Cultural Differences and Child Abuse

Posted by Karla Kellam
9/20/2013 8:24 AM  RssIcon

In Utah, a man did not lose custody of his children when it was found he had whipped them with an extension cord due to cultural differences.

South Salt Lake police investigated a case of alleged child abuse that they say was not so straightforward.

A man accused of whipping his two stepsons with an electrical cord was not arrested and did not lose custody of the children because police said he is an immigrant and didn't understand U.S. law.

An officer recently spotted an 8-year-old boy wandering the streets and asked him what was wrong. The boy showed the officer bruising and welts on his back and arms.

Sgt. Gary Keller of the South Salt Lake Police Department said the boy's 11-year-old brother had the same.

The boys said their stepfather, who recently emigrated from sub-Sahara Africa, frequently whipped them with an electrical cord. Keller said police investigated and learned the stepfather was unaware of U.S. laws or what is considered too harsh according to American standards.

“He did go too far,” Keller said. “We explained the situation to him and he has not been booked into jail at this time. But he will appear in court and answer to the charges.”... Read more at link.

What is our responsibility in this? The man's name, Sadiq Ismail, implies that he may be Muslim. Are we taking the initiative in our mosques to talk about cultural differences in discipline and what is acceptable? Should we be having these discussions? If so, who should lead them and where? Should they be spoken about in a khutbah or in a separate seminar? What do you think?


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