OVER THE PAST FEW
months, I have watched bits of programs on a channel called
southeastern corner of Michigan beats the industrial heart of
America's "Motor City" - Detroit. And on the outskirts of town
is the headquarters of the city's primary animal welfare agency,
run by the nonprofit Michigan Humane Society (MHS).
Cops: Detroit follows the MHS's
animal cruelty investigators as they track down animal abusers
and bring them to justice.
It was fascinating
to see all these different men and women who do their best with
the provided resources to help the neglected, and sometimes
battered, creatures. Their genuine concern for animals was always
evident from their body language.
Such shows always
bring back a rotten memory or two from my life among the Ummah. In
a topsy-turvy reality, Western society tries to provide a
comfortable life for animals whereas the Islamic World has rules
about wife-beating and where children are treated with mindless
ONE OF MY RELATIVES
was having a conversation with my dad in 1996. My dad was being
updated about all the different family members and their present
situations. The talk soon turned to one of my uncles who, at the
time, had been recently married. This guy told my dad in a most
nonchalant manner, "He beats his wife practically everyday."
"Tsk tsk, that's
not good," said my dad.
Then, they moved on
to other topics.
DURING THE SUMMER
OF 1995 in Lahore, Pakistan, my mom asked me to come with her to a
nearby town as she was going to meet a tailor. My leg was aching
but I agreed anyway. A few minutes later our car stopped in front
of the tailor's house. My mom went in as I stood outside with our
transport. It was a bright sunny day and not a single structure
with more than two stories could be seen in that village.
Suddenly, a wailing
noise broke the calm. It was coming from the street at my
front-right. Soon, a child, who was at most five, emerged from
there. He was crying his lungs out. Behind him, I guess, was his
father. He was ferociously yelling at the kid. The weeping boy
kept on walking as his dad approached him from behind. Then, he
hit his kid on the back of the head with such revolting force that
the frail boy practically leapt forward and landed on his face.
The crying stopped
for a moment. The boy got up and started to weep and walk again.
And again that man would menacingly catch up to him and
sickeningly smack him with brutal power. It was not the first and
likely not the last time that he had hit a kid. In public. No-one
in the neighborhood stopped the brutal beating or even uttered a
word of disapproval. There were no Kid Cops who could
rescue that young boy from his gruesome fate.
IN AN OLD POST, I
described the barbaric behavior of teachers in my Muslim school. I
ended that piece with this:
Some of you might
be asking, "How could the parents allow this barbarity to
continue in schools?" You naively assume that such violence is
limited to schools in Muslim lands.
I've been hit with
the following list of things. By some magical coincidence, the
people responsible -- parents, teachers or relatives -- were all
adherents of the Religion of Peace.
Hands. On many occasions I was
smacked across the face. Most of the time, I didn't even know
that I had done anything wrong.
Footwear: flip-flops, slippers,
boots etc. My dad lovingly used to call the procedure
Clothes Hangers. Lots of 'em;
mostly plastic. A few hits would break the hanger right in the
middle at its horizontal part. It would leave burning pain;
often I'd sob and go to sleep.
Sticks. All sorts of varieties:
small, thick, rounded, long, taped. In Urdu, a stick is called a
dunda. I got the dunda treatment almost
exclusively from my teachers. What did I do to "deserve" the
punishment? Take your pick: failed a test, couldn't recite or
write a verse from the Quran, didn't do an assignment,
collective corporal treatment for everyone in the class because
of excessive noise.
Spoon. A stainless steel spoon to
be precise. It was hurled from across the room and I
instinctively raised my arms to protect my skull. It hit me on
my elbow and my mouth was wide open for a few moments but not a
single sound came out. There was some bleeding.
Water Pipe. A
stainless steel water pipe to be precise. After being hit on
my left leg, I couldn't walk for the rest of the day. The
affected area was bruised and I had trouble walking comfortably
for a couple of weeks.
I'm fortunate to be
no longer around such viciousness and to point it out.
However, today literally tens of millions of kids within Islamic
borders are subjected to such vile brutality. The overwhelming
majority grow up and internalize this loathsome pathology, instead
of rejecting it.
utilized in countless Muslim-majority schools -- not just the
madrassas -- to keep pupils "in line" and in most homes to
restrain a "disobedient" wife or raise "honorable" children.
Non-Muslims have to
ask themselves: When most of the Ummah treats their own offspring
with such an abhorrent passion, then what is in store for those
whom the Muslims hate?