(submitted by Samira Kanji, President of Noor Cultural Centre, Toronto (annual Weekend of Twinning participant)
On December 6, at a vigil for remembrance of the victims of the Montreal massacre in 1989 (when 14 female students at L’Ecole Polytechniquewere killed by a lone gunman ) I spoke a few words relating to the Muslim community’s November-issued Call to Action to Eradicate Domestic Violence. Earlier, during our Women’s Multifaith Symposium (November 20th) participants had also decided that the issue of domestic violence was deserving of greater attention at the faith community level, this being where the deterrent religious imperatives can be be imparted to the entire family. At the vigil, mock grave markers had been erected for the over 600 victims of domestic violence in Ontario alone since 1990. Looking at the names of the victims, it was evident that they came from a wide range of backgrounds, a reminder that the phenomenon visits all communities. The Muslim community’s Call to Action unequivocally condemns all forms of domestic violence, including “honour” crimes, and lays out specific commitments for action by community centres to preventatively educate and counsel.