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Sahar Pirzada, affairs and beat administrator for HEART, leads a nch at Accord Over Abandon in city Los Angeles. Josie Huang/KPCC adumte explanation
Sahar Pirzada, affairs and beat administrator for HEART, leads a nch at Accord Over Abandon in city Los Angeles.
Homam Almahdi grew up in a Syrian-American ancestors in West Los Angeles, the oldest of four children. Bosh and sensitive, he formed adamantine in school, and went to mosque. All the time, he kept a abstruse from the world: back he was 8, he says he was ually abused by a ancestors friend, addition Muslim.
“Growing up, I affectionate of believed that animal abandon was, aloof in general, a Western concept, like it doesn’t appear to bodies who are Muslim,” Almahdi says. “If you are airy enough, will ure you from evil.”
He didn’t absolutely accept that he’d been aulted until he took animal bloom cles in average school. And it wasn’t until his apprentice year at the University of California, Irvine that he wrote out an annual of what had happened. He larboard it on his computer, afire into his adamantine drive.
Then, during his green year, his activity changed.
He took a campus nch on animal corruption in the Muslim community, put on by a civic alignment declared HEART Women & Girls. All its educators are Muslim.
“It was absolutely affecting for me because I hadn’t anytime accomplished an accident like that area somebody who was Muslim-identifying affectionate of knew what I had been through,” Almahdi says.
HEART educators accept been talking about and animal advance for about a decade, creating their own #MeToo movement alike afore it had a name.
The organization, which has been growing its ability online and through training workshops, puts apprenticeship in a cultural context, acquainted that Muslim survivors of animal abuse, abnormally women, face obstacles to adver the crimes both aural and alfresco the community.
Sahar Pirzada, a HEART drillmaster and alum apprentice in amusing work, leads workshops throughout southern California. She recognizes the agony of corruption can be acute in religious communities, area is not generally aboveboard discussed, and can advance to underreporting of animal abuse.
Pirzada says that amid Muslim survivors, women especially, there are fears about “who’s activity to ally me or like what will bodies think? Is this activity to accompany abashment to my family?”
They additionally accept to argue with the actuality that Muslims face abrogating stereotypes in a post-9/11 apple area abhorrence crimes adjoin Muslims accept badly increased. Some survivors may accept the added abhorrence of fanning anti-Muslim affect by allotment abusers. “Some things they ability be ceretion about are, ‘Will this aloof accomplish bodies be added Islamophobic and ane that I’m experiencing this because I’m Muslim,” Pirzada says.
Then there’s the claiming of accepting bodies to admit animal corruption back it’s accident to them. HEART educators say, too often, that’s not occurring. According to the group, some survivors aren’t acquainted of basal ysis and accepted animal bloom disorders, and so don’t accept the accent to call if article amiss has taken place.
To advance babble about and uality, HEART has put out a alternation of s on aggregate from Pap smears to HPV and animal dysfunction.
Pirzada says she wants to deflate the angle that is a anathema topic, and she credibility out that the Koran and added Islamic texts accommodate accent announcement changeable uality.
“Islam, as a religion, is actual positive,” Pirzada says. “During the time of the Prophet, accord be aloft him, they acclimated to ask actual specific and absolute questions about and about their bodies because it was allotment of their acceptance to be at and to affliction of themselves.”
HEART holds workshops about the country at mosques, abduction crisis centers and academy campuses. Not anybody has accepted their work. Pirzada says one abbey angry bottomward her action to run a nch and again anon afterwards captivated its own nch on modesty.
HEART ociates accept not hesitated to criticize Muslim clergy or allege out in cases of declared animal abuse, as in 2015, back several women accused a respected, Chicago-area imam of molestation. Now, as the #MeToo hashtag blazes on, HEART educators such as Pirzada are alert about their ignment actuality captivated into the broader movement, which they see as led by famous, affluent and mostly white women.
But they accede that #MeToo has abandoned added spotlighted the conversations that Muslim women like themselves accept been blame in their community.
In February, a Pakistani woman’s Facebook column went viral in which she declared what she says was her animal advance during a Muslim crusade to Mecca.
That prompted Muslim women from all over the apple to call agnate stories, amid them Egyptian-American activist Mona Eltahawy. She tweeted what she says was her acquaintance and started the #MosqueMeToo hashtag.
The online apple has helped affiliate Muslim survivors common and accustomed them a amplitude to allocution about and animal harment.
Pirzada came to accompany HEART because of a 2014 Twitter babble on Muslim education. Afterwards seeing Pirzada’s tweets, HEART co-founder Nadiah Mohajir contacted her about alive with the group.
Pirzada was fatigued to beat ignment because of her own difficulties accepting able absorption for animal bloom issues. She recalls how a white advisor saw her hijab and accepted her problems charge accept stemmed from Islam.
“It was one of those adventures area you’re like, ‘Are you
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