Militant Islamic child abuse

January 23, 2014 • 10:24 am
In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins described religious indoctrination of children as “child abuse.” He took a lot of flak for that, and I’m not sure whether I’d have used the term “abuse” (“indoctrination” may have promoted a more thoughtful discussion), but there are some cases in which it truly is abuse.  And those are the cases in which, from the get-go, the children are not only taught fables, but taught that those fables should make them hate and want to kill others who share different fables.
Here’s a prime example of such “othering”: a film promulgated and translated by MEMRI (yes, their translations have always been accurate) about the birth of a baby in Lebanon. Elder of Ziyon gives the background:
Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV recently reported on a baby born in a Lebanese hospital, filmed dressed in the military fatigues of Hizbullah. “Military fatigues were the first garment to touch his tender body,” said the reporter, adding that Mahdi “is a potential resistance fighter from the first hours of his life.”

Following are excerpts from the report, which aired on January 18, 2014:
Reporter: Mahdi welcomed us in his own special way. He did not wear the clothes usually reserved for newborn babies. Military fatigues were the first garment to touch his tender body. He is a potential resistance fighter from the first hours of his life.
Mother of newborn Mahdi: Nothing could be better than him becoming a soldier of Imam Mahdi. This reflects the continuation of the path of the Islamic resistance, one generation after another.
Reporter: Mahdi was the only baby born in Rasul Aatham Hospital today. His family received an exemption from all hospital bills, and their baby was awarded a gold necklace, inscribed with the name of the Prophet Muhammad.

Here’s the video showing early-stage child abuse:

In all likelihood, that child will imbibe with his mother’s milk the hatred of not only Jews, but of other sects of Muslims. That is child abuse.
And if that’s not enough, here are two photos from the official Fatah Facebook page (go see for yourself):
Fatah 2
h/t: Malgorzata

47 thoughts on “Militant Islamic child abuse

  1. Yes, it’s despicable. But it might not be deep belief at work so much as deep pressure and need.
    In some places where Hezbollah is in charge, whether officially or not, the pressure to conform is accompanied by financial pressure or reward. For some women on their own, especially, the only way they survive on their own–can find employment, for example, when it’s controlled by Hezbollah–is to take on the colors of the chameleon.
    Of course I have no idea whether this is the case here or not.

  2. In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins described religious indoctrination of children as “child abuse.” He took a lot of flak for that, and I’m not sure whether I’d have used the term “abuse” (“indoctrination” may have promoted a more thoughtful discussion), but there are some cases in which it truly is abuse.

    I prefer the term “mental child abuse” and suspect that if Dawkins had simply inserted the clarification then those who thought he was belittling physical child abuse or sexual child abuse would have kept silent. The only people he would have still had to deal with would be those who believe that religious indoctrination of children is a lovely and beautiful thing and a parental right (which is most people)and never a form of abuse.

    Yet I bet even many of these folks would blanch at the picture of the infant in military garb. For one thing, the religious aspect isn’t front and center — the political one is: future suicide bomber. And it’s rather clearly mental abuse (or will be when the baby grows up enough to become indoctrinated in hate.)

  3. Meh on dressing the newborn. That’s not the abuse. I agree it’s a sign that abuse is coming, but unless there was something physically dangerous about the cloth itself…meh.

    1. I agree. The abuse creeps up as the child grows and raises ever more sceptical questions about what he is told, but his enquiring mind is crushed into conformity, until another robotic soldier of the faith is programmed. The infant image is an early warning sign. The older children in the images are already deeply programmed.

    2. Would you say “meh” if the photo were of parents with their baby and a sign saying “We’re going to train this kid to blow himself up.”?

      1. It would still be “meh” for the clothing. Look, dressing newborns in odd clothing isn’t going to affect the newborns except in terms of keeping them warm and being soft vs. irritating against their skin. That baby simply isn’t going to be affected by the clothing choice his parents made. Its not abusing the kid.

        I agree that what it says about the parents implies abuse is on the way. I said that in my original message too. I’m not disputing it.

        1. But you didn’t answer my question. Would you say “meh” if the photo were of parents with their baby and a sign saying “We’re going to train this kid to blow himself up.”?

    3. That baby looks older than a day or two. Is it do different in the US where we have thousands of kids in military prep schools marching around in uniforms with toy guns.

      1. “That baby looks older than a day or two.”

        Oh! Then I guess there’s no problem here at all. We can all relax.

      2. Umm, paxton, you do realize the difference, right? We don’t dress newborn babies up in military uniforms, and we don’t give them automatic weapons and we don’t train them, in military schools, to kill themselves so they can also destroy lots of innocent civilians in restaurants?

        You do see the difference, don’t you? Or are you so morally obtuse that you really think that what is in this film and in the pictures is pretty much the same as what happens in the U.S.?

    4. I think Richard Dawkins did it right. We are having this discussion, because his slightly over-the-top remark made some people stop and think about this, even if they it made them angry at first. Had he called it “indoctrination”, it would be like “Oh that. We know. Problem?”, but by calling it “abuse” people saw this from a different perspective and I think after the anger died down a little, a lot more people can see the issues, whatever the term they chose. Ultimately, it’s not about the word, but the issue.

        1. I would say unequivocally that my religious indoctrination was abuse. I spent most of my childhood in perpetual terror of being endlessly tortured in Hell. At ages when other kids are thinking about what fun they can have, I was having an emotional break down over the likelihood that an infinity of torture lay in front of me. That’s abuse, full stop. It’s ‘mental’ abuse, sure, but I hesitate to even add that label because it can be taken as a softening qualifier and I don’t think it needs one. I think it was every bit as painful and damaging as some cases of physical or sexual abuse (though of course many cases are much worse, the pit of depravity being essentially bottomless).

          Now there are some milder presentations of religion than I received, and for some of those people their indoctrination might just be a minor impediment in life, like an overly protective parent, or going to a sub-par school. Your reasoning is addled, perhaps, but you weren’t traumatized. But for a great many children, the nature of the beliefs they are indoctrinated in are quite terrible and very damaging.

        2. The newborn can’t even process 3-dimensional images. It doesn’t know what things in its field of vision are part of its body and what things aren’t. It doesn’t understand what it’s seeing. It has no context to understand what the clothing means. How exactly do you think picking fatigues over a bunny suit or other type of clothing is causing the child mental abuse?

          1. I was speaking of religion in genereal. The kid in military fatigues hardly cares about clothing.

  4. I agree with Dawkins on this one. Indoctrination translates to abuse. Just think of the gay children who grow/grew up hating themselves because they were told being themselves was ‘evil’. The masses of women who gave up education. Others who were taught they needed to cover their heads because their existence is secondary to that of men- they’re the ones who must hide lest some man find them attractive. How about all the people who chose not to use condoms because of what the Catholic church said… It’s not just child abuse, it’s life abuse, and the consequences often stick around forever.

    1. I agree with Dawkins as well on this and Sastra’s point above is valid as well. It is mental abuse or psychological abuse and sometimes psychological abuse can be worse than physical abuse because it lasts a lifetime in most circumstances (physical abuse often includes psychological abuse).

      How can it be anything but psychologically abusive to deny your child the skills to reason about all things and to question all things? How can it be anything but psychological abuse to teach your child to fear hell and in Christian religions to teach your child that he/she is a sinner just by being born. Bearing the label of “sinner” has to have a deleterious affect.

      1. I agree. Not every kind of abuse is the same, even within a category. Some religious indoctrination is clearly worse than others, just as some physical abuse is worse than others, etc. So it’s hard to compare categories clearly given the huge range of intensity within each category. Still, I’d say that at least 1/3 of the Christian children in this country are being unequivocally abused by their indoctrination, and the remaining are, if not unequivocally abused, at least having their potential curtailed by teaching them wrong ideas about how the world works.

  5. The two kids with guns would look funny, if it was not for the case that their situation is wholly psychotic and shameful to everything that is fair in our shared existence.

    1. I wonder what the position/perspective of National Gun (Weapon) Association movers and shakers is on “indoctrinating” youngsters.

      1. Some few years ago they were behind the marketing of a new doll for boys along GI Joe lines called something like “Hunter Gary.” Does that count?

      1. I kind of like the fun fact one: “So far this year more Americans have been killed on US soil by toddlers than terrorists.”

  6. This reminds me of a passage in the documentary Jesus Camp. Okay, not quite as abusive but in that passage the same spirit (if I may) is there: Jesus Camp – Faith of a Terrorist. Admittedly, it is not quite as abusive of children, but it is indocrination and child abuse without a doubt, in a country that hasn’t known war on its own land and which hasn’t constantly been under threat for over sixty years.

    1. I went to a Southern Baptist summer camp for four summers. That experience, plus subsequent involvement with that particular sect, was pressure enough. Nothing compared to what these young’uns are going to have to deal with.

  7. Cover them women up; don’t’ give an education so you can keep them suppressed to achieve their agenda. What kind of a religion is that and what kind of religious leaders are they? I thought Tamil Tiger baby brigade was bad!

    1. I believe you might be referring to a scene in the film _Kandahar_, filmed in a refugee camp at the Afghanistan-Iran border. Parents were desperate to get their kids in that so-called school, because they got fed and clothed. The price of attendance is this indoctrination–besides learning to recite the Koran (not read it), they were taught the parts of a AK 47. It’s truly frightening and deplorable, but it’s mostly tragic.

    1. They were imaginary Indians, though. In the 1900s, all tribes were “dealt with”, and no “wild injuns” were left for you to grow up and shoot. It was historical play acting — not good, but not nearly equal to what Jerry is sharing.

  8. From the musical, “South Pacific”:

    “You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear,
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year to year,
    It’s got to be drummed
    In your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
    Before you are six or seven or eight,
    To hate all the people your relatives hate,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught!”

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