CHILD ABUSE IN ISLAM
by Mumin Salih
13 Jan, 2009
Muslims are not the only people, who pass on their religious beliefs to children; this is a standard practice all over the world. But Islam is a very demanding religion even to adults and assumes total control of its adherents’ lives. Resulting from the mass immigration of Muslims to Western countries, millions of Muslim children now live in the West and their number is bound to increase. This situation creates a dilemma, to which the West is either oblivious or in denial: whilst Muslim children enjoy full protection of the Western laws, and, at the same time, they have to abide by Islamic laws. This article will shed some light on some practices that are forced upon Muslim children living in the West, which amount to "child abuse" of one form or another....
Muslims teach their children about the Satan, hell and paradise from the moment they start to communicate with them. These teachings are used as a means to discipline the children and encourage them to be obedient to parents. One of the first words Arab children learn is ‘haram’ meaning forbidden by Allah; indeed, it is one of the most commonly used words by the Arabs. From my own experience as an Arab, the peril of being burnt in hellfire was a real nightmare; it was used an intimidation tool by my elder relatives round the clock to make me listen to them, eat food, wash hands, do work, stop playing or go to bed.
As a child, I had a troubling feeling of guilt because I appeared to be doing wrong things most of the time. I had to struggle to suppress my worries that, unless I work very hard for the rest of my life, my ‘hasanat’ (good doings) vs. ‘sayaat’ (sins) balance may send me to hell. I was not the only child to have such concerns; other children had similar qualms, which we occasionally discussed with each other! Childhood is about playing and having fun with no worries whatsoever. However, Muslim children, even from the preschool age, have a great deal to worry about this life and the life after this. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to figure out that children do not go to hell anyway in Islam; it was, however, a little too late, because I had already grown up.
One of the most irrational things a Muslim child has to do is to memorize the Quran by heart. I consider myself to be lucky, because, in my days, we were only expected to memorize only a few chapters from the Quran, albeit from the last pages of the Koran that are in the difficult Meccan-style language. Nowadays, thanks to the resurgence of Islamic awareness, children are increasingly required to remember the whole Quran by heart! Memorizing an entire book, often in a foreign language and without understanding it, affects the child’s abilities to comprehend anything else. This memorizing ritual says it all about the Muslims' intellectual reasoning: read everything but understand nothing.
Ibadat: Prayers and Fasting
In theory, all ibadat, like prayers and fasting, are obligatory only to mature Muslims. However, parents are required, not only to teach, but also to force their children to perform those ibadat. According to Bukhari and Muslim and all other hadith books, Mohammed’s order is crystal clear in this regard: “teach your children how to pray from the age of seven, and beat them (if they don’t do it well) at the age of ten”.
Fortunately for me, my parents were not that keen and they did not beat me at all. However, an increasing number of Muslim parents nowadays do beat their children if they don’t pray. Only a few months ago, I heard of a Muslim professional with high level of education and good social standing, who was applying this Islamic rule on all his children. He was caught only when his eleven-year-old son suffered from serious injuries. The real shock, however, is that he is not alone, all strict Muslims would not hesitate to do it and they get away with it.
Young Muslim children in western schools perform prayers and do fasting, which can harm them. The schools do not only allow the children to suffer because of this practice but they also encourage it by providing the special time and special facilities. Soon, the fasting month of Ramadan will fall in the summer months with its long days, in some countries that means about eighteen hours of starvation! I know a Muslim who performs all five daily prayers in the mosque, which is about twenty minutes drive, he wakes up early in the morning to start his journey to the mosque, accompanied by his 14 years old son!
Do the western child protection organizations have the courage to protect these children from such suffering?
Muslim children are not allowed to join the others and enjoy the fun of playing with dolls or figures because Islam prohibits images of humans or animals. They are not allowed to watch popular children cartoons like the notorious Micky mouse, against which many fatwas have been issued. In Saudi Arabia, they discourage children from committing the sin of painting human or animal figures unless they draw a line across the neck as a sign that the figure has no life in it!...
Violence and Suicide bombing
Muslim children are indoctrinated to believe they are victims of world conspiracy that aims to eliminate them. They are regularly fed on the horrific and disturbing scenes of injuries, blood and death that even adults cannot watch. These children have learned Quranic verse 2:120 that tells them all about this secret world conspiracy: “.. the Jews and the Christians will never be happy about you unless you follow them...”
Having told the Muslims that everyone in the world hates them, the Quran now emphasises in a number of places that Muslims must never trust or befriend the others, like this verse 4:89 “ ....take them and kill them wherever you find them and choose no friends or helpers from them..”
The Quran repeats its orders in a dozen places; the message is important and clear: never trust the unbelievers no matter how nice they may appear to you, even if they were close family members. Verse 9:23 leaves no doubt about the gravity of this message of hate: “...O believers, do not take your fathers or brothers as allies and friends if they prefer to disbelieve...”
Do not be friendly with your father or brothers! So much for the family values in Islam.
Muslim children are often indoctrinated from an early stage to aspire to become martyrs; they have sometimes been used as suicide bombers. Hamas has pioneered the practice of using
young children as frontline soldiers during the Palestinian intifada. The Iranian clerical regime have created child-martyrs brigade. The basic human instinct, the civilized human responsibility, is to protect children during conflicts and wars; but the Islamists have reversed this natural human propensity and responsibility for pushing children to the front lines armed with stones, and sometimes explosive belts, to kill and be killed.
The shia Muslims mourn the death of Al Imam Al Hussain on ashoura day by going to the streets and start beating their chests. They use tools such as knives and swords to self inflict injuries and cause bloodshed, the scenes of blood and sufferings are not for the weak hearted. Shia children do not only see all this but sometimes they are also made to participate in it.