The girls do pretty well, but not perfectly. Although they fall short, and frequently miss words and lines, surely it would be a bit unreasonable for me to beat them to death for not performing better.
But change the book, and suddenly the need for kids to study the text deeply and perhaps even learn it by heart is deemed crucial by the most pious of the faithful. So crucial that if junior fails, physical punishment may be in order. And, in rare cases, death.
So I give you … the mother who beat who beat her seven-year-old son to death for failing to learn the Qur’an by heart — and who then burned his body in an attempt to hide her crime.
Upon hearing her sentence (life in jail with the possibility of parole),
Sara Ege, 33, collapsed and had to be helped sobbing from the dock after being told on Monday she would serve 17 years before she could be considered for parole.
Cardiff crown court heard that Ege treated her son Yaseen “like a dog” when he struggled to memorise passages of the holy book of Islam. She beat him on the hands and his body until he collapsed on the floor of his bedroom and died.
Ege used barbecue lighting gel to set fire to the boy’s body to try to conceal what she had done. Initially emergency services believed he had been killed in a fire at the family home in Pontcanna, Cardiff. But a postmortem revealed he had died before the fire had begun and had suffered multiple injuries to his body caused by three months of physical punishment.
Did no one notice? Yes, but no one helped. Every adult in his life failed the boy, starting with his own mother.
A teaching assistant at the boy’s school noticed that his handwriting was deteriorating and discovered he was using his left hand because it was too painful for him to use his right. On another occasion Ege was called into school because [Yaseen] was in too much pain to sit. She moved him to a new school.
And soon it was too late.
Ege initially felt twinges of remorse when she beat Yaseen all over his body. Now and then, she’d promise herself she’d stop, but the anger was a rush — a form of letting go.
As her violence spiraled more and more out of control, Ege’s sense that she was responsible for her own actions gave way to religion’s most delusional and fatal side:
She claimed she had been urged on by the devil and bad spirits. At one point she believed the stick she used to punish her son was possessed by an evil spirit.
She hadn’t done it — the devil had. But the court didn’t buy it, and it’ll be 2030 or later before Sara Ege is a free woman again.
P.S.: It happens among (so-called) Christians too: