In Canada, Muslims are the minority. Obviously, even the worst Muslims would want to appear as loving and approachable in this country. I have gathered this data after talking to some Muslim women who are victims of abuse as well as from my experiences—I had some very harsh experiences most of which I was required to sort mostly on my own although I had a couple of friends who validated my experiences and comforted me through thick and thin. Some Canadian Muslim men are abusing some of the Canadian Muslim women in the following ways:
- Engage in pre-marital sex and expect to marry virgins
- Rape women who approach them or who are strangers
- Pretend to be religious to attract women
- Pretend to be friendly and caring to lure women until they are trapped
- Confine women to closed spaces for hours or days to disconnect them
- Spy on them by reading their social media and cellphone messages
- Promise to marry someone and then bring someone else from their country of origin and marry that person instead
- Physically or emotionally harm their female relatives and act nicer towards them in front of other women; this continues until another woman is caught in this malicious cycle
- Force women out of their jobs or compel them to work for less
- Do not offer promised training to the women they have hired
- Mistreat and harm women and then go to masjids for prayers and fast to appear religious
- Lock younger sisters or wives in rooms and watch TV or go out for fun
- Threaten to deport them and/or actually deport them to their original country after psychologically or physically torturing them
- Make fun of the wife in front of his friends
- Enjoy parties including dance parties while neglecting the women of their households
- Twist victims’ personalities and characters until the victims double and shift into someone else
- Obsessively blame the victim at home and then use instances where she lost her temper or got annoyed to tell her that she is not fit enough to work outside with people
- Stalk women especially those they are hanging out with or dating
- Expect the women to hide their issues including issues related to their reproductive system and emotional health from men of the family
- Expect women to act like they would have done routinely while they are pregnant including shopping, cleaning, cooking, managing guests and parties, and appearing at social gatherings
- Force and expect women to do menial jobs; sometimes they actually say, “Why don’t you go out and work in Packaging for a bit” while ignoring that this person has a resume tailored for an executive position
- Some male relatives are telling women, “Whether you will have a job or not really depends on your husband; this does not depend on you, your brother, or your father”
- Regularly be absent from conversations about critical personal issues like mental health or emotional state. I know that some of them have been depriving the victims since they were children.
- Use other women of the households to manipulate the victims
- Hide symptoms of withdrawal and depression as “need to procrastinate” and “laziness”
- Diagnose the victim as “obese” or “tending towards obesity” to hide the fact that her condition is due to ongoing emotional abuse
- Tell the victim that she is prone to listening to the devil when in reality she is not praying due to loss of concentration
- Prevent victim from nailing what really is going on with her mental or physical health by telling her lies and expecting her to repeat these lies back to her therapists or friends
- Form an abusive gang whose members notice that the older members of the household are ignoring someone and then make sure to neglect and desert the victim
Of course! Women abuse is common in all communities including the Muslim community. However, its important to note what is going on inside Canadian Muslim community because Muslims are a minority here and mainstream media and politics aren’t attempting to effectively manage the issues afflicting this community.
These men and the men who appear totally clueless when you bring up whatever is negatively influencing the women are not following Prophet Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) teachings. Read Jim Garrison’s article, “Mohammad was a Feminist” to learn how Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) liberated the women.
Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.