With the spate of crime reaching an alarming level in the Western Cape, a mosque in Retreat has taken up the task of giving power to women in communities by introducing a self defence course. Al Munowar masjid based in Retreat, has created a Silat self defence course for women designed to teach them how to protect themselves.
“We feel like we need to empower women as they are not equipped to defend themselves in a dangerous situation. There are a lot of cases where women tend to conceal their abuse. We want to show them how to defend themselves by giving them the tools and showing them how easy it is if they know how,” explained Silat trainer Faheem Jackson.
Jackson believes women ought to be respected and if their rights are violated, they need to be able to stand up for themselves. The training will be guided by the imam of the masjid, Maulana Irshaad Sedick, who initiated the idea to conduct the course. Silat is the martial arts fighting style originating from Indonesia and Malaysia. Silat was apparently developed by a woman in Indonesia. The course intends to teach women how to deal with aggression, unleash their fighting spirit and also how to control it.
The course will be combining elements of different styles of Silat, showing people how to apply the basic techniques like using by body as a weapon. “We hope to expose the wisdom behind the martial art,” said Jackson. The lessons will be given inside the masjid and although the course is designed for women in mind, men are also invited.
“When we sent the request to the masjid, Maulana Irshaad said he felt like the course should be open to males and females because the males will feel left out. This is why it is open to all but it is going to be designed to show how easy it is for a weaker person to defend themselves against a stronger person,” said Jackson.
He stressed that self-defence has become a necessity and is not a sport anymore. The shocking rate of domestic abuse and rape against women in the Western Cape was clear evidence of this need. “Learning self defence is something communities should take note of as it is important for people to defend themselves against any form of aggression.”
The course will take place on the 29th June, 6th July and 13th July at Masjid Munowar from 19h30 until 22h00 and will cost R100 per person. For more information people call Faheem Jackson on 071 869 8240. VOC (Tashneem Abrahams)
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