Muslim leaders unite to tackle domestic violenceWritten by Staff Writer
Domestic violence is expected to be the core subject of Friday prayer sermons in mosques and Islamic centres across Ottawa on Dec 9.
Prominent Muslim organizations, Imams, community leaders and activists from all over the country have added their collective voice to the fight against domestic violence.
On Nov. 15, some 78 countrywide organizations, Imams and leaders put out a joint statement calling for the abolishment of all forms of domestic violence.
The statement highlights a number of ways Canadian Muslims can intensify their efforts to abolish all forms of domestic violence. As a first step, the declaration urges all Imams across Canada to draw attention to Dec 6 ”” the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women ”” by devoting their sermons to the subject during Friday prayers on Dec 9.
In a press release, Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he supported the initiative and encouraged Canadian Muslim leaders and institutions who have not endorsed the declaration to do so.
"This is an important statement and its call must and will continue to be heard. Canadian Muslims take seriously their responsibility to confront what is a betrayal of the fundamental values of our faith and the example set by the Prophet Muhammad," he said.
The joint declaration comes whilst coverage of the murder trial involvingMohammad Shafia, 58, his second wife, 41-year-old Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and their son, Hamed, 21 dominates headlines nationally. The bodies of Mohammad Shafia's daughters, Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, as well as that of Rona Amir Mohammad, 50, were found in a car in a canal in Kingston Mills on June 30, 2009.
The statement issued by the Canadian Muslim leaders reads: “As Muslims, we base our ethics and behaviour on the teachings of the Quran and the authenticated example of the Prophet Muhammad, who never hit a woman and taught the men that 'the best amongst you is he who treats women the best'.
“The Quran unequivocally emphasizes the sanctity of all life, forbids all forms of coercion in matters of religion, and reminds us all that each of us is accountable for our actions directly to God, the only Judge.
"There is no room within these teachings for any person, by virtue of gender or position within the family, to seize control over the life and bodily security of another. Domestic violence and, in the extreme, practices such as killing to 'restore family honour' violate clear and non-negotiable Islamic principles, and so we categorically condemn all forms of domestic violence.”
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