November 14, 2013
The Supreme Court says an Arkansas prison inmate must be allowed to grow a short beard in accordance with his religious beliefs, at least temporarily.
The justices said in a brief order Thursday that state corrections officials may not enforce their grooming policy prohibiting beards against Gregory Holt, who says his Muslim beliefs require him to grow a beard.
Holt filed a handwritten plea to the court asking that he be allowed to grow and keep a half-inch beard, at least until the justices decide whether to take up his full appeal.
The 38-year-old Holt is serving a life sentence for domestic violence and burglary. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said in 2012 that prosecutors said Holt cut his girlfriend’s throat and stabbed her in the chest at her mobile home.
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-says-arkansas-prison-inmate-can-grow-beard-to-meet-religious-beliefs-for-now/2013/11/14/e0e8146c-4d79-11e3-97f6-ed8e3053083b_story.html
This article describes a new BBC documentary that goes undercover in Britain’s Islamic courts. The documentary reveals some shocking discrimination suffered by women. In Leyton Islamic Sharia Council, the oldest and most active such council in the country, scholars hear about 50 cases a month, most of them marital disputes. Nine out of 10 cases brought forth are by women. No one knows how many there are in Britain today, although some estimate at least 85. Although they cannot enforce their judgments, these councils control the lives of many Muslims. But according to the article the pressure from Sharia councils and the community they serve is causing suffering as islamic rulings are not always in the interests of women and can run counter to British law. There are more worrying cases involving domestic violence and children. The court in Leyton is reported to have said that with children if a marriage ends, the question of access to both parents is crucial. Safety is paramount and any UK court order must be followed. Sharia courts are putting women at risk of violence from abusive husbands, the Crown Prosecution Service has warned. The courts, which issue rulings according to Islamic law, have been found to be giving Muslim women advice which experts warned may place them in danger. Nazir Afzal, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the north-west of England, who is a Muslim and who has spoken out against honour-based domestic violence, said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by what he was shown.
A man in Milan is accused of beating his 27 year old Mexican girlfriend over the period of 5-months. According to the national news outlet, he beat her to get her to convert to Islam including to wear the veil. Neighbors frequently called the police to report the domestic violence issue, on March 8, International Women’s Day, she finally allowed charges to be pressed.
8 January 2013
Muslim women’s charity Amina, based in Scotland is to launch a campaign to tackle domestic violence in the Muslim community. There has been a widespread misconception among the certain sections of the Muslim community that Islam warrants husbands to beat up their wives. The group however, is planning to use Islamic teachings and clerics to challenge the misconception. Smina Akhtar, from the group stated that: “We have women coming in, phoning our helpline, time and time again and saying: ‘My husband said it’s okay, he told me the Koran says it’s okay’. We’re quite surprised that Muslim women are often not educated, even in Islam, because Islam does not condone violence.”
Organizers are asking people to promise to oppose all sorts of violence against women and girls and, crucially, to talk about the problem so that it cannot remain hidden.
On Islam – November 28, 2012
In a new effort to fight domestic violence in their country, Canadian Muslims are championing a new campaign to end violence against women.
The campaign, Muslims for White Ribbon Campaign, aims to end violence against women in the country. It is being launched with the unveiling of the campaign website (www.MuslimsforWhiteRibbon.com) and with imams and Muslim leaders committing to joinwith others to work to end violence against women.
The campaign runs from November 25, which marks the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and culminates in White Ribbon Days at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Center on December 21-23. It also aims to promote healthy relationships through education and create partnerships among mosques, women’s organizations, and social agencies to create a future without violence against women.
This is not the first time Canadian Muslims join campaigns to fight domestic violence in the country. In January, Canadian Muslims joined the White Ribbon Campaign to fight domestic violence in their nation.
Last week, Winchester Crown Court dealt with a case of “honour-based domestic violence”, as the BBC reports. Two Muslim sisters (29 and 25), who cut off their younger sister’s (18) hair as a punishment for kissing a white man in April last year, were convicted of actual bodily harm. They received 12-month conditional discharges. In addition, their brother, who also witnessed the kissing and then assaulted the young man, was found guilty of assault. The Court decided that the two sisters had to pay £500 costs each; their brother was ordered to pay £250 costs. Since the attack, the youngest sibling had no contact with her sisters or parents and has been living with Gary Pain, the young man she was caught kissing last year.
Toronto Star – December 1, 2011
Islam does not condone domestic violence. The Qur’an does not sanction the idea of honour killings. This is the loud and clear message from almost 60 prominent Muslim organizations, dozens of community leaders and activists from all over Canada, and a sermon that will be delivered from mosque pulpits next Friday even as the high-profile Shafia trial continues in Kingston.
“This is a call to action within the Muslim community,” said Samira Kanji, CEO of Noor Cultural Centre in Toronto. “We want to make sure that no one can cite Islam as validation over horrific crimes or rights over anyone else.” It’s the first time since the London bombings in July 2005 that this many community leaders and organizations have come together in Canada to issue a statement and tackle a problem head-on.
Domestic violence is a huge problem everywhere and the Muslim community has its share, she said. “But it’s important to tell people that Islam doesn’t sanction it.”
The brother (20) and father (40) of an 18-year-old girl were arrested for domestic abuse and grievous bodily harm. The girl dreamt of running a hair salon, and she wanted to have fun, to go out with her Italian boyfriend and friends. But to her Muslim Turkish family, this was unacceptable. The two men threatened and beat the girl to prevent her from going out with her Italian boyfriend. The young woman escaped to a safe house with the help of a friend, where, when speaking with the mayor of the village, she expressed her desire to not return to her family, fearing further violence. According to police investigations, it seems that domestic violence was not new to this family.
A Marseille man who punched his wife in the face, fracturing her nose, because she removed her headscarf because of the heat was condemned to at least six months in prison. The couple, who live in Lille, France and were married in November 2007, were on holiday in Marseille. The 24 year-old French female victim stated, “I can’t handle the heat. I had my headscarf but I wasn’t covering my neck.” She claims to have explained to her husband that in Islam, a husband cannot tell his wife what to do.
According to Le Figaro, 2007 saw an increase of 31% over 2004 of reported domestic violence in the country.
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A project to help female immigrants in Italy deal with problems ranging from domestic violence to financial and legal problems, has been set up in conjunction go several embassies, and hailed as a success. Maria Gabrielle Carnieri Moscatelli, president of _Telefono Rosa’ (Pink Phone) said that in 2007, 156 immigrant women turned to the service, and 300 omen directly contacted the association.