muslims in the West rarely have the luxury of having difficult conversations that are privy exclusively to the ears of our own communities. And so, difficult discussions, like the ones about domestic violence wit … [Read more...]

“Lost” Girls Are Not Sex Objects – Whatever Their Race: Part II

In light of several interesting comments to my previous post on the Rochdale “grooming” case, I decided a follow-up piece was in order.Much of the furore surrounding the case has been with respect to race and its alleged role in the attack, specifically: does the “Asian” (Pakistani and thereby Muslim) origin of the attackers play a role in the crime? As stated previously, sexual abuse occurs across all ethnic/racial, socioeconomic and religious groups.  Worldwide, women and girls (in particul … [Read more...]

Revelations As A Result Of Hidden Cameras in Sweden’s Mosques

The post was written by guest contributor Maheen Nusrat.In the latest episode of Swedish television channel SVT’s investigative news programme Uppdrag granskning, ten Swedish mosques were visited, and in six of them, imams were caught on camera giving advice harmful to women and contrary to Swedish law.  (An unofficial subtitled version of the episode, thanks to MMW writer Tasnim, is available here.) Using a hidden camera and recording equipment, two women, one posing as an abused wife and th … [Read more...]

Life in a Women’s Shelter in Palestine: Q & A with Samar Hazboun

This post was written by guest contributor Arwa Aburawa.Back in December 2011, gender-based violence hit the headlines in the Arab world when soldiers brutally attacked a hijab-wearing Egyptian protester. Following the incident, there was widespread outrage that a woman would be treated in such a violent manner. And rightly so. However, it got me thinking whether there would have been such a public display of anger if that kind of abuse was happening in someone's home. By someone's brother … [Read more...]

Reclaiming Inclusion of Sisters at RIS: Part Two

See Part One here.Oh it did NOT just go there...My blood began to rise during the lecture of Dr. Abdal Hakim Jackson within the session, "Changing the Present, Dreaming the Future." Mid-way during his lecture, Dr. Jackson beseeched us sisters to "calm down for the next 30 seconds." He then asked the audience what was common between Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton and other politicians whose careers were compromised due to their extramarital relations. Dr. Jackson then proceeded to e … [Read more...]

The Need to Be Proactive: Responses to Domestic Violences in Muslim Communities

On November 15, 2011, a number of Canadian Muslim leaders and organizations issued a press release condemning domestic violence and honor killings. This press release was backed up by over 50 Muslim organizations, and the Canadian Council of Imams called on imams around Canada to dedicate a khutba on December 9 to issues of domestic violence (you can watch a video of some of the December 9 coverage here). Yet, to some extent, the sudden attention to domestic violence and honor killings seems to … [Read more...]


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