With a piece of wood

The BBC reports a horrible case of child abuse ending with a seven-year-old boy beaten to death with a piece of wood.

His mother, Sara Ege, 33, denies beating Yaseen Ali Ege to death at their home in Pontcanna, Cardiff, in July 2010 and setting fire to his body…The jury was shown a piece of wood which the prosecution claims was used by Mrs Ege to hit her son “like a dog”.

Mrs Ege covered her ears as jurors heard the 999 call she made saying that there was a fire in the home and that her son was still upstairs…It was first thought that the boy had died in the fire and that his death was a tragic accident, the jury heard.

But a post mortem examination revealed he had died several hours before the blaze, of multiple injuries caused by being hit by a blunt instrument.

Sare Ege admitted she been hitting Yassen with a stick, in her own words, “like a dog,” for three months before the fire, the court heard…Mrs Ege admitted pouring lighter fuel over her son’s body, the jury was told, saying “I know he was gone but I was just trying to protect myself”.

Oh, well then.

How horrendous. Three months of being beaten with a stick…and in the end being killed that way. By his own mother.

But the BBC report never says why. Did he disobey? Wet the bed? Talk back?

To find out why, you have to read the Telegraph.

In a video recording of her interview with police, Mrs Ege told them: “I was trying to teach him the Koran.

“I was getting more and more frustrated. If he didn’t read it properly I would be very angry — I would hit him.

“We had a high target. I wanted him to learn 35 pages in three months.

“I promised him a new bike if he could do it. But Yaseen wasn’t very good — after a year of practice he had only learnt a chapter.”

The court heard Mrs Ege, 32, a university graduate, and her husband, Yousuf, had enrolled Yaseen in advanced classes at their local mosque.

They wanted him to become a hafiz — an Islamic term for someone who memorises the Koran.

I think it’s appalling that the BBC kept that a secret. It must have been trying to be “sensitive” toward its Muslim readers, but think about it – what about the children of its Muslim readers? Why not be sensitive toward them too? Why not tell the truth of this hideous event by way of warning other parents?






  1. mouse says

    I know this is not constructive, but… WTFF??
    I won’t be able to sleep tonight. I may have to struggle not to wake my own tiny son just to cuddle him for a while.

  2. latsot says

    The BBC has a strange sort of existence due to being in a fundamentally different business to its competitors and having a strong public service remit. This often seems to lead to bad decisions like this one and I’m not very surprised.

    Besides, we’re obsessed in the UK with excusing religion for terrible things. When I look at this story I see a mother beating her son to death motivated by some insane notion of religious pride. I think people who tout that particular religion have to take some responsibility for what happened: where are the ‘religious leaders’ we hear so much about? Are they noisily decrying the actions of this woman? Are they telling everyone that the perceived merit of memorising the Koran isn’t worth abuse and murder? If they are, I haven’t heard it.

    But I’m guessing that someone at the BBC saw something different: a case of child abuse and murder for which the motivation only *happened* to involve religion, as though it were merely tangential. Not worth mentioning, really.

    It reminds me of Blair’s insistence that religion was not to blame for the events of 9/11 (he seemed to believe he was the sole arbiter on the subject, for some reason). We seem almost desperate to look for reasons other than religion for awful things happening. I suspect it has something to do with the fairly benign image we (often wrongly) have of the Church of England. British people who haven’t thought much about it seem to have a general image of religion being rather sweet and old-fashioned with smiling bespectacled vicars drinking weak tea when visiting old ladies. There’s a sort of underlying assumption that religion is good, so bad things can’t be the fault of religion.

    So maybe that’s part of it. But maybe Ophelia is right and the BBC is trying so hard to be politically correct that it has achieved the exact opposite. That wouldn’t surprise me either.

  3. ismenia says

    It horrifies me that we have to rely on the right-wing press for information on this sort of thing since their motives are not simply concern for the children. It will be interesting to see if other newpapers pick it up and what they report.

  4. demonhellfish says

    Not that this is as important as the main story, but the “like a dog” part implies that the mother also thinks animal abuse is normal.

  5. ismenia says

    Demonhellfish: that was my first thought as well. It seemed a stereotypically British response to think first of the hypothetical dogs. I think that it is also based on my unwillingness to imagine that little boy being beaten to death.

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