by Nadiah Mohajir
Recently, many loud voices have been critiquing HEART’s work and misrepresenting our positions on sexual health and sexual violence. While we absolutely do not expect everyone to be on board or even comfortable with our approach, we are strongly opposed to the tactics that have recently been used on social media. Perhaps, the biggest irony of the situation is that the individuals that have criticized us for our lack of Islamic ethics, have chosen to denigrate our work in a way that also is the antithesis to Islamic ethics and the Prophetic example: through bullying, intimidation, namecalling, and most importantly, spreading untrue information. This type of religious shaming and hateful rhetoric is exactly what we have been speaking out against. We are not interested in engaging in a game of internet bullying. However, we do believe it is necessary to correct the misinformation that is spreading about our work.
The Quran instructs us to be maintainers of justice, even if it means we have to speak up and challenge our own communities. For years, we have heard Muslim women and girls share their struggles with body image, depression, unhealthy relationships, sex, and all too often, sexual violence. They spoke of not having access to culturally-sensitive information and resources, and being afraid of seeking them because of the stigma and shame associated with sex and sexual violence in Muslim communities. Read more.