Girl’s parents starve her to death, thought she was “possessed”
Khyra Ishaq was, by all accounts, your typical happy-go-lucky 12 year old living in Birmingham. Her mother, a recent convert to Islam, pulled her from school and began to isolate all of her children away from the outside world. Her excuse was they had been bullied in school over their attire, but no official complaint was filed with the school, and many of the house’s windows were boarded up.
One neighbor, who had left out some stale bread to feed the birds, was verbally lambasted for allowing the children to eat it (they had, apparently, been sneaking out in desperation looking for food.
The other 5 children were also dangerously malnourished, and at first glance it would appear the reason may have been because the children were not properly observing their religious rituals. It is likely this is why Khyra’s mother felt she was possessed; her natural rebellious nature would have easily been confused with some kind of demonic spirit.
It’s rather difficult to get the real story as to what happened. One thing is for sure, however; religion played a role in the neglect and torture of these children. To what extent, it’s difficult to ascertain, but it’s not uncommon for extremely religious individuals to completely isolate themselves from the outside world, especially if they feel it has a corrupting influence.
Trying to use religion to properly raise your kids is like trying to perform brain surgery with a lead pipe; there’s no room for subtlety. How many more little girls have to have their clitoris removed, or die at the hands of their own family for failing to observe religious traditions?
NOTE: It seems she was not only starved, but also tortured. More disturbing news is coming to light, such as the systematic torture (using cold baths, beating her with a stick, etc.) of this little girl for no other reason than her mother felt she had an evil spirit. If you’re surprised by these kinds of actions, realize they are common practices in many parts of the world.