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Following the killing of three Muslim women in the span of three months, the North Texas Islamic Council’s (NTIC) Family Empowerment Committee held an emergency town hall meeting to address the increase in fatal domestic violence incidents among American Muslim families.

In May of this year, Sadia Manzoor was shot and killed by the husband against whom she had reported domestic violence. They were living apart when he showed up and shot Sadia, her mother, their four year old daughter, and then himself.

In July of this year, a Muslim man drove 11 hours to his ex-wife’s home where he first shot her in the head, and then himself. Sania Khan was only 29 years old.

Less than 20 hours later, Alwiya Mohamed was shot and killed by her husband, who then turned the gun on himself.  Their one-year-old son was home at the time.

“These women who were our daughters, sisters, and mothers were all murdered by former and current spouses.” said Mujeeb Kazi, the president of NTIC. “We cannot let their lives be lost in vain, and we are commanded through our faith to speak firmly and act swiftly against such injustices.”

The Executive Director of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation and key town-hall organizer and participant, Mona Kafeel, said in a statement –

“Domestic violence is a public health crisis, where 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience abuse in their lifetime. North Texas Islamic Council is taking the lead in the nation to address this. I’m extremely proud to be part of this community and envision a day where all survivors will be heard and abusers will be held accountable.”

Muslim Matters is proud to have been the Media Sponsor for this event, and selected excerpts from the event will be posted this upcoming week in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month. Beyond this month of awareness, we invite the greater community to see our complete list of resources on the topic here.

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“Family violence is a public issue.” According to Aishi U-Kiu, vice president of the North Texas Islamic Council.

“I hope that those who have felt so empowered to abuse others emotionally, financially, or physically understand that we are no longer a community that believes this is a private issue to be dealt with between husband and wife. We must correct this train of thought and set the record straight for future generations inshaAllah.”

The goals of the town-hall included:

  • The establishment of zero tolerance policies and consequences for incidents of family violence in masjids, businesses, and the community.
  • A proposed requirement for all imams, staff, and volunteers of any capacity in North Texas institutions to complete yearly training on the dynamics of domestic violence and mandatory reporting procedures.
  • Code of Conduct implementation and training for all leaders and institutional representatives in North Texas.
  • Proposal of a dedicated Friday sermon once every quarter addressing measures to counter family violence.

On the purpose of the town hall meeting, Aisha U-Kiu continued, “This type of trauma-informed dialogue is important because it helps our community think about family violence from the perspective of the victim and analyze why victims of family violence don’t always respond the way we would expect them to.”

“Our ask is that Muslim community leadership from North Texas to Europe to Africa to Asia and to the Middle East recognize that there is absolutely no excuse for family violence in our faith. We must commit to a zero-tolerance policy against family violence by holding abusers accountable in our masjids and Islamic centers. And in doing so, we should provide the proper tools and training to community leaders so they can confidently and thoroughly provide support to victims of family violence.”

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Source: Muslim Matters