“The Holocaust has run like a river of blood through all my books,” Mr. Sendak once said, explaining that as the child of Jewish immigrants from Poland, the Nazi death camps were never far from his mind.http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/maurice-sendak-author-and-illustrator-of-works-about-childrens-survival-dies/2012/05/08/gIQA8lXMAU_story.html?hpid=z1
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Somalia, the worst place to go to school:
It came bottom of a table of the world’s 60 poorest countries, just behind Eritrea, Haiti, Comoros, Ethiopia, Chad and Burkina Faso.
Dan is discussing. Toggle Comments
‘Muslim holy men’ to be punished for forcing children to beg in Senegal:
The sentence handed down in a courtroom here last week was gentle, only six months’ probation and a fine for the seven marabouts, or holy men. Yet the result could be a social revolution, in the eyes of some commentators. By government decree, and under international pressure, Senegal has forbidden the marabouts to enlist children to beg on their behalf.
Outside the crowded courtroom, a dozen or more white-robed marabouts sat in an anxious conclave on the ground to discuss their colleagues’ predicament. More than 40 had shown up in support, and they knew the stakes. If the government here follows through, thousands of children could be released from a practice that human rights groups condemn as exploitation under the guise of education but that religious leaders defend as essential for keeping their enterprises afloat.
Sticking with Channel 4, they also recently aired Richard Dawkins’ criticism of faith schools. You can watch it on YouTube (1, 2, 3, 4).
Interestingly, Jewish and Catholic schools refused to be interviewed for the documentary, but a teacher from a Muslim school stepped up… only to be made to look rather silly it has to be said. Here’s the review of one reader at DeenPort:
Christine Odone says ‘it’s time to protect boys as well as girls from the barbaric practice of circumcision’.
An official of the Yemeni opposition party says attempts to ban child marriage are part of a ‘Western agenda’.
The official, Sheik Mohammed Hamzi, is quoted as saying:
“I am against the child marriage law because it restrains the freedom of others. When a certain age [for marriage] is set, it violates the rights of others. For example, imagine a young man of 13 or 14 years of age who wants to have sex. … This is a violation of his rights…”
US judge grants asylum to German home schoolers:
In a quiet street in this little town in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains lives a family of refugees who were granted asylum in the United States because they feared persecution in their home country.
The reason for that fear has rarely, if ever, been the basis of an asylum case. The parents, Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, want to home-school their five children, ranging in age from 2 to 12, a practice illegal in their native land, Germany.
The family has been here for some time, having left Germany in 2008. But it was not until Jan. 26 that a federal immigration judge in Memphis granted them political asylum, ruling that they had a reasonable fear of persecution for their beliefs if they returned.
In a harshly worded decision, the judge, Lawrence O. Burman, denounced the German policy, calling it “utterly repellent to everything we believe as Americans,” and expressed shock at the heavy fines and other penalties the government has levied on home-schooling parents, including taking custody of their children.
A while ago, I wrote a very personal post which was deleted very soon after I published it. You see, I have a dark secret that I have kept to myself for much of my life. A secret that I wish I had the courage to share with someone close to me. One that has, in my mind robbed me of the innocence of childhood. I was a victim of sexual abuse.
I am not writing this post to gain some sort of pity, or to be encouraged by my readers to tell someone I know, or even to confront my abusers. I am writing this post to alert parents. Most instances of child molestation are committed by individuals that are close to the child or family. The offender is often a family member…someone who has easy access to the child, and someone who the child is relatively comfortable around. Unfortunately, this was true in my case.
It pains me to say this, but parents need to stop being so trusting of their relatives. It is important that if you leave your child home with a relative that you ask your child what they did with their uncle (for example). Children are innocent, they will tell you. I wish till this day that my mother would have forsaken all political correctness and politeness and that she had explained to me what a good touch and bad touch was so that I might have been able to salvage my childhood.
And don’t for a second think that we are free from such a fitna because we are Muslim. Child molestation is big problem in our communities…it just doesn’t get talked about. I want to change that. Start talking…to your child, your neighbor, a family member, your shaykh or community member. Make the community aware of this horrible problem.