The threat from Sharia

Some of the crazy sh!t people believe and act on is derived from their religious traditions. That doesn’t make it any less crazy. Nor does calling out that craziness instantiate bigotry.

Fundamentalist Muslim parents in rural California, acting on what they understood as a divine commandment according to a book written by a crazy mullah, beat an adopted seven-year-old girl to death and seriously injured one of her step-sisters.

Oh, wait … Not Muslims, you say?

Never mind! After all, they were just carrying out a clear Biblical precept. If you object, you’re probably a secularist bigot like the rest of the liberal RBC crowd.

Footnote Of course this doesn’t implicate all Christians, or even all fundamentalists. But of course that’s the point. Just imagine Pam Geller if this had in fact been a Muslim couple. And the fact that some of the crazy sh!t people believe and act on is derived from their religious traditions doesn’t make it any less crazy, nor does calling out that craziness instantiate bigotry.

Note also that the people who justify discriminating against same-sex couples as adoptive parents would scream bloody murder if someone tried to screen out parents who believe in “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

10 thoughts on “The threat from Sharia”

  1. I confirm your point about the Muslim double standard and whacked-out fundamentalism but, IMHO, this story is just too horrible to use for snark. There’s no humor here on any level.

  2. Adoption agencies typically do try to screen out parents who believe in “spare the rod and spoil the child”. “Do you plan to use corporal punishment?” is a very common homestudy question.

  3. Adoption agencies typically do try to screen out parents who believe in “spare the rod and spoil the child”.

    They’ll have to brutalize the ones they birthed themselves, then.

    Serious question: Is anyone aware of a relationship between children who were, ahem, “disciplined” and tendency towards violent behavior?

  4. The slowly shifting norms of our diverse society are what scare the hebiejebies out of people like Pam Geller. Religious tolerance is one benefit of a secular society, but the Gellers of our nation can’t quite embrace such a notion when they don’t quite understand their own versions of fundamentalism, and how their ignorance damages others!

  5. @3:17 in the video….

    The Christian author says in response to what happens if a boy slugs his sister:
    We tell him violence is not accepted and then take in a back room and give him 15 licks…

    Noted without comment, except to point out this recent report:

    Chicks bullied and abused by older birds are more likely to do the same when they become adults, scientists have claimed. A study of a colony of Nazca Boobies, a seabird from the Galapogas Islands, discovered they follow a ‘cycle of violence’ similar to that sometimes found in humans. Older birds in this species often mistreat younger ones, behaviour scientists found was generally repeated through the generations.

  6. Corporal punishment is interesting. I often discuss this with my students – a population generally poor and behaviorally challenged. Almost all of them talk about physical punishment at home. I ask them whether or not they think it is effective, and whether they would pursue it as a parenting strategy, and almost all of them say they would. This is absurd notion, as they are terribly misbehaved and troubled youth.

    However, the real problem isn’t the beatings, but the lack of parenting skills, or just personal development more broadly, a problem selected for, and compounded by poverty. Interactions between parent and child are complicated, and involve modeling, trust, communication skills, etc. Often times, beatings are used as a sort of last resort, when the parent simply doesn’t know what else to do. Of course, this is terribly ineffective.

  7. Just realised my last point wasn’t exactly clear:

    The relationship between corporal punishment during childhood and later violence is noticeable even when there was only one instance of corporal punishment.

    Apologies for the earlier obscurity.

  8. I wonder if they home-schooled the kids. And if they belong to a church. You need some kind of healthy community to stamp this kind of thing out. Children have rights!

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