Friday, January 30, 2009

A taxi driver has been convicted of cruelty for encouraging his 10-year-old son to whip himself during a Shia Muslim ceremony

The boy took part in zanjeer matam, in which believers beat themselves with a wooden implement with chains and blades attached to it. His father, 47, who also took part in the ritual at a Birmingham mosque, said he acted out of "love" and "devotion". He was given a six-month suspended sentence at Huntingdon Crown Court. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had denied being cruel to a child. He is the second Muslim to be convicted of cruelty as a result of allowing a boy take part in the ceremony which commemorates the death and martyrdom of a 7th Century Muslim leader, prosecutors said.

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