Host: Fareena Alam
Broadcaster: British Muslim TV
First Broadcast: 12th October 2015
Repeated: Saturday 17th October 2015
Welcome to Questions.
Earlier this year, the first national helpline was established for Muslim women and girls to report abuse – somestic violence, sexual abuse, forced marriage and so on. This came after a report suggested that a worrying number of victims are slipping through the net undetected. For many such efforts are too little too late – why in this day and age are we still plagued with this problem?
1. How bad is the domestic violence problem in British Muslim communities? Against women and men. We need statistics, anecdotes, studies, etc. We want to paint an overall picture for the viewers.
2. Have we seen a rise in those who report abuse? What systems are in place? Are religious leaders and shariah councils a help or a hindrance? Are DV charities well-equipped? Have you ever heard a jummah khutbah devoted to ending domestic violence? If not, why not?
3. What role to extended families play? And even the abused victim’s parents/family?
4. What best practices/solutions are out there to help make a tidal surge of change and awareness in our communities so that such abuse ends with this generation?
|With me to discuss is
1. Imam Abdullah Hassan is co-founder of Imams Against Domestic Violence and has been an imam at Mosques in London, Manchester, Peterborough2- Hossein Dabbagh is a visiting scholar at the Institute of Social Ethics, University of Lucerne, Switzerland and an assistant professor at Department of Philosophy, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies.3- Myira Khan is the founder of the Muslim Counsellor and Psychotherapist Network, a private counsellor who has worked in a domestic violence support service and has presented workshops on working with issues of domestic violence and sexual violence in counselling.
4. Dr. Javad Gohari is a legal scholar and a founding member of the Society for Raising Public Awareness of Law.
On January 14 this year, the first national helpline for Muslim women and girls, tackling problems such as sexual abuse, forced marriage and divorce was launched by the ministry for Women and Equalities. The helpline is run by trained, bilingual staff, as well as a website containing information on the issues which they are most commonly asked about: sexual abuse, domestic violence and divorce.
This came after a report published by the Muslim Women’s Network (MWNUK) called Unheard Voices – The Sexual Exploitation of Asian Girls and Young Women. It found that a worrying number of women and girls were slipping through the net as agencies, social services and police grappled with the difficulties of reaching out to victims.
But it was not the first time domestic violence was tackled in the Muslim communities. On a number of occasions, Imams around the UK spoke out about the issue. They talked and lectured members of local communities about marriage responsibilities and Islam’s position on abuse and oppression. They urged people to challenge those in the community who take Quranic text out of context to justify violence against women.
But question remains in reality, how effective have this been in tackling the problem?
Has the response from the Muslims community been effective?
Is there still concern about the under reporting of domestic violence in Muslim communities?
At times cases involve women suffering on the hands of the extended family, and the husband remains out of the picture, how difficult is it to deal with such situations?