Thaqif: Case of Intellectual and Mental Abuse


April 29, 2017

Thaqif: Case of Intellectual and Mental Abuse

by Dean Johns@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for Beating children

The recent tragic death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi following beatings he allegedly suffered at a private Islamic boarding school has apparently outraged a good many Malaysians.

And I see that the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has urged the government to abolish corporal punishment in schools on the grounds that it violates children’s rights by harming them not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally.

Morally too, I would add, in light of the fact that so many survivors of the same system of ‘religious’ schooling that proved fatal to Mohamad Thaqif are clearly left hopelessly confused between right and wrong.

Or perhaps not so much confused as seemingly highly selective and hypocritical in their moral judgments, as, for example, the purportedly ultra-pious members and supporters of PAS clearly are in their strident support for the corporal punishment of ordinary Muslims of all ages for a whole range of offences against shariah law, but shamefully silent in the face of alleged crimes against the Malaysian people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, by the ruling UMNO-BN regime.

And as for the ever-ruling regime itself, whatever ‘religious’ so-called ‘education’ that its members have received has apparently rendered them so hopelessly morally and ethically confused as to be capable of engaging in unholy degrees of corruption, criminality, secrecy and deceit, while simultaneously and hyper-hypocritically pretending to be engaged in a ceaseless ‘struggle’ to ‘defend’ Islam.

This pathologically paradoxical situation is by no means confined to UMNO-BN, or Islam, or Malaysia, of course, but prevails to a greater or lesser extent wherever in the world that the terms ‘religion’ and ‘education’ are employed in combination, be it unthinkingly or with deliberate intent to deceive the innocent, the ignorant and the incurably gullible.

An observation that leads me to my point here, which is that ‘religious education’ is a contradiction in terms, or in other words an oxymoron. Though I have to confess that I feel like a total Aussie moron to have taken so much of my life to arrive at this realisation.

By way of self-explanation if not justification, however, I was born so bereft of knowledge and power that I quickly came to perceive my parents as omniscient and omnipotent, and thus saw nothing amiss in their taking me to church every Sunday.

Same deal when they sent me off to school, where, since the nuns were called ‘sister’ or ‘mother’, and the male teachers ‘brother’ or ‘father’, and I heard lots about somebody called ‘baby Jesus’, I got the distinct impression that, along with my co-religionist classmates, I was part of some special extended family.

Later I felt somewhat let down to learn that this ‘family’ perceived itself as a more sheep-like ‘flock’ of which the formerly infant Jesus was considered the ‘good shepherd’, and whose authority was sometimes symbolised by a ‘crook’.

Long before I came to see the sinister ambiguity of this ‘crook’ concept, however, or started getting cross about this and pretty well every aspect of my own and other religions, I’d started my so-called ‘education’.

A process that, unlike the late, lamented young Mohamad Thaqif, I survived with all my limbs and my life, thanks to the relative mildness of the corporal punishment my teachers meted out.

And I never suffered any of the sexual abuse that has subsequently been alleged that a small but significant minority of Catholic clergymen committed back then and since on children entrusted to their charge.

Intellectual and mental abuse?

Nor, at least at the time it was happening, did I feel much if any pain as a result of what I later came to see as the intellectual and mental abuse arising from being fed a load of religious fantasies to accept as if they were facts.

Imparting the so-called ‘truths’ of religion to innocent, unsuspecting children, even to the point of forcing them to rote-learn and parrot allegedly ‘divinely-inspired’ texts, and requiring them to have ‘faith’ in such stuff on pain of ‘sin’ against some imaginary ‘almighty’ is an outrage.

As is thus indoctrinating them into any religion without also informing them about at least a selection of the countless atrocities that have been committed in the names of religions since time immemorial, and so appallingly continue to be committed today.

Image result for Beating under HUDUD

UMNO religious Eggheads

And, despite such enlightened views as those brilliantly expressed by Azly Rahman in his recent Malaysiakini column in which he deplores the “heartless, mindless and soul-less system of schooling and learning”, even more of the same is threatened as recently by the allegedly ‘educated’ likes of Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

In a recent public speech, Zahid, who claims to have a PhD, but which to judge by the way he talks could well signify not a ‘doctorate of philosophy’ but a ‘phoney degree’, declared that “if our social contract is broken, there will not only be social disorder but worse than that, our streets will be littered with blood and dead bodies.”

“Those mad and irrational people out there who are propagating social disorder and tearing the fabric of our social structure must be challenged and overcome by our citizens who understand the reason for our being,” he ranted on, in support of his highly-debatable further proposition that “the emergence of social media has deeply affected belief systems, intellectual thinking and moral principles, with mankind slowly being made to lose its dignity.”

Image result for Dean Johns

This, I contend, is precisely the kind of maimed and misleading mindset that comes from the confusion, deliberate or otherwise, of mindless religious indoctrination or poisonous propaganda with true, enlightened education.

A concept that, as I recall from my school Latin lessons, is based on the word ‘educare’, meaning to ‘draw out’ as in liberate the young, indeed people of all ages, from ignorance, prejudice, irrationality and falsehood rather than to induce or further sustain such crippling mental blocks.

Though it’s possibly small consolation to Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi’s bereaved family and friends, at least he is free forever of such pernicious ‘religious’ and other similarly destructive so-called ‘educational’ influences, and we can hope that the memory of his sad fate will serve as a lesson that will help many other young Malaysian minds to survive.

10 thoughts on “Thaqif: Case of Intellectual and Mental Abuse

  1. If Mohamad Thaqif had not died, the public at large would not have heard of him, of his tragic death at the age of 11 in, of all places, a “religious school”, and we have to imagine how many other Mohamad Thaqifs are out there?

    If, by the Grace of Allah, he had lived to adulthood, would he be so psychologically scarred that he would be a teacher at the same religious school and in turn seek out young boys to beat to assuage his wounded vengeful spirit or become a wife-punisher which the Holy Quran itself sanctions ?

  2. No, the holy Qura’n does NOT sanction…..just because they wear the ‘ketayab’ & they think they can beat up everybody ? – they can become ‘sick’ if they only go by the holy Book skin-deep….. they have to at least go into three other DEEPER layers , lying hidden beneath the first layer of the Syariah. Which is only the face-value ! ! Why is that so ? Well…because it has to a be a study of the life-time !

    Quote ” The Qura’n is an outstanding miracle….” – H.A.R Gibb , 1953 ( pl refresh Prof Azmi Sharom’s thread dated 2rd March/April 2015 )

  3. I have heard countless times and read how such abuse and conduct are against the deepest rules and meaning of Islam. My problem is i read not see anywhere the mechanics and system to uphold the deepest and rules of Islam. Instead we hear of simplistic argument the severest power like RUU 355 upheld the “dignity of Islam”?

    What if there is many layers of the noblest intention of Islam. It’s a technology world. Show the tech that makes it happen. Without the tech, the default is always abuse and injustice for some. So those who say they are shocked and outraged, stop your own hypocrisy and failure first – you knew it was or could be happening deep down inside.

  4. The tahfiz schools are like a monastery where very young students are forced to memorize the 30 juzus of the Holy Quran all day long and often deprived of the experience of a normal childhood. The teachers and management of the schools fail to realize that certain children are more gifted than others while most children are late bloomers, especially when they have to memorize the Quran which is in Arabic and foreign to their mother tongue.

    Boys at that age are often adventurous and often times end up being mischievous. Guess the warden takes it upon himself to use corporal punishment including caning and whipping the boy with a rubber hose. Staff and management of such school must be trained in child development and better discipline apart from caning and whipping.

    Parents too are sometimes to be blamed by deciding that their son/daughter should enter a tahfiz school while not ready or willing. The child needs to be matured enough to make their choice and only then will the child have the motivation to succeed. Children should be guided not forced.

    • My friend OM, you and i know from ‘First Principles’, that there’s no way for a ‘Memorizer of the Scripture’, to become ‘Holy’ by merely memorizing. It’s the Heart, not the Words.

      In fact, the original Hafez: Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمس‌‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی‎‎), known by his pen name Hafez (حافظ Ḥāfeẓ ‘the memorizer; the (safe) keeper’; 1315-1390), was a Persian poet who “lauded the joys of love and wine but also targeted religious hypocrisy.

      Yet over here in Malusia, we have wannabe young ‘Hafez’ dying of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopapathy secondary to septicemia caused by corporal punishment by the devils in disguise.

      This is what happens when Religion becomes Reality without Spirituality.

      Dean Johns, is right on most counts – but Religious Education is semantically different fro Education in Religion. A truly spiritual person is seldom a rigorous religious apparatchik who sees but does not perceive or hears but does not understand.

      This tragic case, is the symptom of a systemic breakdown and cascading failure of the Muslim World View at large. Islam, like all great religions must be internalized, not externally displayed. Otherwise, Pride, Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Envy and Wrath ensues.

      Abnizar, have you figured out Man’s Body, Soul and Spirit yet? Yes, the Spirit is what binds you to God.

  5. OM , a good retort by your self : ‘ Children should be guided not forced ‘ , O my Lord, the Holy Book is for ‘ study ‘ , not read, read & read until old age….. Of course , Koranic Arabic is a very difficult language, because it is the Spiritual/spiritual language , BUT , it is meant to finally ‘identify ‘ and Know the ‘ Destination ‘ , and without that prior Knowing, in mere reading & reading, people might go off the track , go astray into the forest deeper & deeper until they (may) get devoured by the Predators , the big cats tigers & lions or crocks in the Wild !

    Am not an Arabic expert , so I’ve tried my best to put it metaphorically……but the purpose of ‘study ‘ is to identify the ‘ Destination ‘ a priori , before embarking on the long, long journey to be undertaken….. , admittedly , with great, great Endurance & fortitude…..facing the tribulations in silence , by the Guide , if any….

    ( Hope, I could try to insert later, on the PARABLE OF THE PEARL DIVER , who has to reach the ocean floor in its deepest part of The Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean , 7000 meters deep, before retrieving the hidden treasures there…) – such couurage & fortitude needed , with grit & determination ! )

  6. No comments as any comment by a non-Muslim may be misunderstood.
    ___________________
    If you have no comments why make the above statement. Either you are a coward, given this comment or you are devoid of principle and compassion. Frankly, comments like yours here are not welcome on this blog.–Din Merican

  7. Quote:- “…they have to at least go into three other DEEPER layers , lying hidden beneath the first layer of the Syariah”

    OK, we have heard all of this before. Making claims are easy. We can also say there are 10 DEEPER layers lying hidden beneath the veneration of cows by Hindus?

    Now will someone please tell us more about these “…DEEPER layers, lying hidden beneath the first layer of the Syariah”?

    Quote:- “…a wife-punisher which the Holy Quran itself sanctions?”

    I was careful not to say, “wife-beater”, I said, in a generous spirit, “wife-punisher” as some Muslim scholars said the word “beat” was a wrong translation.

    “Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.” Quran (4:34)

    Quran (38:44) – “And take in your hand a green branch and beat her with it, and do not break your oath…”

    Perhaps someone might say “hand”, “green branch” & “beat” here were also wrong translations?

  8. Sokong Dato’ Din @ gursharan38 ! I happen to read ‘ Life & Time of the Great Guru Nanak ‘ by former Chief Justice of India, Hon ‘ HIDAYATULLAH ….

    (by all means , IF our Sikh brethren are unhappy , pl do not hesitate to stricture me ….) – What I gathered :

    Not more than 500 years ago , he crossed over from Tehran into the borders of India with his entourage , to begin his life anew. Strange, his disciples were all of mixed or different religious denominations, predominantly Muslims & Hindus. His favourite disciples , Mardana a Muslim, and Bala a Hindu. The hndus felt happy, because the Guru had added an admixture of the Tantric philosophy.

    My question is : Sikh community worldwide has admitted , in their Holy Book ( Granth Sahib ) , do CONTAIN about 38 to 40 of the Arabic ” Allah ” , like Allah Hu, Hi’Allah and many more (shall quote later ) …..The great Guru’s teachings were recent, at least after about 1000 years AFTER , the Islamic Prophet came to reveal The Prophecy of Islam in Arabia….. HOW DID THESE ARABIC TERMINOLOGY COME TO QUOTED IN the Sikh’s holy book ? ( I surmise that the great Teacher had indeed brought Islamic elements into his Teachings in India ) . But the Sikh Community may have MISUNDERSTOOD their Great Guru ….) –

    NB. The next part narrated by Chief Justice Hidayatullah in reference to the ‘death ‘ & his (apparent ) ressurection….before Burial , is truly Amazing, INDEED he had ‘disappeared ‘ from the Apparel , he was clothed in for the burial ritual… ? ?

    A Saint, yes I could believe that, but not to the EXTENT , the Community worship him like ” God ” . ….what do the followers say, how about readers of his book & life-time followers ? ?

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