Home»Commentary»Houston Child Abuse Case Uncovers Larger Issues No One Wants To Face

Houston Child Abuse Case Uncovers Larger Issues No One Wants To Face

Pinterest WhatsApp

On Tuesday, a mother in Texas pleaded guilty to severe abuse of her fourteen-year-old daughter, including choking, beating, and even burning. The case is horrifying enough in itself, but it uncovers even deeper issues that no one in American public life has yet shown any willingness to face. Eventually, however, these issues will become unavoidable and obvious to everyone.

Click2Houston reported Tuesday that Sittarh Mazhar Khan, a Muslim woman in Kingwood, Texas, a section of Houston, “is accused of beating, choking, and burning her 14-year-old daughter in October of last year.” At a hearing on her case, an officer explained that “the defendant, upset the complainant did not wear her hijab at school, beat and choked the complainant, causing her to lose consciousness.”

As if that weren’t bad enough, Khan also became enraged after her daughter overcooked some pita bread. She then “forced the complainant’s arm onto a hot oven rack, causing her to have three burn marks.” Yet for all this, Khan received only cursory punishment: “Khan’s plea agreement includes deferred adjudication for three years. During that time, she has to complete 100 hours of community service, donate $100 to the Houston Food Bank, cannot use drugs or alcohol and must attend a 4-hour anger management class.”

Not only is that a ridiculously light sentence in light of what Sittarh Khan did, it is also undeniable that none of it is going to ensure that Khan won’t engage in this kind of behavior again. That’s because none of it addresses why this happened in the first place. The prohibition on drugs and alcohol is entirely irrelevant, as Khan didn’t abuse her daughter while drunk or high. The anger management class is likewise beside the point, as Khan is unlikely to have acted upon a fit of uncontrollable rage. Nothing in Khan’s sentence addresses the fact that she treated her daughter this way because of principles and assumptions derived from Islamic texts and teachings. No one involved in this case, aside from the defendant herself and her friends and family, was likely aware of that, or would have dared to address it if he had been.

The daughter is the victim here, but it is hard not to have some sympathy for Sittarh Mazhar Khan, who is likewise a victim of a culture that has passed on this kind of behavior from generation to generation for centuries. She was likely treating her daughter the way she herself was treated when she was a teenager. The abuse of women is hard-wired into Islamic texts, and so has gone on unchallenged for generations.

The Qur’an teaches that men are superior to women and should beat those from whom they “fear disobedience”: “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” (4:34) This is not a dusty text that has been ignored ever since it was written. Even the prophet of Islam is said to have acted in accord with it. Muhammad’s child bride, Aisha, says in a hadith that Muhammad “struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: ‘Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?’” (Sahih Muslim 2127)

Another hadith states: “Rifa’a divorced his wife whereupon AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. `Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s Messenger came, Aisha said, ‘I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!’” (Sahih Bukhari 7.77.5825)

Imagine a different world, in which Texas authorities read out such texts and others like them in the courtroom during the trial of Sittarh Khan. If they had done so, at very least Khan’s sentence would have been different, and would not have wasted so much time on irrelevant provisions. Some people also might have begun to ponder the larger implications, for women and for the nation in general, of the wisdom of opening our doors to mass Muslim migration. Eventually, these issues will become a matter of national discussion, for Sittarh Khans will be all over the country, and there will even be calls for the repeal of laws criminalizing the abuse of women. Despite the warning signs of Sittarh Khan’s case, however, it is still true that no one sees that coming.

Article posted with permission from Pamela Geller

The Washington Standard

Previous post

Mike Johnson Goes Full Neocon, Nikki Haley May as Well Be House Speaker

Next post

Who’s Really to Blame for Columbine? The Media