Praise be to Allah and mercy upon the prophet Muhammad (as) and his family, his companions and those who follow that path of peace until the day of judgment.
I serve on the Diwan (Executive Committee) of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) and work as the Director of Outreach for the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center and a leader in Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence. At the MANA conference 2008 before a crowd of hundreds of families Imam’s signed a document committing themselves to a zero tolerance policy on domestic violence.
Last night (Saturday, March 14, 2009) I saw Mauri Salaakhan and his wife, Maya, at a fundraiser held at Masjid Ar-Rahma. I spoke with Mauri regarding my breaking of my silence and stated, “I am about to write something on this issue and that SLAPPING IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE”.
While MANA is preparing its statement and amending its editorial policies of the MANA website and MANASPEAKS publication regarding the background and character of those who would submit articles and speak on the MANA platform, I feel compelled to speak out now!
MANA was contacted by Salaakhan and he shared that I (Imam Johari) had been called to his home regarding domestic intervention and therefore I know what really happened. As an imam, I meet with many families regarding personal matters. That content is confidential.
What I can say is that I provide the same standard of care regardless of status of the alleged abuser. The first matter is safety in ever case and that if the woman wishes to press charges that she has our support. I am not at liberty to share the details but to my knowledge no police report has been filed.
While the community is still morning the killing of our Sister Aasiya Zubair Hassan this issue has us all on high alert. In my meeting Saturday, I extended my help to sister Maya at that community event. She may have called others but she has not contacted me. I pray this means that conditions have improved.
Our community is in severe need of re-education if men in the community can respond to acts of DV with responses such as, “It was only slapping” or “what did she do to make him do that?”. I have contributed to both of the following resources and recommend them to every masajid, organization and school to educate the community regarding domestic violence;
DVD: Domestic Violence Training Video
“Garments for One Another: Ending Domestic Violence in Muslim Communities
(Imams: Muhammad Magid, Zaid Shakir, Faizul Khan, Hamza Yusuf, Johari Abdul-Malik…..)
Book: What Islam Says About Domestic Violence: A Guide for Helping Muslim Families. By Zainab Alwani and Salma Abugideiri. Project Coordinator: Ambreen Ahmed
Materials and speakers available:
F.A.I.T.H. (Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help)