International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is today. While I could talk about general facts and figures regarding the abuse of women in the States, I am going to instead focus on the state of affairs in our own Muslim communities within. Because I think this is something we tend to not see, and many assume that this is just a “white women’s problem.” Its not; it definitely affects us too.
We all know that Islam does not condone the abuse of women. But do we hide behind that knowledge, and protect ourselves from seeing the reality. As with everything else, Islam says one thing, and Muslims do the opposite. I am sure we all know at least one Muslim women who has been or is the victim of violence in her own home. In Muslim cultures, we are very careful to not get involved in other people’s household issues. But, the next time you see that look in a women’s eye, that one of inexplicable sadness, tell her that help is out there. Give her the name of a good sheikh and make her go and talk with him. Maybe you can’t do anything more–but inshaAllah, you can give her a push in the right direction.
And remember that violence is not always physical. Its more often than not psychological. And that requires even more help.
We can all do something. Change really happens one person at a time. Grand overwhelming movements always begin as something tiny. What can you do to stop the violence?