October 31, 2011
As October, the Domestic Violence Awareness month, has ended and we now approach December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, Muslim Canadians reflect on the reality of domestic violence within our own communities, compounded by abhorrent and yet persistent cultural practices rooted in the misguided notion of restoring family honour.
As Muslims, we base our ethics and behaviour on the readings of the Quran and the authenticated example of the Prophet Muhammad, who never hit a woman and taught the men that “the best amongst you is he who treats women the best”. The Quran unequivocally emphasizes the sanctity of all life, forbids all forms of coercion in matters of religion, and reminds us all that each of us is accountable for our actions directly to God, the only Judge.
There is no room within these teachings for any person, by virtue of gender or position within the family, to seize control over the life and bodily security of another. Domestic violence and, in the extreme, practices such as killing to “restore family honour” violate clear and non-negotiable Islamic principles, and so we categorically condemn all forms of domestic violence.
- Working within our community and with other communities to raise awareness of harmful (and sometimes lethal) attitudes that lead to this violence.
- Working within our communities to raise awareness about the serious psychological, judicial, social and religious consequences of such practices, through Friday sermons, public lectures, workshops, and other means.
- Morally opposing the use of the word “honour” when describing such killings to ensure no positive connotation is implied directly or indirectly in connection to such heinous crimes.
- Working with community leaders and Imams in order to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary resources and training so that they can offer mediation, conflict resolution, and domestic violence counselling in a manner that reflects professional standards, contemporary research, and religious scholarship.
- Educating parents and youth about existing resources that can help them deal with intergenerational and intercultural conflict far before it gets to the point of violent confrontation.
- Teaching parents and youth how to deal with intergenerational and intercultural conflicts.
As a first step, starting immediately and specifically on December 9, we commit ourselves to addressing this issue at all levels, including and especially within our Friday sermons, which must highlight Islamic perspectives on domestic abuse, perspectives that condemn all forms of violence against women and children, most especially threatening, abusing, and killing women in the name of protecting the family’s honour. As Muslims and as Canadians, we stand with all Canadians and pledge to combat domestic violence in all its manifestations, wherever and whenever they arise.
Imam Sikander Ziad Hashmi (Islamic Society of Kingston)
(613) 572-4252 cell
Samira Kanji (President & CEO, Noor Cultural Centre)
(416) 570-1660 cell
- Ahlul Bayt Centre, Ottawa
- Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities (CAM-D) www.camd.ca
- Canadian Council on American Islamic Relations- CAIR-CAN www.caircan.ca
- Canadian Council of Imams www.canadiancouncilofimams.com
- Canadian Muslim Forum www.fmc-cmf.com
- DAR Foundation www.darfoundation.com
- DawaNet www.DawaNet.ca
- Faith of Life Network www.faithoflife.net
- Federation of Muslim Women (FMW) www.fmw.org
- Islamic Centre of Cambridge www.iccambridge.com
- Islamic Chaplaincy Services Canada
- Islamic Information and Da’wah Centre International www.islaminfo.com
- Islamic Institute of Toronto www.islamicinstitute.ca
- Islamic Society of Kingston http://www.kingstonmuslims.net
- Jamiatul Muslemeen of Ottawa (Jami Omar)
- London Muslim Mosque www.londonmosque.ca
- Masjid al-Farooq Islamic Centre www.masjidfarooq.com
- Muslim Association of Canada www.macnet.ca
- Muslim Education Network Training and Outreach Services (MENTORS) www.oais.net
- Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration www.mrcssi.com
- Muslim Social Services of Kitchener-Waterloo
- Muslim Students’ Association, University of Toronto Mississauga
- Muslim Students’ Association, Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU MSA) www.wlumsa.com
- Naseeha Muslim Youth Helpline www.naseeha.net
- Noor Cultural Centre www.noorculturalcentre.ca
- Ontario Association of Islamic Schools (OAIS) www.oais.net
- P4E Support Group Inc. www.thep4e.com
- SeekersHub Toronto www.seekershub.com
- Canadian Association of Multicultural People www.facebook.com/pages/Canadian-Association-of-Multicultural-People/146896072047414
- Pakistan Canada Association Waterloo-Wellington Counties
- The Care Factor Community Services Inc www.thecarefactor.ca
Imams & Muslim Scholars
- Abdul Mannan Syed Nadvi, Imam, Muslim Society of Waterloo
- Abu Musa Imran Ally, Imam, TARIC Islamic Centre
- Abu Noman Tarek, Imam, Islamic Centre of Cambridge
- Faraz Rabbani, Executive Director, SeekersHub Toronto
- Habeeb Alli, Imam
- Hamid Slimi, Dr. & Imam
- Irshad Osman, Khateeb, Danforth Islamic centre and Toronto Islamic Centre
- Mohammad Zahid, Shaikh
- Omar Subedar, Imam, The Mathabah Foundation
- Samy Metwally, Imam, Ottawa Main Mosque
- Shabir Ally, Imam, Islamic Information and Da’wah Centre International
- Sikander Ziad Hashmi, Imam, Islamic Society of Kingston
- Tevfik al Jerrahi, Shaikh, Canadian Sufi Cultural Center
- Timothy J. Gianotti, Dr., Noor Cultural Centre & York University
- Yahya Fadlalla, Dr. & Imam
- Yusuf Badat, Imam, Islamic Foundation of Toronto
- Ziyad Delic, Dr. Imam, Ottawa
- A. Q. Mufti
- Abdur Rafey Faruqi, President, UTM MSA; Director of Operations, Naseeha Muslim Youth Helpline
- Amjid Iqbal
- Emdad Khan, Dr., President, South Nepean Muslim Community
- Farheen Khan-Umer, Development Coordinator, Interim Place (Women’s Shelter) Peel; Chair, Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals – Canada Network
- Farina Siddiqui, Community and Social Activist
- Fauzia Mazhar, Coordinator, The Coalition of Muslim Women of KW
- Irfan Khurshid, Executive Director, ICNA Relief Canada
- Jeewan Chanicka, Community Activist & Youth Worker
- Kathy Bullock, Dr., President, The Tessellate Institute
- Muneeb Nasir
- Rabia Khedr, Disability and Human Rights Activist
- Reza Rizvi, Co-Founder and Past President, Children of Hope
- Samira Kanji, President, Noor Cultural Centre
- Suleiman Gardee, Dr.
- Taha Ghayyur, Sound Vision & TorontoMuslims.com
- Wahida Valiante, Chair and National President, Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC); Chair, Islamic History Month Canada