Association of Imams in Philadelphia Launches Initiative Against Domestic Violence

June 19, 2005

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

On June 19, 2005 The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, "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... 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... With the new policy, Philadelphia leaps over other Muslim communities that are just starting to confront the issue, said Maha Alkhateeb, project manager of the Peaceful Families Project, a Virginia-based nonprofit that addresses domestic violence among Muslims.

A striking aspect of the initiative is that it was started not by women advocates but by the male leadership, said Amina Wadud, author of Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text From a Woman's Perspective.'This is setting a new precedent, globally.'"