Parenting doesn’t always come naturally. It sure didn’t for Nigerian Muslim Ibrahim Haladu, who felt he had better uses of his time than taking care of his 14-month-old daughter. The girl was the child of Haladu and his estranged second wife. Haladu was watching Islamic television one afternoon when the infant girl wouldn’t stop crying. Not one to be distracted from television that would no doubt end up on MEMRI days later, Haladu took matters into his own hands to silence the screaming child.
Instead of gently rocking the infant, singing to her, or feeding her, what did Haladu think was the best way to quiet her? Whipping her with a cellphone charger, of course, since that’s what any reasonable person would do. His first wife heard the child’s screaming during the beating and rushed in to find her mad husband beating the helpless girl. Not fearing physical punishment as prescribed for wives in Qur. 4:34, Haladu’s wife yelled at him and stormed away, causing him to stop torturing the infant.
When Haladu returned the girl to her mother, it became clear something wasn’t right. The girl’s mother saw the lacerations across her daughter’s back, and turned Haladu in to the Bauchi State sharia court. In front of the court, Haladu tried to explain himself: “I was watching an Arab channel but she would not let me be with her cries. I was enjoying the program, but her cries kept distracting me. I was provoked so I brought out my charger phone wire and flogged her. My first wife, Aisha, who heard her cries came out and was shouting at me to stop. She was even angry and rebuked me for beating her like that. I regret my action. The marks on my daughter’s body is not for ritual purposes as wrongly insinuated by some people. I can never use my child for ritual. It is unfortunate that my wife had to drag me to the Sharia Commission because she has a grouse against me. We have been having problems with her, but that is between us. Why should I go to the extent of using my child for ritual? I only beat her as a father. I don’t belong to any cult or secret society.” You belong to a cult, Haladu – you’re a Muslim. Haladu is facing civil penalties for child abuse.