The Dangers of Underage Religioning

What is worrying to me is that this sort of abuse (see below) is not only physical, but emotional and mental… and it is thosee latter types of abuse that are so much more difficult to detect…

Reposted from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080925/od_nm/us_ceremonyodd_1)

Muslim sentenced for religious ceremony “cruelty”

Thu Sep 25, 12:55 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) – A Muslim, convicted of child cruelty after encouraging two boys to flail themselves during a religious ceremony, was given a 26-week suspended jail term on Wednesday.

Syed Mustafa Zaidi, 44, of Eccles,Manchester, had pushed the boys into whipping themselves with chains fitted with curved blades at the ends during an annual Shia Muslim ceremony.

The boys, aged 13 and 15, needed hospital treatment after their mother found them suffering from several deep wounds on their backs and multiple slash wounds.

Zaidi had used the Zangeer Zani flail on himself during the ceremony at aManchester center in January, before being stopped by other members of the Muslim community. He then encouraged the boys to flagellate themselves instead.

Community members stepped in again to help the youngsters.

Zaidi was found guilty of two counts of child cruelty at Manchester Crown Court in August. He was given a 26-week prison sentence suspended for a year, the Press Association reported.

“I reject the suggestion that they were forced to participate, although I consider it likely that the fervor of events is also likely to have affected their wish to participate,” said Judge Robert Atherton.

“It should be clearly understood by everyone that the jury’s verdict was not a comment upon that ceremony and no-one should misinterpret it as being such.”

Zaidi was also banned from allowing or encouraging anyone under the age of 16 to beat themselves during the next 12 months.

After his conviction, the General Secretary of the Jaffria Islamic Center said there had been similar previous cases which had not been brought to court.

“We have to take into account people’s beliefs and their rights, and we will respect them,” he said in a statement.

“But we are not above the law and we never will be and working with the authorities is the best chance we’ve got to prevent any harm being brought against any children.

“The best way of achieving our aims now is to try and understand the law better and work within the law to move forward.”

(Reporting by Michael Holden)

2 Responses

  1. “Zaidi was also banned from allowing or encouraging anyone under the age of 16 to beat themselves during the next 12 months.”

    What? next 12 months? That should be forever and always.

    “We have to take into account people’s beliefs and their rights, and we will respect them”

    NO! These are bad ideas. Being free to belive whatever you want only allows the possibility to be rediculed. And here two young adolescents have been lead to participate. Religion is clearly not a private matter..

    Persons are worth respect, not their beliefs (mine neither) because beliefs are by definition something you can respect. When this is insisted opon, as for the case of religion, there is no chance of dialog, reasoning or improvment as ideas are protected by unjustified respect and moral relativism.

  2. I find it appalling that children are used as expressions of their parents’ faith. How is this any different from the binding of Isaac and Jephthah’s sacrifice of his daughter in the Christian bible? Children are not objects to be used as convenient for the faithful. It is, in my mind, a terrible crime.

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