• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Daily Mail and Police on “Bizarre Religious Ritual” and Girl’s Murder

From the Daily Mail:

Religious ritual believed to be behind death of girl who was found with her heart cut out and other organs strewn round home

Neighbours of a mother arrested after her four-year-old daughter was killed as an apparent religious offering told how they heard screams from the family’s flat.

Nusayba Bharuchi’s corpse was found stabbed to death in the kitchen with her heart and other organs cut out and strewn around her flat and lying next to her mother, Shayna.

The 35-year-old woman was allegedly chanting verses of the Koran as her daughter’s disembowelled corpse lay next to her in the home in Clapton, East London.

The woman, believed to be from Somalia, had her MP3 on full blast as she listened to the Muslim holy book…

The headline has been changed from:

‘Mother cuts out heart of daughter, 4, as she listens to recording of Koran in ritual killing’

A Mirror report has a direct quote from the police:

A police source said: “It appears to be some sort of bizarre ritual killing.

“She was chanting passages of the Koran while listening to a recording of the text on her MP3 player.”

Naturally, the story has been picked by anti-Islam activists;  in the USA, Robert Spencer has a blog entry using the same original headline, minus the quotation marks that show that it’s an allegation rather than a proven fact. Says Spencer, sarcastically:

There is nothing in the Qur’an about cutting your daughter’s heart out. However, one wonders why the peaceful verses of the Book of Peace didn’t pacify this mother and deter her from this horrific murder.

Pamela Geller, meanwhile, hints that Muslims are to blame for the murder for having the Koran:

That is one hell of a book they got there.

However, the Mail‘s sensationalised report – as ever – requires some caution. Even Spencer concedes that ritual human sacrifice does not form any part of Islam, and I haven’t been able find any comparable reports from Somalia suggestive that a heterodox form of the religion might have played a role. Secondly, the woman’s partner and the police arrived after the killing. Although the police are not looking for anyone else, we don’t yet know for sure whether the mother was the killer, or, even if she was, whether she was listening to or reciting the Koran during the act itself. In any case, intelligent observers would more likely to see “mental illness” as “behind death of girl” rather than “religious ritual”.

The Mail’s headline recalls the notorious 2005 Evening Standard headline “Children Sacrificed in London Churches, Say Police“; I blogged on this here. The Daily Mail also stoked fears of an Islamic ritual killing last year, as I blogged here.

(Incidentally, Spencer never contradicted Rifqa Bary’s belief – fed to her by evangelical pastors – that her parents wished to kill her because it be would be an especially “great honour” for them to do so, since she was the the first Christian in her family for “150 generations”.)

12 Responses

  1. …..In any case, intelligent observers would more likely to see “mental illness” as “behind death of girl” rather than “religious ritual”.

    Absolutely spot on, well said….

  2. Naturally, the story has been picked by anti-Islam activists; in the USA, Robert Spencer

    And you know, Bob Spencer picks up on a lot of anti-Islam stories. The one about the cold blooded murder of some 60 Christians in an Iraqi church by jihadists a few weeks back comes to mind.

    You can’t get more anti-islam than that, can you?

    You see, it was clear that the dozen or so attackers at the church were mentally ill.

    Just as the attackers on 911 were all mentally ill.

    None of these incidents have anything whatsoever to do with Islam because islam is absolutely perfect.

    Any unfortunate incidents that do occur are the result of either misunderstanding islam or of being mentally ill.

    Let’s all be very clear about that.

    • June–the reminder of Rifqa Bary is sound. Even if the Bary family is accepted as having a death wish toward their daughter–there is nothing to substantiate that this death-wish derives in any way from Islam.

      To go from a scene in which a Muslim mother is found with her dismembered child’s body to an assumption of some Muslim ritual is a great leap. Is there some known ritual of child murder and dismemberment? No more than there is a Muslim ritual of battering one’s child with a laptop computer.

      If Spencer were indeed an expert on Islam–as opposed to an anti-Islamic propagandist–an appropriate role in response to such incidents would be to offer up an explanation of what meaning or obligation would be attached to such things. There is a difference between people who are Muslims doing bad things and people doing bad things because they are Muslim. Both you and Spencer deal in the latter, based, apparently, in a firm belief that people who are Muslim do bad things. This belief requires no explanation linked to an understanding of how doing such bad things might make sense within a system of belief. For you and Spencer it is enough that the people are Muslim.

      Should a person declare themselves to no longer be a Muslim (like Rifqa or Shoebat), they will cease to do bad things. It strikes me that June and Spencer accept these things as tenets of a belief system of their own. No explanation provided or necessary. Simply an affirmation of faith.

  3. This conference was a resounding success. Unions leaders, centrist politicians, feminists, writers, philosophers and even a marxist or two giving the straight dope to an audience keenly aware of the new nazi menace.

    http://www.bivouac-id.com/billets/suivez-en-direct-les-assises-internationales-sur-lislamisation-sur-internet/#comments

  4. Interestingly, I read the following article looking at the ‘psyche’ of suicide bombers, the premise being that they they simply desire to commit suicide:

    Boston Globe – The truth about suicide bombers

  5. In June’s little world, mental illness simply doesn’t exist.
    I wonder why?

  6. In June’s little world, mental illness simply doesn’t exist.
    I wonder why?

    Oh it does exist and it is far more widespread than you could ever imgaine.

    Just ask psychiatrist and ex-Muslim Wafa Sulan.

  7. June–the reminder of Rifqa Bary is sound. Even if the Bary family is accepted as having a death wish toward their daughter–there is nothing to substantiate that this death-wish derives in any way from Islam.

    All four schools of islamic jurisprudence advocate the death penalty for apostasy.

    In other words, Muslim “theologians” are virtually unanimous that apostates should be murdered.

    It doesn’t get any clearer than that, and yet you still persist in your studied denial of irrefutable realities.

    Just ask psychiatrist and ex-Muslim Wafa Sulan.

    No.

    Why not, dogsbody?

    Scared shitless you’ll get a peek at something you’d rather not see?

    • June–I hope your holidays were enjoyable.

      American jurisprudence appreciates the difference between murder and capital punishment. I have no doubt that the schools of Islamic jurisprudence do likewise. Not that I believe you actually know much of anything about any of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence–that particular soundbyte being well-worn and often posted by your friend Pam. I am no expert, either, however I do know that there is a difference between a minor’s acceptance of Christianity and apostasy. And in the Bary case, there is no judgment of apostasy, no fatwah. Only the angry and disappointed parents of an American-raised teenager turning away from the faith of her family–and in doing so consorting secretly with older men met on the internet and at the OSU campus.

      Pam Geller got a big popularity boost from the Bary case, and her subsequent organizing against the mosque in New York. Sorry to report, that doesn’t make her any more right. It only makes her a media wh___ willing to exploit a family confict to further her own noteriety. Without the involvement of Geller and a few other key right-wing religio-political groups, Ms. Bary might have been reunited with not only her family, but also her friends and community in Columbus. She might also have received appropriate care for her medical conditions.

      But don’t let that knowledge interfere with the Geller agenda.

  8. de boefen hebbben bij ons ingebrooken ze hadden geld gestoolen en wat siraden en nog meer

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