Call to Action to Eradicate Domestic Violence

Call to Action to Eradicate Domestic Violence

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.

  1. Working within our community and with other communities to raise awareness of harmful (and sometimes lethal) attitudes that lead to this violence.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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


Muslim Organizations

  1. Ahlul Bayt Centre, Ottawa
  2. Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities (CAM-D)
  3. Canadian Council on American Islamic Relations- CAIR-CAN
  4. Canadian Council of Imams
  5. Canadian Muslim Forum
  6. DAR Foundation
  7. DawaNet
  8. Faith of Life Network
  9. Federation of Muslim Women (FMW)
  10. Islamic Centre of Cambridge
  11. Islamic Chaplaincy Services Canada
  12. Islamic Information and Da’wah Centre International
  13. Islamic Institute of Toronto
  14. Islamic Society of Kingston
  15. Jamiatul Muslemeen of Ottawa (Jami Omar)
  16. London Muslim Mosque
  17. Masjid al-Farooq Islamic Centre
  18. Muslim Association of Canada
  19. Muslim Education Network Training and Outreach Services (MENTORS)
  20. Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration
  21. Muslim Social Services of Kitchener-Waterloo
  22. Muslim Students’ Association, University of Toronto Mississauga
  23. Muslim Students’ Association, Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU MSA)
  24. Naseeha Muslim Youth Helpline
  25. Noor Cultural Centre
  26. Ontario Association of Islamic Schools (OAIS)
  27. P4E Support Group Inc.
  28. SeekersHub Toronto

Other Organizations

  1. Canadian Association of Multicultural People
  2. Pakistan Canada Association Waterloo-Wellington Counties
  3. The Care Factor Community Services Inc

Imams & Muslim Scholars

  1. Abdul Mannan Syed Nadvi, Imam, Muslim Society of Waterloo
  2. Abu Musa Imran Ally, Imam, TARIC Islamic Centre
  3. Abu Noman Tarek, Imam, Islamic Centre of Cambridge
  4. Faraz Rabbani, Executive Director, SeekersHub Toronto
  5. Habeeb Alli, Imam
  6. Hamid Slimi, Dr. & Imam
  7. Irshad Osman, Khateeb, Danforth Islamic centre and Toronto Islamic Centre
  8. Mohammad Zahid, Shaikh
  9. Omar Subedar, Imam, The Mathabah Foundation
  10. Samy Metwally, Imam, Ottawa Main Mosque
  11. Shabir Ally, Imam, Islamic Information and Da’wah Centre International
  12. Sikander Ziad Hashmi, Imam, Islamic Society of Kingston
  13. Tevfik al Jerrahi, Shaikh, Canadian Sufi Cultural Center
  14. Timothy J. Gianotti, Dr., Noor Cultural Centre & York University
  15. Yahya Fadlalla, Dr. & Imam
  16. Yusuf Badat, Imam, Islamic Foundation of Toronto
  17. Ziyad Delic, Dr. Imam, Ottawa

Community Leaders

  1. A. Q. Mufti
  2. Abdur Rafey Faruqi, President, UTM MSA; Director of Operations, Naseeha Muslim Youth Helpline
  3. Amjid Iqbal
  4. Emdad Khan, Dr., President, South Nepean Muslim Community
  5. Farheen Khan-Umer, Development Coordinator, Interim Place (Women’s Shelter) Peel; Chair, Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals – Canada Network
  6. Farina Siddiqui, Community and Social Activist
  7. Fauzia Mazhar, Coordinator, The Coalition of Muslim Women of KW
  8. Irfan Khurshid, Executive Director, ICNA Relief Canada
  9. Jeewan Chanicka, Community Activist & Youth Worker
  10. Kathy Bullock, Dr., President, The Tessellate Institute
  11. Muneeb Nasir
  12. Rabia Khedr, Disability and Human Rights Activist
  13. Reza Rizvi, Co-Founder and Past President, Children of Hope
  14. Samira Kanji, President, Noor Cultural Centre
  15. Suleiman Gardee, Dr.
  16. Taha Ghayyur, Sound Vision &
  17. Wahida Valiante, Chair and National President, Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC); Chair, Islamic History Month Canada