UK MUSLIMS TACKLE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

On Islam
On Islam

London, 7 Muharram 1437/20 October 2015 (MINA) – Aiming to tackle domestic violence in UK, a British Muslim charity has launched its first branch outside of the North West to offer solutions for the wider community in Stoke-on-Trent city in Staffordshire.

“Domestic violence is a taboo topic in Muslim communities and victims are often scared to speak out,” Zahid Mahmood, of Planet Mercy said, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“We want to work with people to tackle those issues which directly affect the Muslim and Asian communities, although they may also resonate with the wider population.”

Besides its main mission of promoting social cohesion, Planet Mercy will address taboo issues, including child trafficking, prostitution and homosexuality.

“Topics such as child trafficking, homosexuality and domestic abuse get brushed under the carpet,” the 27-year-old Keele University graduate Mahmood said.

“We want to change all that and work with people to see how these issues can be tackled through religion and other ways.”

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The charity will be working with faith leaders, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, NHS staff and solicitors to address domestic violence.

On her part, solicitor Lesley Bowen, who works at Smallthorne-based Walters and Plaskitt solicitors, said: “The police don’t always have the resources to deal with everything, so we want to let people know that we are here if they need advice on divorce or injunctions.

“Victims of domestic abuse need to know they don’t have to stay in abusive relationships.”

Although Islam strongly condemns and opposes all forms of violence, especially against women, marital abuse has been an issue which communities across the UK have seldom addressed, either because of fear of stigmatization or cultural indoctrination.

According to a recent study, incidents with a female victim and male perpetrator represented 87% of all incidents of domestic abuse reported in 2005–2006.

According to latest figures, more than 19,000 domestic violence attacks reported in Staffordshire between July 1 and June 30 this year.

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Tackling marital problems, the charity has been working with women to educate them about the signs of abuse and encourage them to seek help.

It has also offered training to volunteers on how to recognize the signs of abuse.

“When we talk about domestic violence it’s not just husband on wife or wife on husband, it can also be between children and their parents and other relatives,” Dr Alia Syed, of Planet Mercy, said.

“Within the Muslim and wider community it is often seen as a private matter and people tend to turn a blind eye. We need to raise awareness among victims that this is not the norm.

“Sometimes the Quran is interpreted in the wrong way when it comes to family values and we need to educate people about that.

“We are looking at issues from the Islamic perspective. Religion tells us that violence is condemned. There is life after domestic violence and we need victims to understand that.”

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In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.

Woman is recognized by Islam as the full and equal partner of the man in the procreation of humankind.

By this partnership, she has an equal share in every aspect. She is entitled to equal rights, she undertakes equal responsibilities, and she has as many qualities and as much humanity as her partner.

Moreover, the relations between the spouses in Islam should be based on tranquility, love and mercy.

Planet Mercy was established in 2008 as a non-profit organization that aims to educate, promote cohesion, tolerance and understanding within our communities and offer solutions, directions and friendly atmosphere for personal and community developments. (T/P006/R04)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)