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March 5, 2012 / Man in the Mirror

Putting an end to Gender Based Violence: ISNA Pres. Joins with Sec. of State and Nat. Leaders

http://www.isna.net/articles/News/Putting-an-end-to-Gender-Based-Violence-ISNA-Pres-Joins-with-Sec-of-State-and-Nat-Leaders-.aspx

(Feb 17, 2012) This week, ISNA President Imam Magid joined with other faith leaders, global human rights leaders and elected officials to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a panel discussion focusing on U.S. strategies to prevent violence against women.  The event was organized in conjunction with the Ninth Annual International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation.

It is estimated that more between 100 and 140 million girls and women have been subjected to this procedure.  Sec. Clinton has made it a priority in her office to advocate for women’s rights and health and safety across the globe.  The practice is performed across cultures and nations, and yesterday’s event at the State Department made it clear that cultural tradition does not justify any violence against women.

In her opening remarks, Secretary Clinton focused on the increased need for advocacy and empowerment strategies to local communities, stating, “We need more advocacy, more interaction between policy makers and those in the field. We need to empower men and women, and especially girls, to speak up for themselves. We need to ultimately overcome the deeply-rooted gender inequalities that, either tacitly or actively, permit and promote such practices.”

READ: Full statement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Imam Magid was asked to participate in yesterday’s panel discussion, alongside four other human rights and government leaders, in recognition of the strong commitment from ISNA and the diverse religious communities to stand against these traditional acts of gender based violence. He focused discussion on the role the religious community can play, specifically religious leaders, in the prevention of such violence.

“If a person comes to know that violating human rights and the rights of women to lead a normal life is not acceptable, if the congregation will hear that from the Imam in his Friday sermon, that will empower the women and men who stand against this practice,” said Imam Mohamed Magid, the President of the Islamic Society of North America.

Participants highlighted some of the successful projects world-wide to put an end to these practices and also the challenges and misperceptions surrounding the issue, and strategies to address those moving forward.

The event took place just a few weeks after Imam Magid returned from Nyala, Darfur, where he joined the Peaceful Families Project, to provide training that prevents domestic violence and promotes equality of women.

READ: Voice of America – Clinton: ‘Cultural Tradition’ is no Excuse for Female Genital Mutilation

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One Comment

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  1. Sahar Zaidi / Mar 5 2012 6:05 am

    “If a person comes to know that violating human rights and the rights of women to lead a normal life is not acceptable, if the congregation will hear that from the Imam in his Friday sermon, that will empower the women and men who stand against this practice,” said Imam Mohamed Magid, the President of the Islamic Society of North America.

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