Muslim Council of Montreal calls on all mosques to join fight to end violence against women

December 6, 2011

Montreal, Quebec, December 6th, 2011- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) invites all mosques to dedicate their Friday sermons on December 9th to address the issue of domestic violence, in commemoration of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada is marked annually on December 6th, on the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal.


“This marks the 22nd anniversary of the tragic murders that took place at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal and as Canadians we should remember those innocent victims by renewing our pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about any form of violence against women,” stated Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “Around the world, the numbers for abuse against women range from 15% to 71%. At times of war and in conflict zones, it is often girls and women who pay the heaviest price, becoming victims of war rapes, sexual slavery and forced prostitution. Here at home, it is estimated 60% of Canadian women have suffered from physical or psychological violence at some time in their life. We must speak out against this and say enough is enough.”

“We call on all mosques to help raise public awareness about this issue and help to eradicate violence against women, in our homes, in our communities, in our nation and around the world. Domestic violence and abuse against women remains a problem in all communities across Canada and internationally, irrespective of religious and ethnic background. We must work together to address this problem and take concerted efforts to end it.”


“Islam has placed great emphasis on the rights of women and on treating women with respect, dignity and compassion. Our religion teaches us of the sanctity of the marital bond and the family life and with these teachings we should seek to improve our families and our communities. It is the responsibility of all Imams and community leaders to address the social problems of the community, to speak out against these injustices and take effective action towards eliminating violence against women. Starting dialogue about domestic violence is a necessary first step, to address the reality of the problem and raise awareness. We also encourage all mosques to work together with community organizations such as the Amal Center for Women, to both support their efforts and also to make full use of the resources available to the community.”


According to the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, violence against women is defined as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”




·         One third of all violent crimes in Canada are crimes of domestic violence

·         There are 420, 000 cases of domestic violence in Canada every year

·         Only 36% of women report the abuse to the police

·         40 individuals (women and children) are admitted into a shelter every day

·         Every 6 days, a woman is killed by her intimate partner

·         60% of Canadian women have suffered from physical or psychological violence at some time in their life

·         61% of Canadians say they know at least one women who has been physically or sexually assaulted

·         360,000 children witness violent acts in their home every year

·         70% of violence done to women is by someone they know

·         The Amal Center for Women meets at least one new Muslim woman who has survived domestic abuse every week

·         The Amal Center for Women has served over 150 women in face-to-face meetings and has answered over 2000 phone calls this year alone


For more information about the Amal Center for Women:

Amal Center for Women

Phone: (514) 855-0330




Other Services:

Masjid Assuna Women Committee (514) 278-8441




Salam Elmenyawi

Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM)

Ph.: (514) 748-8427





The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) is an umbrella organization representing a number of Islamic institutions in the Montreal region. There are over 275,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 1,200,000 in Canada and 1.9 billion worldwide.