Channel: Haifaa Younis
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want to Elio Sophia Jemaine rubbish rally Sudbury or silly armory while Dr. melissani f Kaho coverly. A salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. everyone. Welcome to our Tuesday night program. My name is Suzanne Kasam. I am your host for tonight. Dr. Haifa. Eunice is out of town.
Our topic tonight is inspired by this very special month, the month of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We prepared a very special program for you tonight to talk about domestic violence among the Muslim community. Domestic Violence effect women and men of all cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds and due to the taboo nature of the subject Muslim are often reluctant to report or speak about their experiences.
The responses to incident of domestic violence are also varied as the community is diverse. Tonight, we will outline domestic violence definition we will talk about the warning signs, power and control wheel. And we will also discuss the prevention strategies from an Islamic perspective and share details of the wonderful work of peace peaceful family, peaceful families projects, and the services they offer nationwide. Joining me tonight is Dr. Denise de Bertie.
Dr. berty is the executive director of the peaceful family project. It is an initiative devoted to ending domestic violence in Muslim families. Dr. berty is a licensed doctoral level clinical psychologist with over 25 years experience in forensic psychology in trauma, including domestic violence, and international issues related to mental health, war and refugees. Dr. berty graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a bachelor with a bachelor's degree in psychology and from the state of Utah and from the State University of New York at Albany with a master's and doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Dr. berty has published over 17 articles in professional
journals, and three book chapters. Dr. berty salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. And welcome to the Tuesday night program. Well, likoma salon, thank you so much for that wonderful introduction. And I'm so happy to be here to talk about really one of my passionate causes as as a Muslim as a woman. And as someone who believes in human rights. Can you tell me Okay, I'd tell our viewers, our viewers, obviously about the peaceful family project that you are, currently are actively involved in absolutely peaceful families project actually has been in existence for over 20 years, we had a variety of founders and advisory boards who have sort of brought it to life from infancy and I was
sort of a fan for a long time and sort of watched and worked with them, eventually was trained through their community training program, and just became executive director a year ago, so congratulation faded. But I'm very, very excited to talk about the project. Peaceful families project is in fact, this sort of national umbrella for Domestic Violence Awareness, from an Islamic perspective for Muslim communities across the United States. And then what we have we have what we call international impact, and I'll talk a little bit about that. So the model that we use really is about going back to our Dean so there is this crazy idea around that somehow Islam is not a place
where we can talk about domestic violence that somehow it to to to sort of address domestic violence we have to move away from our Deen and in in peaceful families really talk about the positive roadmap the positive models we are given in Islam, for peaceful positive, nurturing families, not outside of our our religion, not outside of our team, but really within our team really going back to the core and going back to
facing our knowledge in that. So the way that we do that are we have for me
Sort of initiatives, and then I'll talk about our specific programs. So one thing that we do is training. So what what we realized is we we have to do training on both sides, we do a national exam. And chaplain training, we just did that last weekend for the first time in two years because of COVID complications, where we take Imams and chaplains from across the country, and really work with them on the issues of domestic violence and how to create positive functioning Muslim families, because a mom's many times are the first sort of
place where folks go, and many times they don't have
professional training, they don't even have religious training in marriage itself, and how it's supposed to work. Other than you know, the couple of verses that the couple of Swords that we all know, right. So we do training, not only though with religious leaders, but we also go within communities. And of course, within our Alma here in the United States, that means a wide variety of folks, when we do programming, we're looking at 1415 different languages, from many different countries from many different immigrant experience also from an African American Muslim perspective, because of course, that is the roots of Islam here in the United States, we really want to touch all
of those communities. So we do have community trainings at every at every level of the community. And then we also work with mainstream providers, so people who work with domestic violence victims who don't know anything about Islam, but who then are put in a position to serve Muslim women. And it's interesting, they are so excited to hear about what our perspective is, the last time I did a training with the state of Delaware, it sold out was a virtual training and sold out in like 10 minutes, I was like, I am not that much of a rock star, what is going on. And it really is this amazing
mainstream providers wanting, wanting to have that piece of cultural competency. So we do do trainings
yearly. And you can go onto our website, we'll talk a lot about our website, our website is sort of a treasure chest of resources. The second thing that we do is to create resources that are very specific for Muslim communities. So we have talking points for moms, we have a survivor
toolkit, we have domestic violence, or one on one we call them tea talks or, or
coffee talks, depending on which culture we're dealing with. We have them in five different languages, we have them in Arabic in order to in Spanish in English, show command, there's another one and I can't remember it. But we also work in Mandingo in a lot of the West African languages as well. So we
try variety of resources for communities who are trying to address this. And again, unfortunately, and we'll talk about research as well, unfortunately, so many of the materials are based in sort of a very mainstream cultural understanding. And we know that Muslims as Muslims, we look at things in a different way. We look at things through the lens of our Deen right to make resources that manage that, and I'll talk a little bit about some of our new resources as well, of the river reveal party coming this this week. We also have an area of research. And so there isn't a lot known as you mentioned, it's a bit of a taboo. There's not a lot known about the experience of domestic violence
in Muslim communities. And we're a little quiet about it because and I think part of that is because in the mainstream view, you know, Islam is sort of is notorious for domestic violence, although that is not that is not at all representative of what our beliefs and what our but that's the perception in the in like all communities across the board. Yeah. So about 10 years ago in 2011 peaceful families sponsored the first survey of domestic violence experience across the United States we had about 800 participants, but that data now is now old. So we are doing the new one. I will and I will try to share in the chat in a bit. The link we do but go to peaceful families dot.org we do have the
new survey for 2021. We are trying to at least meet our previous
dataset which was about 1000 and it's for any man or woman who just happens to be over the 18 or over and is Muslim because all we want to know is what what do you most want to know think and experience in the area of domestic violence.
Aside from our own research, we also, of course, support Muslim researchers who are interested in this area. Because we know that a lot of the solutions that are given in the literature in treatment programs come from a perspective that is not Islamic, then it's really important for us to be able to talk between ourselves to be able to use the resources that we have that other people don't have in the area of domestic violence. So research is our third piece. And then we have a fourth sort of way of doing our work, which has to do with what's called affiliated partnerships. So we work from the the top national level, so we are on the White House committee for
intimate partner violence, we are also working we are the sponsors of what's called benevity, which is the Muslim advocate network against domestic violence, which is 14 Muslim service providers and individual practitioners who are working from a Muslim perspective on the area of domestic violence, we really work to make sure that the voice of Muslim victims the voice of Muslim experience, is the voice of Muslim male allies are part of the national discussion. So that's our affiliated partnerships. Now within those four sort of avenues, we have several programs. So we have general, our general peaceful families, which has to do with teaching people about the Islamic model of
marriage, how it works, how it works best. And the idea is, is through like workshops that your environments exactly as good as the curriculums. Okay, one of our founding
mothers has two separate books. So there's a lot of literature about that. We also are starting, we have our reveal party on Sunday, our new youth curriculum. Oh, wonderful. You and I both know that domestic violence doesn't start when you get married, right? Oh, no, no.
Way before is before that you have about what marriage is. It's the skill or lack there of. And so we have our new curriculum called peaceful futures, which has a section for middle school, high school and university age,
youth, and it's an eight session curriculum that looks at family, it looks at Muslim identity, it looks at positive relationship skills, healthy relationship skills, look at cyber citizenship, because that's a whole new part of relationships that we didn't I previously, it talks about diversity and tolerance within our own communities and with outside communities. And we will be revealing we have our reveal party, you know, reveal parties are a big thing these days, right. So my thing is, it's not a girl, it's not a boy, it's a peaceful future for all Muslims. So we are having our reveal party with appetizers with samples from the curriculum itself, this Sunday at
seven o'clock eastern time, that's online as well, or that is online as well. So feel free to go on and register for that.
With that curriculum we will be doing and we are looking for Islamic youth groups, schools, and most students who are working with youth, we will have a pilot program of 10 groups across the country, we're going to do a training of trainers because it is that's very important, a little bit of a minefield, when you talk about these things with folks manage their parents expectation that community expectation, and then their world, which is many times very, very different than their parents in the communities that they're dealing with, that they're that they're living in.
So we're going to do a training of trainers, we will be giving out for that first 10 groups, we will be doing that.
giving out the curriculum for free and then of course, investigating it to make sure that it does what we want it to do. So that's our peaceful futures program. We also have peaceful partners, which are our male allies. what we realized is, this is not a women issue. This is a community issue for all of us. Domestic actually, even males have issues with no one is
surprised to read about that. But there are ones where women, one in seven males, so there are males. Now again, we'll talk a little bit about how that works. Because it usually when we talk about power and control, so especially when we have situations with immigrant men, for example, who may not have power, because they need their way for an immigration status, or maybe the wife is making more money or those kinds of things, because domestic violence really comes from power and control. But we also know that to change
whatever is happening in our society, we
go hand in hand with our brothers. So we do have a male allies group they're doing amazing work. We have what's called the peaceful partner pledge, which is our brothers which is Muslim males coming up to say I am the head of my family and I don't use violence to keep that leadership. That's not part of my Deen right Devi we are new Divi is not my Dean Divi is not part of what my, my commands are from the Prophet peace be upon him. Oh, hello, salaam. Yes. So we have our peaceful partner pledge that we ask our brothers to go online and endorse. And then there's a lot of program, the way that males do programs are very different than the way that we do them. It's a lot of
education. It's a lot of male pride, which is to say there is no, there's there's no honor. In in beating. Yeah, there's definitely, Your Honor, in that. We also have what's called peaceful parenting, which is looking at non violent, violent parenting as well. We know that for a lot of reasons, because of intergenerational trauma, because sometimes of the situations that people are living in, in their country of origin, sometimes because they don't have coping skills, or that they were they were treated violently as children, that parents don't know what else to do. But we also know that to build a strong oma to build a strong Muslim community here in the United States with
our youth, we need to find different ways. So we have our peaceful parenting points, they go online, we have a curriculum around how to parent and creatively and positively without sort of relying on violence because we know that violence Not only is not effective, it just doesn't work very well. But it is one of those things that sends our young people away from our current creates abusive adults. I mean, the children become abusive adults also. Oh, absolutely.
Then we have what is called peaceful parties. And we have you know, as Muslims, we have a funny relationship with divorce and this idea of peaceful parties, despite the fact that it's absolutely part of our tradition. It is a beautiful gift from God, from Allah to be to give us a relief right after
relief, and some marriages are not about secure. Some of them do not give us peaceful places. And when a marriage does not create a peaceful place where it's family, for the children and the spouses, then really we have this beautiful gift from Allah, which said, You are absolutely allowed to peacefully part but emphasis on the peacefully right? So how do we peaceful heart? How do we do that in a way that is not hurtful? And how do we do that in a way that we can still co parent and work with that so peaceful parting is another one of our programs. And then we have peaceful world, which is taking our curriculums global. We have worked in for this summer I was in Nablus, which is
my hometown, working line to kondalilla working on training with the communities and we were very specifically working on the new family protection law in Philistine and having an understanding why the population actually rejected it, which was kind of an interesting place to be, but how excited they were to be able to reframe what, what domestic violence is, in a way that's conducive that goes with their their religious tradition, and their cultural beliefs. So we do have peaceful world as well. So we have all of those programmings doing the same thing, training, research, creating resources, and then working with affiliated affiliated
groups. So that's kind of how peaceful family works. And as I said, we have 20 trainers now across the country. We have this month, so many Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities, and I'm always kind of mixed feelings about it because we're not celebrating domestic violence. No, no, no, exactly. I don't want we don't I don't want it to sound like we're celebrating. We're just educating actually, by. We're excited about the possibility of all these programs to help people in these situations and there is an outlet then there is a solution. Absolutely. And it's multifaceted. So I Morrow, we are working with the interfaith coalition and doing a program on how COVID affected
domestic violence domestic violence services in the evening. Tomorrow. We have financial literacy for women because we know that having women who are financially
Sound and savvy key helps them be in safe relationships because they don't stay in relationships only because of economics.
On Sunday, we have our reveal party for peaceful futures. And then on the 22nd. Next, the next Friday, we have the first National
Research Symposium on Muslim issues in positive family functioning, and domestic violence. So this month, we have really a myriad of activities. If folks are interested, please go to our website just registered no cost whatsoever. And it's a good way to not only learn more, but also get connected with other Muslims across the country. Thank you. So I'd like you to start with outlining a domestic violence definition. Talk a little bit about the warning signs, power and control wheel? Absolutely. I think there's a lot of confusion about what this idea of domestic violence is, yeah, so let's clear, let's clear the you have this idea that it's what that is, like an American thing that isn't
a West, it's a Western thing. It's a European thing. It's not, you know, that it's just not part of our they think it's a Muslim thing. And they think it's mostly
about domestic violence that we know is domestic violence isn't normal anger, it's not regular, you know, arguments between husband and wife of I want it colder and you want it hotter, I want to buy, you know, new shoes, and you want to save money are the kinds of things that happen in everybody's household, right? domestic violence also isn't that one time when you know, you lose your mind and throw a glass across the room. And that's not domestic violence, either. Domestic Violence is really a pattern of behavior. It's something that shows up in many different places that has its basis, in a belief that one person in that relationship has more rights has more intrinsic value than the
other person in that relationship. And unfortunately, that's why we don't see the same level as men and women, to be honest, is because society for a very long time, and this is Christian Christianity, Judaism, the misuse of Islam, in every country have had this idea that male, Miss that male contribution to the household, that male, physically are stronger, smarter, and should be treated differently in a relationship than women, right? So we know that perpetrators of domestic violence are not people who have anger problems, right? They go to work, they don't, you know, yell at their boss, they go to the bus stop, they don't punch the bus driver. It's something that is
uniquely part of their family life. Because in the truest of sense, they have been taught that that's part of what being in a family is. Now we also know that that is not our Islam. That is not here. They're like the most charming people like people actually they were liked outside of the home. Absolutely. Yeah, sometimes today very true. Now what we know is that we were taught in the Quran, we I made you from the same soul to I made you partners of one another, I made you garments, one for the other is age you
with the goal of sukeena using love and Rockman love and mercy, right. So we know that that's what our that's what our Deen says. And somehow our communities and some of our cultures, picking up things from other colonial cultures picking up things from older, older community regulations, somehow took that beautiful message and twisted it. Right. So that when we talk about the Islamic model for domestic violence, we are going back to what our Prophet peace be upon him
in his marriages, right? Yes, the kind of husband that he was the one who brought down and washed the wash the dishes, and fed the goals and playing with children and never once raised his hand against anyone. Absolutely. So when we talk about domestic violence,
about that inherent and we're talking about real violence, and I think a lot of times when we talk to audiences, they're like, Oh, well, you know, but that, but we're talking about real violence. We're talking about hospitalizations, we're talking about sometimes even death, right?
So we're not talking about normal communication or normal kinds of disagreements here, we're talking about real violence in the context of the place that is supposed to be your, your safety, your, your peaceful place, the place where we can rise up and nurture each other to make each other strong, strong believers. Right. So when we, when we look at those things, and I think one of the things that that are that comes up in our a moment, chaplain training frequently is that it's a place where that premarital
counseling really can make it. Because in workshops, yes, see, absolutely. Warning signs, right. So warning signs having to do with the need for very, very high levels of control, I need to know where you are, every second of the day, I need to have access to all of your passwords, your electronic passwords, I need to be able to look at your phone, I don't feel comfortable with you talking to your mother, your sister, your friends, I don't I don't want you to go to school, I don't want you to go to work. Now there may be reasons within a family why some of those things would would would come up normally. But when you see this pattern of complete and and like I've had sisters to the
refrigerator is locked, until the husband comes home because they're not even allowed to determine, you know what food to eat, or to give their family if if the husband is not there, or if the perpetrator is not there. So that's what we kind of talk about this sort of wheel of power and control because domestic violence isn't about anger, it really is about absolute power and control, which we know as Muslims, we call that you know, oppression.
Who does it no matter where it comes from. And one of the beautiful things about Islam is what we're taught to do in the face of oppression. And you know, and the Hadith where someone goes to the Prophet peace be upon him and says, Well, what do we do?
You know, it's clear what we do for victims, what do we do for perpetrators of oppression and our Prophet peace be upon him?
We stopped them. Right? Don't allow them to continue continue absolutely right.
I think we
are son, if that is our brother, if that is right, so that we have the obligation, not only the right, but the obligation to educate them about the actions that they are doing that are actually oppressive. So when we talk about that oppression, what it looks like in that power and control wheel are things like absolute economic control, like I don't give you any access to money, I don't want you to have your own money, and I don't give you any information about money, right? You should just be happy that I provide for you.
And not have any right so we have sisters, you know, even begging for basic personal hygiene needs, those kinds of things. Um, we have power and control over documentation, for example, right, especially in families where there has been, right we were talking about relocation and many of us who have lived in many different countries and have multiple passwords and visas and all sorts of complications where one person says, No, you don't have the right to your hold your own passport, I don't trust that you will not go somewhere or even forging their signature, forging their signature.
Legal, you don't have legal rights. And in many cases, unfortunately, we have even US citizen husbands who know the law, and who are bringing wives thinking that they are better behaved if they come from somewhere else. And not having equal access linguistically. So the woman he married doesn't understand the system. Many cases doesn't even know whether she's married or not, doesn't know that he has another way. Now again, there's nothing wrong with polygamy unless you if you do it in the way of the sense that it is open that we all know about it. That means we all agree about it. So when we talk about power and control, we talk about all of these areas, controlling children, you
know, where did your mom go? What did she do? Tell me what they did? If mommy ever does anything, you have to come and tell me. Look at your mom, she's crazy, she's bad, she's a bad Muslim. And as part of that, there's also even power and control over our spirituality. And that's taking our beautiful sacred texts that says you are one soul and focusing in on specific verses or twisting them to say, you know, no, this is my job as a as your husband in Islam to to change you to force you to be and we all know that in religion, there is no obligation
right that is they manipulate the territory that is not one of our team
uses this idea of spiritual views or even your your your relationship with Allah even your being as a Muslim becomes twisted in some way so when we look at that power and control where we see oppression we see a human right
violation which we as Muslims are absolutely cannot cannot tolerate right and you said it's a human rights violation it's not just as I think that's all religion all whether you believe in a religion even or not you being human that's a violation of your right as a human period and oppression is not accepted by anybody or any human being period has nothing to I don't see it having to do with I mean Muslims yeah we have the solution and the religion but
in some other religious traditions there is this idea of you know, like Eve was taken from the rib because she was you know, as subservient to Eve was responsible I mean that there so there is it was Western
thinking yes from the very beginning this position but we as Muslims do not have that excuse no part of our story that is not our narrative that is not part of our team.
So we we sort of cannot escape we are very we have a very clear commandment and sets of regulations and an A positive model for family functioning. So but that's the sort of the idea of power and control and when you begin to see those things very early in a relationship during a during an engagement for example,
as somebody who cannot tolerate any you know when we talk about the leadership model in Islam it's by mutual consultation right we there was never dictatorships within the early companions of the Prophet peace be upon them they so that they talked about things that was you know, that's what kept them faithful to allow us word and not each have their own sort of reassured that discussion that consultation absolutely yes absolutely essential know that that's and that's true in the household as well. So when we have someone who cannot tolerate even to hear you know, a dissenting voice or a different opinion or you know, maybe we can look at it this way or maybe there's a different way we
can do it so when we begin to see those things those are red flags within a row within a relationship or within an engagement for example now as community members we also see things and many times I was actually at a at an Islamic Center a couple of weeks ago and the mom even said he's like we take the policy of don't see don't hear don't tell right? We see you know the black eye we see the kids who who flinch when you know somebody walks into the room we see our sisters who are like happy and then quiet or we don't see them at all for weeks and weeks and weeks right
we we see some signs we see the brother maybe who was who's who will talk badly about his wife See look she made this isn't it terrible she's a terrible cook but you know, I'm so sorry Forgive me for you know that look up my children. My wife is you know, we hear those things we really do. And as communities sometimes we forget that we're Muslim, and we just say this is a family issue. Now we know that Islam we talked about the nosy aunties right? We know that we did, oh, such big as a family issue that is all part of the community, which is you're married to the family. When you get married, you are married to the family, for sure. And we are all Muslims. We are a family. That's
why we call each other brother and sister which is if we see it, it's ours to to manage, it's ours to at least now again, we don't you know, open it up in front of the whole Masjid and be like, you know, we talk quietly, we talk confidentially, we offer support, we don't offer judgments. We don't know what the situation is. We don't offer judgment, but we do offer support and we offer at least correction, which is to say, I don't know Brother, you know, I we had an amount over the month trading say, you know, a comment, you know, we have a parishioner. Someone from the community community. I will you know, it all happens in all our homes, and just being able to say, No, you
know what, I never use violence in my home. No, it does. It just doesn't happen. No, it doesn't happen in every home. And it's not Oh, it's not okay. Like my favorite word with like, it's not okay, right? It's never okay. It's not okay, so sometimes it's
Just those comments, right, it's just interjecting those comments. So somebody, you know, startles into, oh, wow, this is this isn't okay. We talked about measures with zero tolerance policies, right, we have a zero tolerance policy for,
for violence within our mission. That is also by the way, not only to save the perpetrator, from being an oppressor, but also to save the family legally, because we do know that we are living in the United States that there are, there are laws around this. And it's often not the wife who will call it is a neighbor who will,
who will see it is a school where the child will go and say, This is what happened in my home. So it's equally dangerous for our the perpetrators of violence within our communities, and we want to save them as well. We don't want to rip apart the family either because someone goes to jail or someone gets deported or those kinds of things. So the best way to protect children become foster children's exactly
why it but to be active, to be really supportive of our families, but also of our again, of our ideal of President family functioning in Islam because we want we want our kids and we did talk about unfortunately, with both child abuse and and domestic violence. It is the place where we're losing a lot of our young people, because they're saying if this is my religion, I don't want to be part of it. I don't want to be part of it. How can I ask Allah when I see my mom, you know, being battered, or being you know, laying on the floor and being you know, cake, and all of those kinds of things, especially if the perpetrator is using the text the to regulate? Exactly so it's much more
likely for a child to say hello straight out of the mouth, sometimes religion
right? Yeah, instead of learning like our job is really to plant those seeds of
the beautiful positive things that we learn in in Islam not to not to pass on those things that are not part of Islam at all to begin with. So we really we are protecting this idea but it's funny because we were I was in Palestine and over the summer we were working with this new family Protection Act. And family protection is supposed to be the the the base of sherry law right around families The idea is to protect the family but who how you protect the family becomes sort of like this double edged sword, right? So we protect the family by shutting up and making sure that everybody stays married no matter what. Or we protect from family by opening our mouths by offering
support by shining light into difficult situations knowing that the only way to preserve a family is to really rid it of these behaviors that are not Islamic to also educate and help that's really the core exactly and that really being through family protection like Food Protection isn't you know, sort of like the robo wives who just like nod their head and it's always fascinating to me I took a course last year during Women's History Month about the companions of the Prophet peace be upon him
and they were a crazy bunch they were not quiet at all they were not well behaved they were always complaining and even a lot answered their prayers right so when we talk about the verses that say men and women men and women that there was one of the companions of the prophets who went and today what she was asking for inclusive language
right men men men men and nobody actually was one of these wives who said right right
you know The first is that the sort of started to come down on women they were women were heard there was of course you know our our sister who went and said My husband is being terrible he's telling me I am that the same as the back of his mother and and there was put on there Well, yes, he is response from Allah. Yes, there wasn't sit down, shut up and behave. There was absolutely right Sr. Allah does not like oppression. We all know that and I know Darla, where there's a dua of the oppressed is and is answered without any barrier, directly answered without any intercession or any barrier Look, it goes straight to Allah subhanaw taala. is absolutely absolutely. And the least but
when we when we think about this idea of and you are garments to one another, you know a garment giving you warmth and protection.
And adornment and how well we treat our garments, right? So when we buy that I had a new pair of white sneakers, I don't know why I ever bought white sneakers is the most horrible thing ever, right? So I'm walking around even what I, when I walk, I'm being very careful about where I put my sleeve of my white sneakers. They right, and I have the white shoe polish, just in case, you know, how do we treat our garments, to make them to remain to be illustrious, and beautiful. And to serve us? Well, you know, we take care of them, we we are careful how we use them, we are, you know, we buy this special place.
have we got just a piece of cloth, right? Just
objects, it's not even a relay. But I love it, but eautiful but it is, it is a beautiful, very educative analogy. Because we think about when we put that garment on how we care for each other, how we what we give to each other. And that being our model, alright. And it for me, when I think about this idea of thinking that right that the only day and I love this because it's also very helpful to us against like, sort of nosy mother in law's who want you to have babies. And it's like, you know what, the goal of marriage in Islam is sukeena. It's just to build places. Yeah, and this the calmness, we know that we want people to be believers, they need a place of calm, right? They
need a shelter from the storm of outside, especially those of us who are living, maybe not in Muslim majority countries or Muslim majority communities where there's all sorts of, you know, things that we have to confront during the day, we have Islamophobia we have people who have discrimination in
ways that our home, yes, it's supposed to be that place of Sikkim. That's supposed to be where we can grow and, and, and learn love and mercy with them. Exactly.
With through through love and mercy. So we're not only told what we're supposed to do, but how we're supposed to do it, which I said is it's the beautiful, beautiful part of Islam, that somehow really is getting lost, literally lost in translation. And we need to go back to if we are going to make a difference within our lives and the lives of our families and the lives of our communities. And I know we are supposed to keep in mind we have about Yes.
We want to keep in mind.
question asker. We want to be able to answer everybody's question. So let's see if there's any. So the first question Salaam Alaikum. Do you think domestic violence is used by some Western organizations to attack Islam? And what is the answer for that? So that's exactly exactly what I spent my whole morning writing a research paper about, because that's actually what this is what happened in Feldstein right? We had a law written written with Sharia in mind, right how to protect women. And the the the population itself rejected it because they said this sounds like the UN this sounds like a Western, you know, entity trying to colonize us and to tell us how to believe I do
think absolutely 100% my opinion not peaceful families absolutely 100% women's rights is being used as a tool to to focus on
Islam. What we do know is again, Islam has been the protector of women's rights way before the United States way before there was equal voting rights way before there was laws like we were talking about that it was saying that even in United State voting rights did not come in how to use the 60s domestic violence was not a crime until late 70s. Right? Yes, is law in Islam. It's always been new history. It's always been that okay. But I do absolutely believe that it is being used now. How do we fight that is again, we go back to our deed, and we show people and we talk to people about how this is not part of our gene, that we you know, in the early
black American communities of Islam, that was one of the things that was so impressive about them was that women were treated as as treasures that women that there wasn't violence against women within again, not saying that everybody was perfect for talking about what was put out to the community, right. So if we want to fight back or we want it's as providing corrective information, right, which is a lot of what we do. So a lot of what I do is to
Go into organizations we call it Mythbusters. Right? gender roles what what Islam says about gender what Islam says about marriage what Islam says about you know, covering what Islam says about it, human rights, all of those kinds of things. So our best defense is going on offense but just saying this so this is our Dean, welcome. Come on in. Let me tell you about what Islam says about gender rights what Islam says about human rights what Islam says about marriage. It's not hiding and saying like, No, no, we're you know, or being defensive. I don't have to be defensive, I have the best model and the strongest, the strongest words just going to the Quran just going to continue. So if
someone questions me about, about what Islam says it's very easy. Now at the same time us between just between us, we do then need to keep an eye on what's going on in our communities. Because
that is what Islam says, if we don't then turn our eye to our brother or sister who is living in a situation or building something else, absolutely. Because it is oppression. It is you are I mean it is truly oppression. And if we turn our eyes or turn the other way away from it, we are actually
approving or being part of this oppress action and it's very important to understand that because I think we have that tendency where we turn the other we go the other way because oh, it's between husband and wife, let's leave it alone. But it's truly is your you're agreeing with total oppression. So Alright, so thank you so much for that question. It was one of my favorites. Okay. And during the next question is
when, when can I? When can I do as a Muslim? to either prevent Divi or help someone in Divi? Are there places one can volunteer? Another amazing question. Thank you. And that's right up here. Right? So peaceful families. Welcome. Yes.
So one thing that we do that we did you this year that we're hoping to make an annual event, which is first Friday for families, which was the first Friday in October, the first tumor that we had a big event, so we had purple t jobs we had Mogens talking about domestic violence, we had all sorts of awareness, especially during domestic violence month one is to just talk about it. And I was it's so funny my when we train people to talk about domestic violence and messages, we're told that we don't never never talk about the violence. Never talk about don't use those words domestic violence, because nobody will listen, you have to say positive family functioning. And my own last year who
knows me by now, this is the first time after two years lifetimes okay? Today we're going to really just talk about the violence because I like I presented it in every other way. Let's really get to it. So one is to talk to bring it up in your local Masjid. Absolutely, um, in terms of helping someone like I said, we do have on our website, we have a national directory. So if someone is in need, you go into that page, you find your state or your location, and there are resources there. That is not something that we don't we don't do the emergency care because we are short of the national umbrella. But we do have our sister organizations both in MN, fd and on the national
directory that do so you go in and you find where to go the same. I would say with volunteering, you're always welcome to volunteer with peaceful families. And like I said, we have trainings of trainers all the time. And then we have other kinds of we have a social media. First of all, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We have an amazing 20 in your 20s IT department that has posts almost every single day that are amazing and fun. We have our Turtle Bay with his purple hat on for domestic violence month. By the way, that's my favorite meme of the year. I was so excited for those of you who know that Turkish program, we did have him in his purple Bay hat.
We we have social media programs going on all the time, but also locally. So if you want to do more hands on go to your local
domestic violence, so each state has what's called a coalition of domestic violence providers. I will tell you, they will be so happy to see a Muslim face because they many times do not have anyone to sit with sisters who know they need a prayer mat or they need shala they need a job they This is how to get them to a mask that's different than their masks. Sometimes it's about translation. So please also volunteer with us but also go to your local office.
I think the local even have mentors who they can call and talk to or support them actually program a program there's plenty of profit having Muslim volunteers is a huge yeah we need more many times they need more we need more volunteers for short and they don't know what to do they really don't if a sister walks in they don't know where to begin they don't know anything about the culture about the religion about you know and like simple things like she knew she was there themselves they've been oppressed for so long that
they've lost the will to make decisions some of them cannot even make their own decisions right simple decisions but no I'm actually was I was talking about the domestic violence organizations that I'm talking about oh I see all you've talked about the organizers
to Oh, okay, Muslims they're like they don't know what Hello.
Are they don't know what you know, they don't know where image it is. They don't know what language the person might speak. They may not understand if there's immigration issues, all of those things. You're right. The sisters themselves often just need someone Yeah. To listen, they don't even need advice the what we don't want to do start giving them advice. No, no, no, no, no, not advice. But I'm saying and just mentoring and I mean, just to just to listen to them, but the thing is also they're getting a lot of them can't even make decisions. Right? Right? Because you lose
those two very interesting because one of the things I I actually miss certified because I am a licensed psychologist. I'm both here and in policy. But one of the things that I'm certified in is perpetrators treatment, right? So I so unfortunately, when males get in trouble for domestic violence, I am their punishment, right? They have to go to
classes. And one of the things that I that I talk about with them is when you teach someone that they don't have any they don't know how to make decisions at all, how are they going to honor you, when you're not there? How are they going to make good decisions? It just, if you're if you're trying to create this complete dependence, it's not the same with kids, right? If we want children to make good decisions, we have to let them make decisions you know, and make some little mistakes or whatever so if you have a partner that you're not allowing to know what money is, she's just going to jump to another partner because she doesn't have any other choice right? So you're really
setting yourself up if you have a wife who you are teaching or a child that you're teaching and has power then you know and this is my last question like Don't you want to know that they're with you because they love you not because they're afraid of you and that becomes a very powerful sort of like a wake up call for both like Well yeah, of course.
I don't want I don't want a family that's with me or that listens to me just because they're terrified of me
the next question that we have Salaam Alaikum How can we tackle the thinking that standing up in an abusive situation is being disrespectful wife or child
have the thing of salad right? We're supposed to then we're supposed to be patient. But I think again going back to our dean and going back to our stories is so simple right? Because we are not told we are told yes Be patient but in front impression we're not told to be patient patiently oppressed we're keep patient everything is
a vibration so it is
and I love really I love the the command that we have within so many of our swords, which is you know, your job is to to help the oppressor, realize his error, right so your job is not when you accept it you're helping them really go down a very bad path of non believing behavior. I do know that it is an issue and I think again, I think it's something that we tackle
in the most dear we tackle it online but we also tackle it at a family barbecue and we tackle it around the table at eat and we tackle it when we're eating breakfast and eating our cat Gary you know like we have to be able to talk about it within our own families
model that within our you know for to be respectfully respectfully disagree, right? I you know, we need a new car, I want the blue one, you want the bright yellow one I respectfully really, you know, disagree with that decision, so that our children also see this because this again, doesn't start when you're a wife. This starts when you're, you know, a three year old, a five year old, a seven year old child watching your parents interact and seeing what happens and a lot of them are themselves like we mentioned earlier are victims.
Have abusive parents and you see that? Absolutely because the children do not learn what we tell them children learn what they see and what exactly they're seeing you live abuse in your home every single day if you see disrespect between partners if you see violence that's that's just what you learn even if you really don't want to it is like more. I think we have one time for one more question. Maybe
support is like come around for all the work you're doing. I deal with a lot of misconceptions you mentioned
it's it's amazing to me I did a program
in a West African mosque. I also lived in West Africa for a fair amount of time. I think you've been around the world.
And it was an older gentleman who was like in his 60s and he cried he said, You know, I helped my sister leave a domestic violence situation I know she would have died if I didn't support it had been like 120 years before he's like, but I still am afraid I won't be forgiven for destroying her.
So those beliefs though, that that strong sort of tendency to believe that that the family is primary and should not be broken even you know, those are those are very, it was heartbreaking. And luckily all the sisters in that audience were like you are our hero, you did the right thing. You know.
That takes a long time to change though. But that's I mean, this again, was older in age and literally Craig He's like, I'm so afraid that I did something bad even though I know like I saw she was gonna die if I left her alone.
He was still it's that fear. It's that you know and and again I think
it's so sad because our our religious tradition is so beautiful. And we are assured of God's righteousness and of his you know, backing of justice.
And when we turn that's one of his attributes. He sort of just Yes.
When we follow these sort of these dark ideas that people have given us about who our Allah is what our what our faith tradition says.
It's It's so sad because it takes not only half our Deen, it takes you know, so much of the light of following Islam away. So thank you for dealing with all of those misconceptions. And it takes each of us right it takes each of us to throw seeds around wherever we are, and let justice
and we hope this season will work you will be faithful eventually inshallah. Okay, let's see if there's any other. I think we are at a time.
I will, I will ask you to go to our website, peaceful families. Yes, you will find, you will find events, you will find information, you will find
Please, please, please visit our website, you are always welcome.
If you have specific issues, again, the National hotline, or our national directory, and then always you can reach out to us and we will try to find you, someone within your community to talk to as well. Dr. Denise, thank you so much. You have given us a wealth of a range of information, a treasure box that we all can go to and benefit differently, especially in a matter that's incredibly serious.
Don't forget everyone to check out the peaceful family project website. There's a lot of information there. There's an all the project that Dr. Denise talked about in the beginning. I thank you very much. It's been an honor and a pleasure actually to talk to you and discuss all of this issue and let's close with the last word insha Allah or the blame annotated regime? Bismillah Ar Rahman AR Rahim Allah is in Santa Fe who's, you know, Dina, Mr. Juan will sell the house with the wasa will help you with the loss of sobor
salatu salam ala Sayidina Muhammad wa ala alihi wa sahbihi wa salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah you are better cattle. como la Heiden bank thank you so much for the opportunity. I know of course I always say whatever you heard that you like came from from the mouth of Allah, whatever Earth those are absolutely mind.
Thank you so much for the opportunity, just like a lover and it's been a pleasure. Thank you