In 2016, a report about burn victim Saima Mehmood surfaced, asking readers for donations towards her white blood cell transfusions. Saima's face, neck, and arms were left nearly unrecognizable by the revenge of a rejected suitor. After Saima turned down the suitor's marriage proposal, she was found in the arms of another man. Realizing that he'd been abandoned for another man — whom Saima was then betrothed to — the rejected suitor launched a revenge attack.
In August of 2014, a 19-year-old Islamic woman named Seve was locked in an Islamic State Fighter's house. He tried to rape her, whispering,
"I will kill you."
In October of 2014, the online English-language magazine Dabiq (which is circulated by ISIS) portrayed the views of the Muslim people. The article stated,
"Taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of sharia [Islamic law]."
The article goes on to label those who disagree, calling them:
"...weak-minded and weak-hearted...apostatizing from Islam."
These are just a few examples of violence outside of the home. However, domestic violence is also a common threat for Islamic women. A Muslim woman named Noor described her husband's outbursts. She told the Board of Imams Victoria (while trying to file for divorce) that her husband would beat her whenever she mentioned their financial problems.
"I would think it was reasonable," she stated, "because I thought I'd done something wrong, and I deserved it."
Noor's husband would also threated to take more wives, yelling, "I'm allowed to marry four women. You have to change your Western mentality." He then refused to allow Noor to file for a divorce. Although the Board of Imams promised to grant women divorces if they provided sufficient evidence of their husbands' abuse, Noor's proof was discarded.
"It killed me," Noor cried after sharing her story.
For over 10 years, one Muslim woman had suffered at the hands of her husband. After appearing in front of the Board Of Imams Victoria, the woman was told that she needed to bring her husband. The imams informed her that they would not grant a divorce unless the abusive, controlling husband was present as well.
Another mother of three — Maryam — appeared before the Board of Imams Victoria. They insisted that Maryam return to her abusive husband as well, despite the fact that she had already taken out a restraining order against him. Her husband would complain about her housework, yell at her for spending money, and track the kilometers that she drove in the car. If the odometer showed more than what Maryam claimed, she would be accused of lying. The imams disregarded Maryam's complaints because they only chose to acknowledge physical abuse — never emotional.
Yasmin appeared before the Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, requesting a divorce because of the trauma inflicted by her husband. Yasmin stated,
"But he said that, because I am a woman, I was very emotional and that I wasn't thinking with a clear mind. He told me to go away and think about it before I made a decision."
Yasmin went on to say,
"If I ever had an ounce of love for my religion, it's been taken away from me…"
Countless women are sent away from the Board of Imams with the belief that they should be patient with violent marriages. According to many imams, men are within their rights to forbid their wives to work or participate in other activities.
"If the wife goes to work when the husband tells her not to work," said Mr. Alsuleiman in a 2009 lecture on marriage and divorce, "she's disobedient, she's disobeying Allah."