Monday, 12 October 2009

The sick trio

The news that three separate individuals living in different places across the UK have been charged with a series of acts of child abuse, has sent ripples of disgust as well as disbelief through the public.

The three individuals are said to have met on Facebook, and have since shared endless amounts of emails, texts and photos of the most depraved acts of child abuse. Vanessa George, a 39 year old nursery worker in Plymouth, had sent over 150 photos to Colin Blanchard from Rochdale and Angela Allen from Nottingham where she had taken the most graphic and disturbing images of sexual abuse of the children in the nursery she worked in. Between the three of them, graphic descriptions of child abuse, explicit photos were intensively exchanged to such a degree that police believe some sort of contest was occurring, due to the rapid acceleration in the depravity of the images and texts. The content of these photos and messages are so disturbing that the details are not being revealed to the public, but as they were described inside the courtroom, it was said that the parents of the children who Vanessa George possibly abused, wailed and cried in absolute despair.

The reality is paedophilia is rampant in society. The pages of newspapers are seldom free of some sort of case of sexual abuse of children. In 2002 the BBC conducted a documentary series which went on a hunt for Britain’s paedophiles and then the police’s lowest estimate for the UK, was around 230,000. And such cases are not restricted to only Britain, there was Jaycee Lee in America, the shocking Josef Fritzel case in Austria; just to name two - And these were simply two high profile cases. And finally a sad testimony of how rampant sexual abuse against children is, is just to read the barrage of comments listed after the BBC’s reports of this current case – The majority of the entries are individuals describing sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of someone as a child.

The question therefore always arises – How can we rid society of this despicable crime? The Sex Offenders Register, the CRB checking system are initiatives which seek to try to prevent acts of such sexual abuse occurring. After this current case of child abuse, a debate has now arisen on the need to ban camera phones in the workplace. Parents from the nursery within which Vanessa George worked, have already started a campaign calling for this amongst other things, as a way to prevent such sexual abuse against children in the future.

These policies and initiatives, although may make it a little difficult for sex offenders to carry out their crimes, they in no way make it impossible. A nursery worker can still smuggle a phone in into an enclosed nappy changing area in a nursery; a teacher can still obtain a successful CRB check, but still have committed atrocious crimes in secret – As was the case with Vanessa George. And although such initiatives make sexual crimes a little more difficult, they in no way eradicate the sick mentality that these people hold – the desire to sexually gratify themselves by abusing children, not caring about the consequence. This is because these people live in a society which is constantly screaming out that personal gratification is the most prized thing above all – We are told to make ourselves happy, whatever the cost. For some people that maybe enjoying a stable marital relationship, for some having one night stands with strangers one after the other, and for others sexually abusing a child. The problem is once you urge people to please themselves, different people will interprete this in different ways as this is the nature of human beings – Our desires and urges have no innate limits.

Personal gratification is pushed within Western secular societies because of the value which these societies hold as their cornerstone – Personal freedom which iterates that every individual is free to believe and behave in whatever way pleases them. This concept of freedom within society is founded by the viewpoint in life which all secular societies hold – That whether God exists or not is irrelevant, this is one life which is just about enjoying oneself and putting oneself first. Therefore this viewpoint in life inevitably affects the way people behave in the society. They have no regard for consequences of actions, as they live for themselves and are answerable to no one. This urges them to gratify themselves to a maximum degree, without even passing a thought about whether what they are doing is right or wrong, will have a good or bad impact on society. It’s simply about making oneself happy. The law is an after thought for many people, as many attempt to simply escape it.

Cases of paedophilia and child abuse, we know are not at all rare within the society we live in. However this particular case has caught much more media attention as two of the three perpetrators were women. When cases of paedophilia are committed by men, there has almost a level of desensitisation, as people are upset and angry, but not surprised. However the fact that in this instance, such depraved and disgusting acts of sexual abuse against children were committed by women – One of which who was herself a mother of two – has sent shockwaves throughout society.

The question has arisen across the board that how could a mother, who has children herself, carry out such disgusting abuse of other children? And women are seen to be the more nurturing and caring race – How could women therefore go against these instincts and behave in this way?

However in a way this debate is redundant, as regardless of whether the perpetrator is a man or a woman, both exist in the very same society which pushes increasing sexualisation in society. Therefore just because women may have more of a maternal instinct, does not mean they are immune from the dark consequences of letting their desires run free to any extent they desire. The American Psychological Association carried out a study in 2007 and found that magazines, television, video games and music videos all portray an alarming level of sexualisation in society which has a detrimental effect on particularly young girls.

Therefore paedophilia, can in no way be eradicated by simply banning camera phones from the workplace. What needs to happen is an entire overhaul of the very values of society which induce such behaviour within people. In Western secular societies this is the poisonous concept of freedom.
Islam on the complete other hand has a totally different viewpoint in life to secularism. Islam believes there is a God – A Creator who created everything in this world, including all of mankind. Islam iterates that mankind has come from this Creator, Allah SWT, and will undoubtedly return to Him SWT. This viewpoint in life creates a fundamental value within the Muslim, of accountability to Allah SWT in every action that one does.
This means that before seeking to fulfil one’s desires in whatever way one wants, despite the consequences on other people and society, the Muslim will think about what pleases Allah first.
Islam’s stance on sexual relations of any type outside of marriage between two consenting partners, is clear as the Prophet said in narrated by Abdullah bin ‘Abbas:
“A person who commits this act (sexual intercourse outside of marriage) is not a true believer of their faith” Imam Bukhari and Muslim
The system of Islam works to help sustain this mentality of chastity outside of marriage which Muslims hold, within the society. The fact that Islam directs the sexual instinct specifically to the realm of marriage and takes it completely out of society; means there are minimal agitations for the instinct in public life. This means that any billboards, TV advertisements, magazine pictures which depict anything even slightly sexual would be forbidden. The rule of segregation of the sexes, a man and woman not being allowed to be alone together and the strict punishments for fornification, rape and even accusing a chaste woman all supplement this mentality of chastity, and help the Muslim uphold their taqwa.
Therefore forget abusing children, the Islamic society aims to prevent the abuse of any man, woman or child. And it therefore is only the Islamic society which can return the depraved state we see across the world today, to a content and harmonious one. One where the simple thing of protecting our children and vulnerable, is maintained.

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