Positive Muslim News

News about good things Muslims are doing in North America and around the world.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Muslims Strike At Spouse Abuse: Phila. program will list and shun offenders.


By Kristin E. Holmes

Inquirer Staff Writer

The veil shrouding spouse abuse in Muslim families is being torn away by local mosque leaders - putting them at the forefront of efforts by American Muslims to stem domestic violence.

The clergy council known as the Majlis Ash'Shura of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley has adopted a tough policy of public shunning of Muslims who abuse their spouses or abandon their families.

Under the initiative, adopted last month, offenders will go on a list circulated among area Muslims. They will be banned from future marriages in communities that adhere to the policy. Fellow Muslims will be discouraged from patronizing any businesses they own.

"We need to take a public stand," said Imam Isa Abdul-Mateen, secretary of the Majlis Ash'Shura, an association of 30 imams. "We want people to know that this will not be tolerated."

In coming months, the council will address issues such as the criteria for putting names on the list and safeguards to protect spouses who step forward.

Domestic violence appears no more prevalent in Muslim communities than elsewhere, but Islamic advocacy groups and others have tried to push the problem into the open.

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