Why is it that we so often hear of Muslim children being subjected to severe physical abuse in Madrassahs or Islamic educational institutions, in Islamic countries and here in the West? Instead of receiving bad marks on their school papers for alleged poor academic performance, these children are instead receiving bad marks on their frail little bodies from their teachers, sometimes to the point of death.
Here’s why. Hitting children is religiously mandated in Islam and is often quite severe. According to the following Hadith on prayer (Abu-Dawud): ”The Prophet said: ‘Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven and hit them if they if they do not do so by the age of ten…’ “
Similarly, in the Umdat al-Salik or Reliance of the Traveller —a 14th century manual of Islamic law certified in 1991 as a reliable guide to Sunni Islam by Cairo’s al-Azhar University, Egypt’s highest religious authority—we find the following: “F1.2—When a child with discrimination (O: meaning he can eat, drink, and clean himself after using the toilet unassisted) is seven years of age, he is ordered to perform the prayer, and when ten, is beaten for neglecting it (N: not severely, but so as to discipline the child, and not more than three blows).”
In line with the two above-mentioned venerated Islamic texts, is Fatwa 127233—“How do we smack children to make them pray” (Fatwa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 13/2 by Shaykh al-Fawzaan), which states that: “Smacking (lightly) is one of the means of child rearing. The teacher may smack, the trainer may smack, the guardian may smack for disciplinary purposes…” And the same Fatwa 127233 (Fatwa al-Subki, 1/379) states that: “With regard to smacking a child for not praying, it is stipulated that the smacking should be light and should not be painful and should not break the skin or break a tooth or bone. It should be on the back or the hand and the like, and the face is to be avoided because it is forbidden to strike it, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) forbade that. It should not be more than ten blows, and it should be done for the purpose of discipline and teaching. So he (the parent etc) should not show his desire to punish, except when there is a need to show that, such as if the child is turning away from prayer and forsaking it, and the like.”
Given these three highly venerated Islamic sources, is it any wonder why a seven-year Muslim old boy was beaten to death and then set on fire by his own mother in the UK in July 2010 simply because he had trouble memorizing the Koran? According to the aforementioned Islamic texts, it is an obligation for parents and teachers to hit children for prayer neglect, because the Prophet Mohammed deemed it so. For those strict followers of the Koran and the Sunnah (how the Prophet lived his life), the Prophet is viewed as the sacred role model of all mankind, to be emulated in every way. Whatever He says, goes. Therefore, child beating becomes allowed for prayer neglect at the age of ten.
However, sanctioning child beating under one circumstance and beginning at a certain age, is effectively a green light to beat children under other circumstances at any age. Violations lead to more violence. An 11-year-old Egyptian boy was kicked to death in 2008 for not doing his Math homework. His killer was sentenced to only a six year prison term. In 2011, an Egyptian kindergarten teacher was arrested for repeatedly hitting five to six-year-old petrified and crying children with a wooden ruler, hitting the girls harder while yanking them by the hair.
In Egypt, educators continue to inflict pain upon their students despite the 2008 amendment to Egypt’s Child Law, Article 96, which stipulates that an educator who hurts a child at a school or care institution will receive a six-month prison sentence. This inhumane way of disciplining students is not restricted to Egypt, nor is it restricted to countries governed by Shariah, but also exists in Islamic schools throughout the Western world.
In January of this year, a female Islamic teacher was caught on video at an undisclosed location, hitting the hands and whipping the soles of the feet of her young crying students who were recoiling at the pain from the wooden bat. And just this past week, an Egyptian teacher was video-recorded beating one of his students outside a school. Where is the humanity?
Humane laws of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are not meant to be followed in Egypt or in other pro-Shariah countries. Why? Because in countries governed by Shariah, all man-made laws, which include our basic human rights and freedoms, run counter to Shariah, the laws of Allah, and are superseded and made obsolete.
Shariah Law has been established as the supreme law of the land, for all countries, for all peoples, by the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which was issued by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1990. Man-made laws therefore carry no validity in Shariah countries and are subject to Shariah. Following man-made laws is considered apostasy from Islam. In some Islamic countries, like Pakistan and Iran, apostasy is punishable by death.
The recent Islamist ascent to power throughout Africa and parts of Asia brings with it a strict implementation of Shariah. It should come as no surprise that Islamic teachers in not only Islamic countries, but Western countries as well, are allowed to beat children in Islamic schools because it is religiously mandated in Islam, by the Prophet himself.
The harder the OIC pushes for a worldwide caliphate governed by Shariah, the more we will see Shariah creep into the West. Where there is Shariah, there is violation of human rights. To protect our children and others against abuse from Shariah in the Western world, we must push for legislation that will ban the implementation of Shariah in our state, province or region, while we still have the freedoms to do so…for now.
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