Question for the Tulsa Muslim community: Why does such a relatively small population need a dedicated Muslim women’s shelter for domestic abuse? Where are husbands getting the idea that good women are obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded, and from those from whom you fear disobedience — oh, wait… “Tulsa shelter helps abused Muslim women,” by Bill Sherman for Tulsa World, August 15 (thanks to Twostellas):
She was pencil-thin and so weak from mental and physical abuse, she needed help getting up stairs.
Her husband kept her under video surveillance 24 hours a day, a virtual prisoner in her own home, and once held a knife to her throat.
This Jordanian woman found refuge in the Surayya Anne Foundation home, Tulsa’s only Muslim women’s shelter. She is now separated from her husband, who remains in Tulsa, and is back with her family in Jordan.
Since it opened in May 2009, the modest, three-bedroom, two-bath apartment in south Tulsa has housed 15 women, most of them Muslims, and their 10 children, some for a few days, others for a few months. [...]
Mary Al-Khaldi is house mother for the women. She lives in a nearby apartment and is available day and night to assist them. She also enforces a curfew, granting exceptions for such things as outside work and Ramadan evening prayers.
“It’s great to be able to assist these ladies,” she said.
Al-Khaldi said she was raised in a Pentecostal home in Oklahoma and converted to Islam 25 years ago. Her older brother abused her mother and was killed by her younger brother.
She married an Iraqi she described as a radical Muslim. “It took me 10 years to figure that out,” she said.
“When he struck me when I was with child, I left him, but I didn’t leave Islam.”
Board member Allison Moore said women in the shelter are required to work or go to school, unless they have just had a baby, and to set aside money in a savings account to help them get back on their feet when they leave the shelter.
She said the foundation is raising money to buy a four- to six-unit apartment complex that will enable it to expand its services to families in need, including husbands.
The current shelter operates on a $46,000 annual budget, most of it from the Tulsa Muslim community.
Call it the “4:34 Fund.”