From Hind Jarrah, Ph.D., Executive Director:
“One more domestic violence tragedy”
One more tragedy of domestic violence (DV) occurred on October 23, 2016, in Richardson, Texas. The victim, Hanan Seid was a young mother of two children, a 3 year old and an 18 month old. She was gunned down by her estranged husband, after having moved out for her and her children’s safety.
I would like to express my utmost appreciation to our Imams who made sure to dedicate their Friday Khutbahs (sermons) to domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness month in October. Imam Nadim Bashir of EPIC, Imam Zia-ul Haque of Irving, Imam Yaser Birjas and Omar Suleiman of Valley Ranch, Imam of Islamic Association of Collin County, including Imam Yaseen Shaikh in Maryland, all raised their voices and condemned domestic abuse, and yet the murders continue.
As part of our awareness campaign, we interviewed Mufti Mohamed Umer Esmail from the Nueces Mosque in Austin, Texas. He highlighted their efforts in educating and supporting the Austin community, regarding the importance of peaceful relationships within a family and among men and women as well as the need to emphasize the equality of men and women as stated in the Holy Quran. Read more.
This year alone TMWF has served …
So what should be done?
Within the Mosques:
- The imams and the social services/CAPs committees in the mosques need to be trained on the signs of domestic violence (DV) and what are the resources available.
- The imams need to schedule Khutbahs (sermons) about family relations often – I recommend at least quarterly – not just during Ramadan Khutbahs.
- Khutbahs tailored to the parents on how to bring up their children, and to the youth themselves, on how to interact with each other and with the opposite gender.
- The mosques and the shura’s should allow TMWF to go to the men and ladies Halaqas (religious study group) and devote full sessions to DV, currently, and most of the time in very few masjids we are allowed only 5 minutes and this is not enough.
- The masjids need to come together and establish funding for caseworkers and councilors that are available to answer questions and provide counseling for needy community members who otherwise cannot pay for counseling services.
In the Communities At Large
- Organize luncheons, dinners, get-togethers to present on DV and abuse tailored to different age groups and genders. Address directly contemporary issues affecting families and children, including, social media and pornography.
- Provide resources within public gathering places such as malls, restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas amusement parks about DV.
- Join together with other communities working actively to address DV.
- Everyone, especially men, should speak up against any form of disrespect of the other gender or other human beings, and should show their anger against jokes or “making fun” of other human beings. Words do matter. Bullying of any kind should never be tolerated.
- Men should form groups that publicly stand against the abuse, such as the HEROS Initiative, where men go to DV shelters, cook for the clients, play with the children and even accompany victims to court, to publicly make victims aware that not all men are abusers!
- Create initiatives on college campuses such as “The Dignity Initiative” at Collin College, which aims “to empower community members with specific action steps to end the gender-based oppression“
We at TMWF are doing our best to address this issue, through a very thorough and focused comprehensive approach: both by serving the victims, and also by actively raising awareness. But we cannot do this alone. Saving lives and strengthening families requires the efforts of the entire community. Please join us, learn to recognize the red flags, know the resources available, be generous in your donations of funds, time, and expertise. Let’s work together to become a community of agents of change and of peace champions. Below are some of the resources available for educators and survivors:
- Texas Council on Family Violence and DV fact sheet
- National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
- The National Hotline
- Love Is Respect
Lastly, I would like to request everyone to exercise their right and sacred duty to elect the next President of this great country. Please click here to find your polling locations, and encourage all your friends to vote, too.
Thank you for being a #PeaceChampion.
Hind Jarrah, Ph.D.