Transformation from the inside out: Community engagement and the role of Islamic law in addressing family violence within Afghan refugee and migrant communities in South Australia

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Abstract

This article uses doctrinal research and incorporates evidence from an empirical research project undertaken in 2019-20 to analyse the nature and dynamics of family violence in Afghan migrant and refugee communities in South Australia. This article aims to generate a new understanding of the potential role of Islamic law1 and community culture in addressing family violence. After briefly discussing family violence in Australia and the applicable Australian laws and procedures, the article then identifies factors contributing to the nature and dynamics of family violence in the South Australian Afghan community, namely cultural and religious barriers. The article analyses the community's engagement with the justice system and discusses strategies to improve engagement. The article argues that Islamic law itself, as a key part of Muslim community culture and as a code of conduct, can be central to effective strategies to prevent and reduce this form of violence. This functions alongside collaboration between Muslim community leaders and justice system personnel. As there are shared features among various Muslim communities in Australia, results of this research may also be relevant to other Afghan and Muslim migrant and refugee communities nationally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-343
Number of pages43
JournalAdelaide Law Review
Volume43
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • family violence
  • community engagement
  • Afghan migrants
  • Afghan refugees
  • South Australia
  • Muslim community culture

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