As it has been a while since I’ve written I’d like to discuss a hot topic, that is ever up and coming. It may seem sensitive, so readers be warned.
Especially in a religious community where it seems still to kept quiet, under the carpet, tucked under the blanket and hushed away from all ears. I want to talk about the way the Muslim community in the locality I live in deals with sexual violence, harassment and relations…
The young women who find themselves drawn to a guy who claims that she owes him at least this. Claims that she needs to give him the one thing he’s after in exchange for his ‘love’, safety and admiration. And should she refuse, he’ll become verbally aggressive, possibly taunting her into thinking it’s her fault. Perhaps he’s older. Perhaps she’s lost all process of rational thought and fights the uncomfortability of her situation to avoid the mental distress of not conforming. She’s scared. She’s silenced. Shes tricked into believing she’s the happiest she will be when she’s with him, yet he destroys every part of hope and light in her.
And when it all comes out she’s told she’s shameful. She’s giving up her dignity. She’s harmful to all good because she is blamed for being naive. She’s blamed for being stupid. She fails to seek comfort from anyone because it’s frowned upon. She fails to find any self respect left within, and cries herself to sleep silently asking god to pick her up again. He’s her only hope in a dark spiralling situation. She’s broken all trust and her small memory of what happened sinks into her consciousness scarring her ability to speak. Only god can hear and only he can help her out. So she calls to him. Kneels before the only one who created her because only he knows the hurt behind her shame. Only he knows the feelings too strong for words to fill. She wants light.
The people that love her, help her rise and her strong firm faith in god helps her stand up tall. She’s strong. She’s not to blame. She was tricked and mistaken but she’s the fighter. She’ll fight the self hate and push it away, only delving into those who can understand. The select few people in her life who truly love her. She finds herself, she accepts herself. Loves herself because the god who she loves most made her. She is muslim. She is young but strong and she won’t let anybody take away her courage because she deserves to be truly loved and respected. She is open and understanding and nobody needs to know it because she does.
Yet she wishes she was taught that it’s not okay. That he can’t talk to you like that. That it’s wrong for anybody to push you to do something that you don’t want to do. That he could be arrested for his ways with you…. but have we taught our young people??
Yet everyday another case slips under the mat. Another story is left untold because she’s too scared to admit it. Because our ”muslim” society won’t let her live it down. She’s vulnerable and at that point she needs cover, guidance, help and most importantly love. She’s scared. She needs god. She needs people with open doors and arms. Are we those people? Without open arms the matter can only get worse.
We need to talk more to our young people about sex and gender mixing. We need to teach them to respect one another, rather than shutting them off from each other so they can’t understand what interaction is ‘okay’. We need to take off our blinkers and start realising that there’s a crisis in our community that is being ignored. We need to reach out and teach our young people. We need to talk about sex.
Please note that this may be a sensitive topic to some but I believe it must be spoken about. Anything I’ve addressed here is from reading on the subject for sexual abuse and violence awareness week. I strongly believe our young people need teaching religiously on how to interact with the opposite genders safely, and respectfully.
Our faith teaches us respect for others, and respect for ourselves. It teaches us to be compassionate and open to ALL. So we should be doing just that. We can’t ignore and eliminate. Only help.