An overhaul in of present laws and an objective approach to enforcing just laws that violate women must go hand in hand with a fresh look at the rights of women in all countries . The question of who interprets and enforces the law is an important as the contents of the law itself. Presently, female victims of sexual violence, from the Middle East to the West, who seek justice must rely on a series of male authority figures whose masculine orientation, values, and suspicions place them squarely in the ‘criminal’ camp.
I am an American Muslim woman in a country with over 3,000 mosques and not one has yet allowed for a room that offers emergency protection for a victim seeking shelter and safety from her abuser. Victims of domestic violence remain deprived of a substantial base of Muslim support. A static, male dominated and accommodationist membership has rendered Muslim society incapable of changing its structures to accommodate individual safety, social justice and the pursuit of peaceful coexistence.
Muslim leadership, gender selected and culturally challenged, frequently carries the “baggage of complicity” in domestic violence.
Even in this modern era, and in all our democratic audacity, justice systems are still ignoring evidence and information regarding the misery, mistreatment, and abuse of women in their halls of judicial relief. The victims look at the system and justly ask, “How many times do you get to lie before you are a liar?”
Executive Director, Immigrant Justice Center
Muslim American Society