What sisters have to say...

These are stories of sisters who have been molested or even raped. Some of the contributions are also advice, suggestions and comments from sisters who are concerned about this problem. If you want to include your experiences or give some advice, please use send it to harrassment@themodernreligion.com. I would like to thank the two sisters who first prompted me to start this section. Their e-mails are highlighted in the box below.

 
Assalamu alaikum, 

This is a topic most of us would like to hush hush, but I think needs to be addressed seriously. 

Muslim women are being harrassed by Muslim men, in Masjid, in Muslim gatherings, and Islamic Schools.  And the community is doing nothing about it. 

Yes, we may argue, this was the reason the Caliph Omar (r.a.a.) forbade women from coming to the mosques, but we who live in the land of the Kuffar know that if we ( and our children) do not get enough exposure to the Islamic Community, we will get more exposure to the Non-Islamic Community, especially, since a lot of the women I am talking about are single women with children. 

Recently, my friend, who is a single mother of two boys, and dressed modestly according to Islamic specification, was being stalked by a married brother. She made it clear that she was not interested, but the brother tried to talk to her, phoned, and sent letters. Driven to desperation, she showed the letter to the Imam of the mosque, and complained about the harrassment. 

The result was, that though, no action was taken to correct the situation, the wife of the brother attacked the victim physically, in front of her children, saying that she had falsely accused her husband. 

This is not an isolated incident. I have experienced harrassment myself, and women won't talk about it unless prodded. 

My question is, are we going to remain silent about it, or are we going to take some kind of action? 

The sister stopped going to that particular mosque, but is that a solution? What if she is harrassed out of all the mosques one by one?  How is she going to raise her kids as Muslims? How are her boys going to learn about the importance of praying in the mosque? 

Salaam, 
Sisteronline 
Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

 
 
Asalaamu alaikum, 

I pray you are well.  Just read the article entitled "Rape Prevention Methods" and have a few comments for you. 

All of the "prevention" methods mentioned are good.  They should be common sense, and unfortunately for many women (remember, I live in the "civilized" US) are actually second-nature.  But too many women do not pay any heed to such warnings.  And it is true that this is sometimes not enough anyway. 

You are correct to say that someone should address the roots and consequences.  It is too easy to "blame" a woman because she should have run or should have screamed or whatever; but it is very different when you are actually in the situation. 

I myself was raped on my first "date" when I was 15 by a boy who told me that we were going to his house to meet his mother and instead stopped in a totally secluded area, that really was on the way to his house. 

I did not get an opportunity to jump out of the car and I did not scream or try to run.  I said no and then I took what was coming because it was better to be raped than to be beat half to death and raped anyway. 

I am not saying that there is only one option or that I did the best thing, I just think that someone who has not been raped can more easily give all the answers to how not to have it happen.  The reality is often different.

It is sad to me that rapists do go free; that if you shoot an attempted rapist or intruder you are charged with murder and he is never charged at all because you shot him before he accomplished anything; that women have to ask for escorts; that husbands and brothers do not do a better job of escorting their wives, sisters and daughters; that these men do get out and statistics show they do commit the same crime over and over.  These are the realities and the things that need to be addressed by women, by their families, and by the governments.

Salaam,
Aaminah Raheemah AKA Rosemary Irwin

Submitted: 21st March 2001
I WAS MOLESTED WHILE DOING TAWAF

Assalaamu alaikum, I read both the sisters' and brothers' comments, and I really appreciate the efforts of this web site and the contributions of my brothers and sisters who realize this is a problem that needs to be dealt with. I just wanted to add one thing. For anyone reading all of these comments who actually thinks that there isn't a high incidence of Muslim men harassing and molesting women -- alhamdulillah i think most of us know the truth -- do you have ANY idea how much this kind of stuff happens in the Haram al-Sharif in Makkah? Or during Hajj, to women who are with their Mahrams and their Hajj groups?

I mean... if you're standing inside the masjid al-haram in Makkah... there really can't be anyone who is _not_ a Muslim around you, right? So who was it who _physically_ harassed me while I was making tawaf around the kaaba... with my brother, father and mother right there?

Subhanallah! Think, people.

P.S. To the person who said that such experiences should not be aired in this way: that kind of silence is exactly how the ignorance of the truth allows such behavior to continue. Perverted men are not going to get ideas from reading these things... trust me, they're already there. There's enough filth available in the media -- of ANY society, Muslim or no -- to degrade a man's perception of women.

Ma'assalaamah,
Your sister



Submitted: 21st March 2001
WE WERE SEXUALLY ABUSED BY OUR FATHER

Salaam, I applaud you in addressing this issue. I came from a family of physical and sexual abuse. I was very young therefore the memory of my mother's physical abuse are few for she found strength enough to leave my father. We as children had remained with our father and the abuse spanned to sexual. This has affected me and my sisters throughout our lives in relation to our future husbands. Our experience has however, given us strength to stand up to any further injustice we may recieve as wives and mothers and alhamdulillah not weaken our faith as Muslim women. I am the last to marry now and I praise Allah that my sisters have found worthy husbands.

A suggestion is informing abused women that this not tolerated in Islam and that they can seek assistance.  To educate is to help, I think we suffered due to lack of knowledge that Allah does not tolerate this behavior. For a long time I was left with illusion that if I was to marry, and I would marry a Muslim man, my husband could lift his hand to me or abuse my children. What would I do? Is it okay for him to do this?

With the knowledge that I have right to protect my children and myself I can be less frigid about marriage. And note we have to be able to offer these women assistance, with them knowing they need not be ashamed or fear retribution.

F.A.N



Submitted: 8th Feb 2000
ROOT OUT THIS PERSISTANT EVIL

Salaam Alaikum,

i think a site like this is sooo needed! How many of us have to go through this? i live in the United States but i've heard horror stories from both Pakistan and the Middle East. The men take no personal responsibility while they destroy the lives of women and young boys. yes, young boys..

If you are in Saudi Arabia and you are a pakistani boy you had better look out, some boys are taken and never seen again, others return after being sodomized for days at "parties"...

As for those of us in the United States, if the Muslim community will not police themselves, then call the American authorities. We have to root out this evil one way or the other. Let them take responsibility in prison where they belong...

Anonymous
 



 

Submitted: 9th Feb 2000
I WAS RAPED AT HOME

This is a reply to a brother who claims he is slave of Allah.

Brother this site is not corrupt. Don't close your eyes. You men claim women should not travel without mahram. But what if she is raped by her brother at home?

Yes, I was raped by my brother at home. Why? Because he is not islamic educated but he claims to be a good Muslim, he hides negative things and show what is positive.

I would suggest you to help us women and if you can't then don't claim that you are a slave of Allah.  Because he asked us to help each other, our Prophet (peace be up on him) didn't feel shy to expose this matter. He did not fear what other people (Non-Muslims) might think of us.

I would also like to suggest parents to not leave their young daughters (who are not aware of this evil act) with their older brothers.

Anonymous


Submitted: 9th Feb 2000
CONFRONT THE PROBLEM HEADLONG NOW

Salaam Alaikum,

well I finally took the time to read the website about Muslim Men who are not behaving as they should...

And I must say it is a good site, which is LONG overdue...

Instead of hiding our heads in the sand we need to confront this problem head on and punish those who are guilty of it.. and I'm not talking about those "wicked women" who dare step outside their door without a bodyguard..

I find this behavior disgusting. I personally have heard stories of women who started to wear niqab, to hide themselves from the Muslim men who congregate around the women's entrance at the masjiid.. astigfurAllah...

We also had a situation with a wife beater who actually smacked his wife inside the masjiid, not one brother said a word, except some American converts who were ready to pound this fellow...Of course we were told, "it's just our culture"

well it sure as heck isn't right!!! culture or not!!

I don't care if someone is a Muslim, a Hindu, a Christian, American, Lithuanian whatever the case, if they are molesting raping or hitting they need to go directly to prison...

Anonymous


Submitted: 8th Feb 2000
THE COMMUNITY ALLOWS IT AND THOSE WHO DENY THE PROBLEM ARE JUST AS GUILTY

It is outrageous that these men dare to do such things in public when Islam STRICTLY AND REPEATEDLY prohibits such acts and the man has NO right and no room to get away with such acts.

How do these men get away with it? The community overlooks it or prefers to stay hush about it. Thats' where the courage comes from - the acts of these men are a reflection of a society that is SUPPOSED to be Islamic.

And if only Muslims would wake up and start realising that this is not exclusive to Non-Muslims. How can we even begin to put shahriah into practice if the community refuses to acknowledge the problem? (I am referring to earlier replies to this issue where the section on my website has been described as disgusting and totally untrue)

I faced similar reaction when I started the "Muslims against Domestic Violence" section on my website. http://www.themodernreligion.com/w_dv.htm

People who refused to acknowledge that Muslim men beat their wives called me names and cursed me to hell.

I later conducted a survey and almost 18% of the 208 Muslims who took part said that they had a family member who abused their mothers and siblings.

I was also informed by Brother Yahya of ININ, that in Toronto, the NUMBER ONE reason why Muslim men are arrested and jailed is for domestic violence. This brother actually spoke directly to the chaplain in order to verify this information. Click here to read this e-mail.

Both these sections try to convey to readers that, "Muslims, wake up - beating your wife, molesting and raping other women is against Islam. How can you call yourself a Muslim, a follower of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?

Everyone who shuts their eyes and denies a problem, thus preventing it from being addressed is about as guilty as the men who commit such acts. They too will have to answer to Allah.

Webmaster


Submitted: 8th Feb 2000
PUNISHMENT FOR RAPE AND MOLEST IS DEATH ACCORDING TO HADITH

Salam Alaikum!
 
 

I wonder if you know what the penalty of such crime is according to Islamic Shari'yah? DEATH!

Indeed rape and molestation a serious crime that is deserving of the ultimate punishment in this world.

How strange it is that such crime goes on in the Muslim Society you live in. Shame on such a so called Muslim Society. If only strict Islamic Shari'yah wrere practiced then you'd find that even if a male so much as stared at a female for longer than usual he would be punished.

I am sorry that you had to experience such malice (molestation) from your own fellow men. What a shame it is that those who should uphold the Islamic codes of coduct would rather commit such vices and give into their evil lusts. I hope you will do the right thing by revealing such men to the authorities. And remember that Allah will indeed punish these men in time. I pray Allah eases the suffering of Muslimahs and Muslims wordwide.

Fi-Amanillah
Yasemin



Submitted: 8th Feb 2000
Reply to Jinnah's message

The Brother asks how we know the men are Muslim men....how? Because I know the men who molested me. They molested me and one attempted to rape me and said he would bash me up if I told anyone. Happy now brother?

You speak as if men are brainless animals - that just because a woman travels to and from school by herself, he has the right to act like a beast. For your information, on two occasions I was at a masjid and on most other occasions I was at my own family home. Oh brother, we are all transgressors but how sad it is that you practice no justice in your assessment.

When the souls of raped victims and victims like me weep on the day of Judgement and ask God for justice, you will be remembered.

Anonymous


Submitted: 8th Feb 2000
(reply to above two)

1. I totally agree with the suggestion that young kids should never be left with adult men. Parents need to take great care to avoid doing this no matter how little your child is or how trusted the man is.

2. Yes, culture should be separated from religion - while it does not easily happen in reality - one of the points we must highlight is that Islam should not be held responsible for such acts.

3. I have to disagree that "it is not the mullah's fault" Sure, Allah will not change the condition of people until they change themselves, but how can manipulating and taking advantage of a people's poverty and illiteracy not be the mullah's fault?

Webmaster


Submitted: 8th Feb 2000
THIS IS NOT ISLAMIC CULTURE/DON'T BLAME THE MULLAHS
(reply to below)

Salam 'alaikum and hello,

I have to refute your comment sister: "The 'culture' of Islam oppresses talk about sexual deviances and that is the big advantage these predators have."

There is no 'culture' in Islam. It is either Islam and the application of sunnah or it is merely culture. If you study a bit more extensively you will find much that touches on such subjects. The Prophet(s'Allahu 'alayhe wa salam) and his sahabi were never shy in addressing the deviant behaviours of others and the causes, avoidance's and repercussions of such acts.

First of all, it is highly recommended if not mandatory that you never leave your children alone with adult men. Young boys are never to be left alone with men.

As stated by Sufyan Thawri: Once he entered a bathhouse and then a handsome boy came in. Sufyan called out: "Please take him away from me, for if there is one Satan present when one is in privacy with a woman, there are fifteen Satans present when one is in privacy with a beautiful boy."

Also related by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A man came to visit him, and with him was a beautiful boy. Imam Ahmad asked: "Who is this with you?" He replied: "My sister's son." Imam Ahmad told him not to bring him along again nor to walk with him in the streets, because people who did not know that they were related might have suspicious thoughts about them. [Both stories are from Al-Kaba'ir by Ad-Dhahabi] I wonder about a parent that would leave a child alone with a non-relative, even a sheikh.

Also in your PS; The only way for a Muslim to protect him/herself is through education and application of it. It is not up to you to place judgment on these 'Mullahs', that is up to Allah. If there are any that are being deceived by them it is not the Mullahs fault, it is the fault of the uneducated following them. We are so fortunate these days to have so many books and different scholars opinions that it cannot be the burden of the leader, but the burden of the individuals. Please read and educate yourself, don't depend on them. Depend on Allah.

Fee aman illeh,
Um Noah


Submitted: 8th Feb 2000
DON'T LEAVE YOUR KIDS WITH OLDER MEN NO MATTER WHAT

Salam excellent topic. Some men hide behind the veil of Islam, beard and Quranic verses when in reality they are sexually deviants.

Just few months ago, there was a case in Northern California, Palo Alto, regarding such a man who was supposed to be teaching Quran to little kids but was instead sodomizing boys and girls ages 5 - 11 in their own homes. The 'culture' of Islam * oppresses talk about sexual deviances and that is the big advantage these predators have.

Over 13 childern were victimized over few years till one 13 yr old girl complained to her parents. This has to stop and educated elite has to devise mechanism for such catching, stoping and preventing such abuses by so called custodians of Islam. Average Muslim has to stop being naive and be a toy in the hands of these sexually deviant hypocripts.

p.s. Now you wonder why me and mullahs don't get along. I know their true self and can only despise them. IMHO, they are not Muslims, nor represent Islam, they are hypocrites who are deceiving innocent Muslims.

Munaza


Submitted: 8th Feb 2000
WOMEN ARE OPPRESSED IN EVERY CULTURE, EDUCATED THEM.

Some of the articles do have agood point. And yes it is true SOME muslim men do beat their wife. However there are bad seeds in every nation, religion, and culture. Since the world is a male dominated society they get a double standard position.

We should educate every men and women about their rights (do's and dont's)

As-salamu-alycum

Anonymous



Submitted: 8th Feb 2000
BE CAREFUL, THIS MAY DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD

as-salam 'alaikum wa Rahmatu llahi wa Barakatu,

Dear sister,
Barak Allah feekee for your efforts in exposing the fact that these tragedies happen within the Muslim communities. I feel strongly that we need solutions and input for prevention, however I strongly disagree with posting personal accounts of these tragedies. It is exploitative and personal and irrelevant to the means of repair.

In my opinion I believe it's best not to post such details. There may be some sick men out there that get a thrill or worse yet ideas from them.

May Allah protect us from harm, ameen

fee aman illeh,

Um Noah


Why should women be asked not to come to the mosque when men cannot control themselves? The guilty men are the ones who should be punished. This is not a good solution at all.

My best friend and I were out together one day when a man molested her. I grabbed his collar and punched him straight in the nose. You know why? Because no other man in the area would have taken action so I took it myself.

This may seem like just one man in a million but everyone who saw me punch him and saw him collapse on the floor will remember the humuliation he must have felt, next time any of them tries to touch a woman.

It works. The Islamic law of punishing extreme cases of theft and murder is basically to set an example so that others are fearful of committing the same mistakes.

These men have been encouraged and have gone scot-free because women have not been speaking up. I have been silent all my life until the day I punched that man. Now I have no qualms about exposing these sleazeballs.  I do not feel sorry for them either because any man who thinks he can violate a woman like this should be ready to handle the consequences.

We need stories and accounts...we need suggestions from sisters on how to solve this problem....a public discussion will act as a warning to brothers and as encouragement to sisters who have been silent about being harassed and molested.

I pray that we are on the right path and that Allah helps our cause.

Webmaster
 
 

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