Religion Harms

Two more for the collection.

I’d say three, for the white supremacist who shot up a Sihk temple in Wisconsin on his “holy war” against non-whites, but it hasn’t been made clear yet, which religion he claims to be fighting for. There’s an argument to be made that the white supremacists are a cult, however for the purposes of my Religion Harms list, until I have an “official” religion to list his crazy under, it’ll stay off.

We have two horrific examples, both from Islam. One occured in Russia, the other in Pakistan. [Both are from Butterflies and Wheels, a fantastic blog that I suggest you read, if you don’t do so already.]

In Russia:

“A self-proclaimed prophet had a vision from God: He would build an Islamic caliphate under the earth. The digging began about a decade ago, and 70 followers moved into an eight-level subterranean honeycomb of cramped cells with no light, heat or ventilation.

Children were born. They, too, lived in the cold underground cells for many years — until authorities raided the compound last week and freed 27 sons and daughters of the sect. Ages 1 to 17, the children rarely saw the light of day and had never left the property, attended school or been seen by a doctor, officials said Wednesday.”

On to Pakistan

“The report of an autopsy performed on Salma, 13, stated that she had died from suffocation. It said the girl’s breathing was hampered by blocking her nostrils with cotton buds and holding her mouth shut. The autopsy, carried out at Cheechwatni tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospital, confirmed that her skin was burnt with a hot iron rod. The report said there were bruises on the girl’s arms, face and chest.”

“Hussain said he had accepted the death as God’s will and not reported the matter to the police. He and his wife Khursheed Bibi had taken the girl to the pir ‘to evict djinns who had possessed her’. He said a relative had referred her to the pir. “He told me that the pir was an expert in evicting djinns and did not charge anything for his services,” he said. Hussain said he and Khursheed Bibi were called to the room, where exorcism was underway, at around 4am and told that the djinns had been evicted. “The pir said we could take her away and warned us against uncovering her body, wrapped from head to toe in a piece of white cloth,” he added. He said the pir immediately left the room afterwards. “He had fled by the time we found out that she was dead,” he said.

Hussain said the girl was tied to a charpoy and burned with a heated iron rod. He said the pir had poured red chilli powder on parts of the girl’s body before burning them with the rod. He said the parents were made to leave the room after midnight. “He told us to wait outside. He said it was not safe in the room,” he added. Khursheed Bibi said the girl had frequently complained of body aches and at times could not speak properly. She said they were certain she had been possessed as several doctors had failed to cure her illness.”

Why is child abuse SUCH a pervasive theme with religion?

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