Domestic violence is a taboo subject in many communities yet it affects so many women, and even men, regardless of their professions, class, religion, colour, culture or nationality. Too many people try and sweep the problem under the carpet in the hope that if we can’t see it we won’t discuss it and if we don’t discuss it then it might just go away. Well it won’t.
There is nothing Islamic about wife battering and yet it happens in our Muslim communities. Painful as it might be we, as Muslims, must confront the issue directly because if we remain silent then some may interpret this as a green light to continue being violent towards our mothers, daughters, wives and sisters … and even men can be victims as well.
The destruction domestic violence creates can be measured on several different levels. Firstly, it goes completely against the teachings of Islam. It is also illegal and criminal and the negative effect it has destroys the very fabric of family life and can spread like a cancer through to the next generation. When a child watches his father batter his mother, wife or daughter what sort of example does this set? What sort of role model do you think the abuser provides?
This is not just a woman’s problem either. Our brothers can play a huge role in ending the cycle of violence by simply refusing to look the other way and speaking out. Violence does not equal strength or promote masculinity. It is a vice which exposes weakness and cowardice because more often than not the victim is much weaker than the aggressor.
The Muslim community across the UK is already being forensically examined by outsiders who are quick to criticise and judge us but the worst thing we can do is hide our problems and remain silent.
A battered woman is often too ashamed, embarrassed and isolated to speak out, and the abuser may even have convinced his victim that she was asking for it … but please remember this is NEVER the case. No one deserves this sort of treatment and the villain in every case is the one who uses the violence. Domestic violence is not Islamic – the Holy Qur’an tells us that men and women are protectors of one another. There is no verse which says it is admissible to slap, kick or punch your wife or your husband.
The time has come when we have to take a stand. Nour has made that important first step in the Muslim community by offering a team of Islamic advisors and health advisors to victims. If you know of someone who is a victim of domestic violence tell them about Nour, encourage them to contact this organisation and take that all important first step to seeking help.
By ending the silence you will also end the violence.