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Faith leaders use Friday sermon to oppose violence and abuse against women

A core part of Islamic Relief’s humanitarian work is to support and promote gender principles that oppose violence against women and denounce domestic abuse.

On 8 December faith leaders at six mosques across London and Hull are discussing the rights of women as part of the United Nations (UN) worldwide campaign of 16 Days of Activism against GBV (Gender-Based Violence).

Islamic Relief’s slogan for the campaign is ‘Precious in God’s eyes’. As a faith-inspired humanitarian organisation we are seeking affirmation by religious and community leaders that women are precious in God’s eyes and refuting all forms of violence against women and girls.

In the sermon there is a discussion about the rights of women and (that) “harshness and severity and cruelty does not have any place or any justification”.

The sermon says:

“…a wife towards her husband (should provide) assistance and co-operation with her husband out of love and a mutual understanding. Not by being degraded or enslaved or trial or forced, or through arrogance and price from the husband. All of this contradicts and clashes with the understanding of love and affection which Allah (swt) has mentioned in the Quran.” (Surah al-Ruom; 30:21)

Imran Madden, UK Director of Islamic Relief, said:

“As an international humanitarian organisation, the 16 Days of Activism comes at a critical time in the year. During this UN campaign, we are particularly focusing attention on the negative experiences of many women and girls around the world.

“Violence against women and girls is not inevitable or acceptable- morally or in Islam. Islamic Relief is committed to ending violence against women and girls in all the countries we work in. We strongly believe in equality, justice and freedom to prevent violence and sustain peace. Whenever and wherever humanity’s values are abandoned, we are all at greater risk.

“As a faith-inspired organisation we want to empower women and men in our communities to prevent gender-based violence. Mosques and faith leaders across the country play a vital role in achieving this, which is why we are pleased and humbled they are taking part in this campaign.”

 The 16 Days of Activism ends this Sunday (11 December), which is United Nations Human Rights Day.

 The mosques supporting Islamic Relief’s 16 days of Activism campaign with a special Friday sermon (khutbah) on 8 December are:

  • Masjid Ramadan (Hackney, Dalston)
  • Muslim Cultural and Welfare Association (Poplar, Robin Hood Gardens)
  • Hafs Academy (Newham, Maryland)
  • Hull Mosque and Islamic Centre
  • Sermon being delivered by founder of Imams Against Domestic Abuse, Abdullah Hasan. Various locations across London
  • London Fatwa Council – (already taken place)

Islamic Relief’s 2016 report Invisible Lives outlined the plight of Syrian women in Lebanon and the Kurdistan region of Iraq where there was a prevalence of gender-based violence. It highlighted violence against women as a major problem, and reported violence involving physical violence within the family or home, sexual violence including rape as well as forced or early marriage.

The 16 Days of Activism campaign began on 25 November and ends on Sunday 10 December, the United Nations Human Rights Day.

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