SYDNEY – A leading international Islamic humanitarian group has joined hands with the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC NSW), launching a campaign to fight domestic abuse and offer family counseling to the Australian Muslim community.
“I believe that this is a significant milestone for the Muslim community,” Muaz AlHaj, CEO of Islamic Relief Australia, told Muslim Village on Tuesday, February 25.
“It is going to help those who are in great need of support to make a positive change,” he added.
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Working to reduce domestic abuse within Australia’s Muslim community, the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week with Islamic Relief Australia on behalf of the ANIC NSW.
The agreement organizes work between Islamic Relief Australia and ANIC NSW towards fighting domestic violence and disputes.
Both bodies will also cooperation of offer youth mentoring, family counseling and marriage preparation.
For Muaz AlHaj, cooperation with ANIC NSW and Muslim community’s spiritual leaders was expected to help the expansion of the program, making use of their network of mosques.
“It will help Islamic Relief to make a world of difference to people’s lives,” he said.
AlHaj added there was huge need for the family counseling program amongst the local community.
“In under one year, we have dealt with over 845 cases ranging from domestic violence to substance abuse and family disputes in Sydney alone,” Muaz AlHaj said.
In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.
Woman is recognized by Islam as the full and equal partner of the man in the procreation of humankind.
By this partnership, she has an equal share in every aspect. She is entitled to equal rights, she undertakes equal responsibilities, and she has as many qualities and as much humanity as her partner.
Moreover, the relations between the spouses in Islam should be based on tranquility, love and mercy.
The new agreement form part of Aid Program suggested by Islamic Relief Australia to the local Muslim community.
The program offer support through “family counseling, youth welfare, local disaster relief and no interest loans,” Muslim Village reported.
The family counseling program “provides free of charge counseling to families experiencing abuse including emotional, physical and sexual abuse,” it added.
Along with family services, the program includes offering no interest loan scheme to help young Muslims abide by the principles of Islamic Shari`ah.
“The organization’s No Interest Loan Scheme is a community based program to help low income people buy essential household items such as a washing machine, fridge or medical appliance,” the website says.
“Many low-income households get by week to week, but are completely stuck when they need to buy an expensive appliance. A typical loan can be up to $1,200 to be repaid over 12 to 18 months,” it adds.
The Aid Program was not limited to members of the Muslim community, expanding to help people in distress from all faiths, including offering help to bush fires victims.
“Islamic Relief Australia’s first local response was to the Blue Mountains bush fires, where over 200 homes where completely destroyed. The organization provided over 1000 sleeping bags, 200 LED torches and sleeping bags for firefighters,” the website says.
“Just a few weeks ago it provided bottled water and sleeping bags for residents sheltering in relief centers from the fires in central Victoria.
“It is also establishing a Disaster Assistance Response Team of volunteers, fully trained by the SES. The team will be deployed whenever there is a local disaster.”
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
Islam is the country's second largest religion after Christianity.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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