Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community – UPenn Lecture

I am speaking tonight at UPenn on Domestic Abuse in the Muslim Community.   For any of you in the Philly area, details are as follows:


7 Responses to “Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community – UPenn Lecture”

  1. September 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Assalaamu ‘alaykum

    My name is Laura Cowan a.k.a Salimah Shabazz
    and the story below is what happened to me by my Islamic Husband, Mansa Musa Muhummed a.k.a Richard Boddie, who is now serviving 7 concecutive life term sentences for the abuse, torture and Domestic Violence that he placed upon me, my children, his other two wifes and their children.


    **Torture Trial In California**

    The more dubious and uncertain an instrument violence has become in international relations, the more it has gained in reputation and appeal in domestic affairs, specifically in the matter of revolution

    FRENCH VALLEY —- The daughter of an Aguanga man on trial for torture told jurors Monday that her father would make her eat her own vomit and feces while also periodically hanging her upside down for hours as a form of punishment.

    Mansa Musa Muhummed, 55, shook his head back and forth several times Monday while listening to the testimony of daughter Sharon Boddie, now 27, at Southwest Justice Center.

    Muhummed is charged with seven counts of torture, 12 counts of child abuse, four counts of spousal abuse and two counts of false imprisonment. He faces seven life sentences should he be convicted as charged.

    Born Richard Boddie, he later began using his Muslim name of Muhummed. He was arrested by Riverside County sheriff’s deputies in April 1999 at a property on Sweepstakes Lane in Aguanga after one of his three wives —- two of whom prosecutors say were locked in a partitioned garage —- was able to sneak a letter to a post office clerk.

    Between the three “wives,” Muhummed has more than a dozen children.

    As several siblings have also testified to earlier in the trial, Sharon Boddie described Monday how she was often forced to use a bucket as a toilet as well as how her father withheld food for days and would beat them all severely.

    She told the jury about a time she sneaked into the bathroom and her father grabbed her so violently by the hair that a fist full of hair was pulled from her head, leaving a bald spot she still has.

    Deputy District Attorney Julie Baldwin asked Sharon Boddie if she ever saw her father with any weapons in the home.

    She said her father would wave a handgun —- sometimes inches from her face —- and say, “I can kill all of ya and nobody would ever know.”

    Sharon Boddie also testified to seeing her father with a machete.

    “Once, he tried to chop my arm off,” she said. As Boddie answered, Muhummed could be seen and heard snickering slightly.

    Sharon Boddie then described how one sister held her head down, another held one arm and her father the other arm as he threatened to cut it off with the machete.

    Baldwin asked her why he did it.

    “Because my stomach hurt and I wouldn’t eat my food,” she said.

    The prosecutor later asked Boddie why she didn’t tell deputies about what was happening in the home when her father was arrested more than nine years ago.

    “I didn’t think my daddy was really going to jail,” she answered. When the prosecutor asked her why that was, she responded, “Because he always got away with it.”

    About a year after her father’s April 1999 arrest, Sharon Boddie gave authorities details of what was going on. Baldwin asked why it took her so long.

    “I finally realized he was really going to be in jail and I was finally going to have a life,” Boddie said.

    Boddie told jurors she could not read or write at the age of 18 when her father was arrested.

    Since then, Boddie said, she has received help from others and joined the Job Corps, where she gained new skills.

    “Are you working today?” Baldwin asked.

    For possibly the first time after several hours on the witness stand, Boddie smiled broadly. “Yes, I am,” she said, adding that she got her first job at age 23.

    Her father’s defense attorney, Peter Morreale, attacked portions of Boddie’s testimony, including her statements about being forced to eat her vomit and feces.

    Morreale asked if she ever told authorities about that since her father’s arrest.

    Boddie said she couldn’t remember.

    The defense attorney then went after Boddie’s testimony about being hung upside down by her father in the basements of three different homes. Morreale told the woman that at least one home in Desert Hot Springs doesn’t have a basement.

    Boddie then describes there being cars and says she was hung “from the wood in the garage, basement, whatever it is.”

    Son Tells of Beatings
    Boddie said he was 5 or 6 when his father began the practice of withholding food from him and his siblings after they moved from Virginia to Bakersfield.
    Muhummed beat and withheld food as punishment when his children did not wake up on time, did not say Muslim prayers on time, or failed to do their chores, Boddie said.
    “I probably got beat three or four times a day,” Boddie testified.
    His father would have the children extend their arms and make a fist, then he hit them on the knuckles with a boat oar, Boddie said.
    “He would hit us as many times as he could and if we made him miss we get hit like three more times,” Boddie testified.
    Sometimes Muhummed would have the children lie on their stomach, put their feet in the air and he would hit the soles of their feet with the oar, Boddie testified.
    Riverside County Sheriff’s Department began its investigation of Muhummed days after one of his wives, Laura Cowan, passed a 13-page letter to a postal clerk chronicling the alleged abuse and the family’s living conditions, according to witness testimony, also, cowan had tapes to back up her story. The letter was sent to the Department of Public Social Services, then passed on to law enforcement.
    Muhummed is a Muslim and told one of his wives that his faith permits having more than one wife, according to court testimony.
    The trial resumes Monday at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley.

    Morreale showed Boddie a report written by a sheriff’s investigator who notes that Boddie told him she was hung upside down for as long as five days.

    Boddie said she didn’t remember saying days, but being hung for hours while not being allowed to eat for days.

    Muhummed’s trial is scheduled to continue Tuesday morning before Judge Paul Dickerson. Jurors have been told they will likely begin deliberating the case in early June.

  2. September 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    You are truely a survivor.

  3. September 24, 2009 at 7:33 am

    As’SalaamuAlaikum w/r w/b!

    Definitely Enlightened tonight. Not just spiritually and emotionally, but a sense of actually doing something has been rooted in my mind.

    Jazakallah Khair!


  4. September 26, 2009 at 9:58 am

    MashaAllah. Imam Zee Latif. May your hard work be blessed. Thanks again Imam Khalid Zee Latif.

  5. October 24, 2009 at 1:37 am

    hello, thank you for your article, I am very sorry about what’s going on in your life, may God heal you inshaAllah.

    this story discomforted me to a large extent because what your husband Muhummed said is true: Islam does allow more than one wife and it allows for the wives to be beaten “lightly” (check out Surah 3: AnNisa). This creates many problems because a man may feel that he has the right to physically abuse his wife and enjoy the idea of having multiple women, both of which I oppose strongly. I understand that back in the Prophet’s (pbuh) day 4 wives were allowed because many men were being killed in war so women had no where to go. 4 wives was also a limitation back then because men were used to taking many many more than that even. However, the ideal family unit is one man and one woman. I personally have a hard time imaging sharing a husband with 4 other women, and I think in this day and age, when women DO have many resources and can find a suitable husband, the whole “4 wives” practice does not have to be adhered to. That whole adaptation centuries ago was to ensure that all these women who had no where to go could find refuge. This isn’t applicable today, a man should be faithful and loving to ONE partner. Also, the whole “beat your wife lightly” issue is one that nags the back of many Muslim women’s minds. I saw that there’s an article written by a Muslim man that a man shouldn’t hit his wife (or wives as the case may unfortunately be). But how can you blame a man who does? Is says it’s permissible right there in the Book we all hold dear. My main point is, how can we explain this to nonMuslims when they comfront us with these controversial issues? I know there are many nonMuslims who like Islam but don’t want to convert because of these two main topics (multiple wives and domestic violence). What argument can we produce, what basis do we have to convince other people that Islam is still a religion of peace and love?

  6. May 11, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Fabulous, what a weblog it is! This webpage provides useful
    facts to us, keep it up.

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Who is doing the thinking

My name is Khalid Latif. I work as the Executive Director and Chaplain for the Islamic Center at New York University as well as a Chaplain for the NYPD, New York City Police Department.

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