Chief Imam:Direct Gujarat imams to host Friday sermon addressing domestic violence & abuse


Chief Imam:Direct Gujarat imams to host Friday sermon addressing domestic violence & abuse

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Started by Afrin Shakeel

She was beaten by her husband for no fault of hers just because of some casual disagreement with him. This is a tragic incident. Imagine the plight which my cousin sister would have gone through when she was being hit at that time.

And this is not an isolated incident. Thousands of women in India go through this ordeal regularly so much so that domestic violence has now become the norm. Its prevalence has now become a gory truth with travails on the soul of a woman as she has nowhere to get justice from; because domestic violence is often justified -- either by her husband, her family or by the victim i.e the women herself.

When my cousin sister narrated this story to me: I was shocked. And frightened. Because her husband was not an uneducated, illiterate man. This atrocity was committed by him despite being educated. I realized then that education is not a sufficient condition to challenge deeply rooted & ingrained social & cultural norms.

Hence I wondered -- what if my future husband turned out to be a monster like him? What if I, as a woman, was stuck in a situation similar to my sister's where my circumstances turned out to be such that I could have no way out.

I was terrified envisaging a bleak future with my future husband. It was alarming.

And so, I wanted to do something. I didn't want myself or million other women to suffer the oppression of their husbands which leaves the women with abhorrent scars of abuse -- both physical & psychological. Despite policies in place against domestic violence, the problem is still rampant in India as mores of male dominance are valued more.

Being a believer of - ‘change begins at home‘; I decided if I could positively use religion to weed out this social evil of domestic violence. I decided to use it as a tool to bring about change in my society since it has long been hijacked by cherry -picking or misinterpretations that mostly benefit men.

For that, I needed the help of progressive imams (Islamic scholars). Imams in Muslim society root for the betterment of the Muslim community. They deliver 'khutbahs' aka sermons on Friday congregations to address important issues from both religious & social constructs.

Since domestic violence is an issue that needs to be addressed and we as a community must come to terms with, and must not tolerate, I resolved to eliminate it via the assistance and support of progressive imams. This, because religious scholars are mostly perceived as a figurehead, whose advises and commands are often heeded by their followers.

Henceforth, to foster ideas against domestic violence & abuse among Muslim men (young & old) and to shape new narratives, I would kindly request you to join and support me in asking Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi (Chief Imam of India) to issue directives to imams (registered under All India Organisation of Imams of mosques) of major mosques of Gujarat to host a Friday sermon on domestic violence and abuse at least a month .

Because what community can thrive when women and especially wives in that community are abused & not treated with respect, kindness, love & care.

Please sign and share my petition if you believe that it is crucial to engage men and boys at mosques via lectures to make them aware of domestic violence and abuse and oppose it.


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