THE UGLY CRIME of Honor Killing – Part 3
I challenge us all to be true Muslims to especially our families, to one another and to all around us. Only when people act in this manner they can be called “true devotees” of our faith – a faith whose actions produce only good and righteous deeds. For that to happen, Canadian Muslim leaders must set standards for more and better social justice education, restorative justice, family counseling and community development.
A decade ago, while working as an Imam and marriage officer in the Vancouver Muslim community, I tackled the issue of having Muslim social services work in cooperation with other Canadian social service agencies and also cautioned the Muslim community about the future outcome of our inaction in this area. During our discussions, I predicted that before long, Muslim communities across Canada would need more social workers than Imams.
I was right. I am not happy about having to witness the foreseen negative results, but I was right. It seems “that time” is here and now.
If the Messenger of God, Muhammad (pbuh) were living among us today, I am positive that as our teacher, he would not — in any way, shape, or form — condone any violent expression of piety. On the contrary, he would have been very much disturbed with the acts of some. For example, the Aqsa’s father’s form of discipline and control was simply against all earthly and divine logic, against all basic principles of Islamic tradition, faith, and moral values. The merciless extinguishing of an innocent young life within the context of family conflict undermines the very core of our Prophet’s message and the message of all the Prophets (peace be upon them) who came before him.
Canadian Muslims must renew their commitment to build together as a truly Canadian Muslim community. We must put aside our suspicions and inflexibilities and acknowledge the growing need for social work facilities and for trained professionals to fill them.
Our community leaders, especially our youth, must become committed to dealing with the societal crises of this new millennium. Our Imams must come to the forefront as engaged mentors, advisors, role models, and facilitators — not just as judges and negative critics of our youth. Their job is to educate and remind Canadian Muslims that leniency, mercy, forgiveness and acceptance are the true hallmarks of our faith’s prophetic tradition. This approach is the central legacy of Muhammad (pbuh).
I hope that more proactive measures can be implemented — such as educational programs for Muslim families in the art of parenting and dealing with issues our children and youth face in Canada. These activities could help our Muslim community become more solution-oriented, and thus even more in tune with the foundations of our faith and its role in a Canadian context.
(…to be continued in the next issue…Part 4)