I want to know more about the "shunning" process in Islam and particularly towards women - to understand what they face. I am offering support to a woman who is being ostracized by her "community" because she left her abusive husband. The ex-husband's family is trying to take the kids....So I guess I'm asking from an outsider's perspective how I can be of support to her in a way that would be helpful. I also want to understand more about the Islamic teaching/practices on this subject. Thanks.

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@Kairan Nierde:

"Don't break the law...that is my advice."

IIRC if a Law puts your life in jeopardy then the Law does not hold sway and it is legal to break it.

You're talking about the legal defense called "necessity." It's the same one that lets you off the hook for breaking the speed limit to get someone to the ER in an emergency.

The thing is, the defense can only be exercised in court. You'll be arrested first and probably have your kids taken and put in foster care OR in the care of the dad before you can exercise the defense. Then, hopefully the court agrees.

Her section 8 case manager or worker might know of support resources. Even if that doesn't help, contacting them yourself might help you gain trust with her.

I should have mentioned (even if you probably know) that a case manager has to maintain confidentiality for the client, but they should still be interested in hearing from other sources like you who know the client, especially under such threatening circumstances.

Belle, have you thought about asking over in the ex-muslim support group here on TA?  There's a chance some of them may have some helpful input.


@Belle - look there it is >> " a family member of her ex-husband went in front of the judge and basically said "the kids belong to me now." /em>

This is where it becomes intergenerational and toxic and the pattern will continue with her children now. Her children and their first cousins have now become estranged via covert  and unspoken means and they will never get the chance to get to know each other properly without also knowing - the families dirty shame secret. ... Some of her childrens first cousins will then continue to use her children as scapegoats because they will side with the others - on and on and on. Can you see the cycle?

Your friend has to try to stop that cycle (power to her) with her children so that the abusive behaviour starts to dilute within the generations.. Which will probably take another 1000 years.

See how complex it is?

So...does she still consider herself a Muslim?

I think she would have better chances in the American legal system if she pretended to be Christian now.

Might pretending to be Christian also add to her risk of being harmed by the family?

"But again....she's now staying with her dad and brothers (all male) and none of them support the fact that she left her husband. She has no money."

Reality check time...she's fucked!

But...she is better off in the USA then a lot of places she and her kids could end up.

No matter whether others step up to help her or not, the strength to change the circumstances of her life must come from her...and that is asking a lot from anyone.

"Do the best you can, with what you got, from where you are."

Theodore Roosevelt

Better advice I can't think of.

Can't her dad and brothers talk to the other family? Even if they're culturally retarded assholes, surely they wouldn't just watch passively as their own daughter/sister is being harassed and threatened. Would they? Who am I kidding, they're probably part of it.

They probably respect the other family's claim on the children. They are probably ashamed and angry with her for failing to accept her place under her husband's foot. They probably love her. It's not easy to understand.


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