London: A new campaign to combat domestic violence and encourage women in the Muslim community to speak up against it is being initiated in Scotland by a Muslim women`s group.
`Change This` -- as it is being called -- will urge Muslim men and women to report any such violence they may have witnessed or experienced following its launch in Glasgow and Edinburgh next month.
The campaign has been initiated by Muslim women`s charity `Amina` to tackle misconceptions and manipulations of Islamic teachings.
"We`re quite surprised that Muslim women are often not educated even in Islam, because Islam does not condone violence," Smina Akhtar from the charity told BBC Asian Network today.
"For black and minority ethnic women, for Muslim women, it seems to take them longer than the indigenous women to come and speak up. We`ll use phrases within the Quran to say no, actually the Quran does not say that it`s okay for your husband to hit you," she added in reference to the new campaign, which is the direct result of reports gathered via their helpline for Scottish Muslim women.
It will call on members of the public to become "change-makers", urging them to oppose all sorts of violence against women and girls.
Scotland is home to over 500,000 Muslims, who make up the second-largest religious group in the region.
The latest drive is also backed by Shakti Women`s Aid, an Edinburgh-based organisation offering support to ethnic minority women experiencing domestic abuse.
Mridul Wadhwa, the information and education officer at Shakti Women`s Aid, added: "There is a need for an open and honest discussion about it; we cannot use arguments of faith and culture or men`s `rights` as an excuse any more. Men should be involved in this discussion too".