The core system of many Islamic cultures is characterised by a hierarchical system of intimate relationships within the extended family and Islamic communities. Islamic culture is group oriented and individuals live in a symbiotic relationship. There are certain role expectations, strong family ties and each individual is expected to obey his/her role. Islam prohibits celibacy as a form of religious practice. Sex is considered a core value, a blessing from God, pleasurable, spiritual and a duty of each Muslim. Sex is only allowed in within marriage with an emphasis on commitment and responsibility towards spouse and children.
Women and men have their own sexual rights and obligations. Both parties should fulfil each other’s need. Contrary to some western ideas that women in the east are passive and subservient, women play an active role in this hierarchical system. Children are considered a blessing and are cherished as a ‘gift’ from God. Both parents have important role in upbringing their children and are responsible for their wellbeing even if the child is no longer a ‘child’. By contrast children are commanded by God to respect and take care of their parents in old age.
These cultural values and traditions provide Muslim families security and safety. If this security system has deteriorated for any reason, it is difficult for a family member to depart from this collective identification. In addition some of these cultural values are interpreted in the west as dependent, uncivilised and rigid which have had significant impact on integration of Muslims in the west. Working with Muslim clients, in the context of a secular Western society, requires a particular knowledge and understanding of the clients’ religious, cultural and political background. A failure to consider these values might leave Muslim communities isolated affecting their integration in western societies.
This presentation, "Responding to the needs of consumers with complex trauma histories a consumer perspective" focuses on the needs of adult survivors of child abuse, highlighting the frequent