Yaseen, a seven year old boy was allegedly hit by his mother with a hammer, rolling pin, and a slipper. When nothing was to hand, she would punch him repeatedly. And her excuse is her frustration that he could not or would not memorise the Koran. Did this happen in a far flung country? No this happened in Cardiff, Wales. And she stands accused of his murder and trying to burn his remains.
Child abuse in the name of religion. Some may totally blame the mother, who is playing the religious minority card. Regarding discipline in Islam:
Abusing a muslim is not allowed. But “spankings” and appropriate discipline as means of correction are Islamic.
Hadith – Bukhari (#883) and Abu Dawud
Nafi’ said, “Ibn ‘Umar used to beat his children for mistakes in diction.”
The Prophet said: Order your children to pray at the age of seven. And beat them [lightly] if they do not do so by the age of ten. And separate them in their bedding.
The Prophet also gives excellent advice to avoid the face. Must have had a premonition of social services. If we are literal about the text the mother clearly went beyond the text in terms of brutality and age. I am not inclined to be kind however because the text is used to justify brutality to a child for the sake of faith.
Absolutely we would reasonably regard the chastisement of a child over this as child abuse. We may state that Muslim parents would and do could cherry pick and avoid this. Yet there is a reason why Muslim parents are keen for their children to memorise:
“The Quran will come on the Day of Judgment like a pale man saying to its companion, “Do you recognize me? I am the one who made you stay up at night and made you thirsty during the day. Today every merchant is after his merchandise and today I am for you behind every merchant.” Then he will be given dominion in his right hand and eternity in his left, and a crown of dignity will be placed upon his head, and his parents will be clothed with garments which far surpass everything to be found in this world. They will say, “O Lord, how did we earn this.” It will be said to them, “Because you taught your child the Quran.” [Al-Albaani: Saheeh] [Emphasis added]
The source for the above quote also mentions what some teachers think about beating as a teaching tool:
The most important difficulty is the weakness of the children’s abilities and their failure to achieve the desired progress in addition to dyslexia. Nevertheless, I know the best methods that suit each child and achieve the best results. In fact, children are very different, some of them do not memorize without beating, while others only need little instruction. It is natural to maintain a strong connection with the parents to encourage them to take care of their children and follow up their progress with them. [Emphasis added]
Another teacher – and both we hear from are women:
When the children hear these words, I feel as if light flows from their faces. I do not like beating. Instead, I punish the children who do not memorise through showing anger for a while.
This makes me call into question whether such things are happening on a widespread level in my own back yard behind closed doors. This is not the Sunday School I used to go to.
So when RDF says Religion Kills Again it is not the hyperbole some would have us think, that this was just the lone act of a crazed woman, because religion can take the maternal instinct and use it to make a mother beat her child out of love and concern for their future after life.
That is the problem when people take faith at face value, just like the prophet said earlier. Modernity needs to give this practise the slap in the face it deserves.
UPDATE 4/4/2013 mother has been sentenced to minimum of 17 years; father has been found not guilty.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog