Clergyman Fails to Get Abuse Case Tried in Religious Court

scales of justice and child

Trigger warning
This post includes graphic descriptions
of sexual violence

A vile specimen of humanity raped a ten-year-old girl but claimed consent and insisted on the milder punishment since she was not married and thus it was not adultery or rape.

According to news reports, “the rape had been so violent that it caused a break in the wall between the vagina and rectum, a fistula, which had to be repaired surgically.”

Fortunately the case was tried in a civil court and the offender was sentenced to twenty years in prison. Mullah Mohammad Amin was tried in Kabul.

According to the New York Times, the victim,

Wept uncontrollably as the prosecutor, Mujahid Raidan, read the mullah’s earlier, detailed confession and the investigative report detailing her horrific injuries. But when the mullah spoke in his own defense and claimed she had seduced him, the girl stopped sobbing and pulled aside her veil enough to speak directly to him. “Hey liar, hey liar,” she said. “God hate you, you are dirt, you are dirt, you are a vampire…”

The victim’s father neither looked at nor spoke to his daughter during the proceedings, and when they were over, he turned his back on her and walked out. She followed him at a respectful distance, walking past the mullah chained up in the hallway, who kept his eyes on the floor.

Had the case been tried in a religious court the mullah’s punishment might have been only 100 lashes. But of course that would have required other mullahs finding against him.


3 thoughts on “Clergyman Fails to Get Abuse Case Tried in Religious Court

  1. In a religious court she might have been forcet to get married to him. Lebovits also claimed that the boys seduced him.

  2. The claim of being seduced, or of being overcome by “temptation,” is commonly employed by rabbis in such cases. But when Orthodox rabbis use rationales that shift the blame to the victim, their behavior isn’t often reported in the New York Times. (I did write about it in my new book.)

    And it isn’t just the rabbis. Every time an Orthodox publication refers to a story about a rabbi’s sex abuse as an “attack” on “the community,” we should note the implication of the language: that victims are not part of “the community,” that the only the abusers deserve the sympathy and protection of other community members, that — in effect — abusers are Orthodox Jews but those they abuse aren’t. This is a subtle but devastating form of victim-blaming, and we should be on guard against it wherever it appears. From the Hafetz Haim’s warning that women were uncovering their hair due to a “stratagem” by which Satan sought to tempt “the Jews into sin” — note here who “the Jews” are, and who they’re not — to the claim of seduction (or consent) used by the mullah in the Times’ story quoted above is a movement in degree, not in principle.

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