A religious mother murdered her son for ‘failing to learn the Quran’

A mother murdered her son and set his body on fire when he struggled to learn the Quran off by heart.

Sara Ege used a stick to beat seven-year-old Yaseen “like a dog” if he couldn’t recite passages from the Islamic text. The beatings were so brutal that the boy died from his injuries, and his mother tried to burn the body to destroy the evidence. 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.

Yaseen was coming to the end of a three-month trial period at the mosque, and Ege was keen for him to impress his Imam.

Mrs Ege told officers: “I was getting all this bad stuff in my head, like I couldn’t concentrate, I was getting angry too much, I would shout at Yaseen all the time.”

She also hit him with a hammer, a rolling pin and a slipper, as well as repeatedly punching him, the court heard.

She would allegedly lock him in the shed, tie him to a door, and force him to do press-ups.

In the months after Yaseen’s death, Mrs Ege told a doctor she been told to kill him by Shaitan — an Islamic name for the devil, the court was told.

When I was a child, I was beaten up in the morning by my Arabic teacher and in the evening by my mother for failing to learn the verses of the Quran. I did not die but I was traumatized. It took me many years to overcome my traumatic experiences. Not all boys and girls can do it. Many live all their lives in fear. They are forced to memorise the verses of the Quran when they are just children. They are forced to believe in those nonsense verses when they are adults.


  1. samirasadeque says

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I was born in a very religious family, and have questioned the pillars and rules of Islam for years now. It only makes me the ‘outcast’ in the family. But the measures taken by the parents in this article are a bit too extreme. But it makes me wonder, to what extent is it religion’s fault. I think a lot of it has to do with how much a person (in this case, the mother) lets religion take over them. A lot of it was how far the mother wanted to go in this case to ‘please God’. There are families and parents who practice their religion without making it the sole reason behind their existence. I think, as much as religion and its values can be at times contested and questioned, often, the focus should really be on the people following and practicing them, and the kind of mental state they are in that would allow them to be this violent. The focus should really be on what makes the followers so desperate for an identity, a confirmation that they belong to a greater being.

    • Bill Openthalt says

      Islam doesn’t say you should beat your child to death for not memorising the Koran quickly enough, but it puts devotion to a non-existing deity and a long-dead prophet before the well-being of one’s own children. Without islam, no-one would dream of forcing their children to memorise a book in a foreign language. Islam is to blame because it perverts the love and motivations of humans away from their fellows to an imaginary god.

      Humans are partly hive animals (like bees), with common culture playing the role of the common genes. This allows humans to create huge cultures by putting the needs of the group before their own needs. Humans will die for the benefit of the group, and they will kill their children for the perceived benefit of the group. Any culture (this includes religion) that emphasises the “inhumanity” of out-group humans is very much responsible indeed for the excesses committed by its members.

      • jesse says

        “Without islam, no-one would dream of forcing their children to memorise a book in a foreign language.”

        You don’t know any religious Jews, do you ? 🙂

        I think the issue is whether you say Islam itself is the root of these kinds of problems, or religion generally. After all, both Christian and Islamic societies have had their share of repressive periods, and for Christian societies, let’s remember that our grandparents fought in a war with the Germans, who took as read that Christians of a certain background were just obviously so superior they had the right to kill everyone else. And the war of Catholics and Orthodox Christians against everyone else in Yugoslavia was only 20 years ago.

        I haven’t seen any evidence that Islam in particular is any worse or better. The above story could have been written with the people in some spots who still do exorcisms and horrible stories of fundamentalist Christians. So I think when you say “Only in Islam…” or “Only in Christianity…” you’re setting yourself up for a failure to analyze completely.

    • abby says

      I think is rubbish coming from an11 year old my father beats me if I don’t know it or slams my head in the wall wat is the point of learning if I’m going be a christan

    • Generic Person #150512451 says

      Which language
      has not been the oppressor’s tongue?
      Which language
      truly meant to murder someone?
      And how does it happen
      that after the torture,
      after the soul has been cropped
      with a long scythe swooping out of the conqueror’s face –
      the unborn grandchildren grow to love that strange language.

      Taken from the second verse of ‘A Different History’ by Sujata Bhatt

  2. Huma siddiqui says

    Clearly the people responsible for the child are ‘disturbed in the head’. Voilence is never the answer to anything. Failing to memorise verses is no excuse to hit and nearly kill a innocent child.

      • asifa says

        Why are u calling the quran useless juss because u don’t believe in it doesn’t mean your going to insult it u dare mention something about the quran again maybe the lady was mentallly ill because no one would force their children to read the quran they wouldn’t batter them up so u need to think before u speak

  3. steve84 says

    I don’t get why Muslims have this weird obsession with memorizing the book. People are expected to know the words without even understanding them. Just repeating it like a robot makes you a good Muslim, but you aren’t required to understand it. I guess that’s because people aren’t supposed to think and interpret it themselves. That’s up to the imams and mullahs.

    • davidhart says

      It’s probably something to do with the fact that, according to their own mythology, the angel commanded Mohammed to memorize and recite, rather than than write down, the verses of the Quran (and, again according to their own mythology, the task of storing the various verses in memory was given to a number of individuals, and it was only after some of them had died in battle that it became apparent that if they didn’t want to lose chunks of it, they’d better write it down), and, given the preoccupation with emulating every last minor detail of Mohammed’s behaviour and habits, this is just one example of that in practice.

    • Herro12356 says

      We Muslims memorize our book to preserve it from corruption. 1400 years, and we’re so far successful. Every single other holy book was changed by man.

    • Herro12356 says

      Obviously, you are not allowed to force your kids to memorize the Qur’aan. It’s not obligatory to be a memorizer of the Qur’aan in order to be Muslim. But some people go too far. After all, Muslims are flawed while Islam is perfect.

    • Blueaussi says


      When I was that age, I was expected to memorize a few bible verses and poems here and there; but no one beat me if I didn’t get them right.

    • steve84 says

      It’s a very common thing. A lot of what passes for religious education – at least among children – is really just memorizing the Quran. Not actually understanding it.

      Historically that makes sense as people were illiterate and even writing required costly materials (there was no paper). Oral tradition was the best way of preserving the knowledge. Today it’s just silly.

  4. grumpyoldfart says

    At least the bitch mother doesn’t have to waste any of her money buying a bicycle – so it all turned out for the best.

    • sabz says

      that women needs bludy hanging .. prison wud be too kind !! i dont even think this was about religion !! she was a bludy mental sicopath !! that poor lil angel .. god knows how long he put up with that torture !! the father ??? were the hell was he ???

  5. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    But what would she have done if she hadn’t had the advantage of religious morality to guide her?

    • sabz says

      once a nuta always a nuter .. so ! this is probably not at all anything to do with her religion. The women is a head case with serious malfuctions to say the least !! and the father !!! grrr dont tel me he went blind while she tortured his child !! rest in peace to the sweet innocent child ..

  6. Didaktylos says

    The root of this is that some parents consider a child’s worth to be in direct proportion to the degree that they bring them honour in the eyes of their neighbours. It doesn’t arise from religion – but when it gets combined with religion, the results, as we see here, can be very ugly.

  7. says

    A sickening story. I’m sure religion played a role, but it sounds like the mother was abusive and would have found some excuse to hurt her son even if they weren’t religious. I wonder if she was physically abused herself by her parents or husband, because this kind of extreme violence is unusual.

    Regarding the beating of children for not memorising Qur’an, a lot of it is cultural. In South Asian culture it’s common for parents to physically punish their children. That’s slowly changing. My very gentle Mum sometimes used to smack me with a wooden spoon when I was a kid. It was a last resort, if threatening to remove my Foxtel and gaming privileges didn’t work. I’m too big now, obviously.

    At some point in my early teens I made it pretty clear to my parents that if they laid a hand me I would hit them back. They were shocked at first, because for children to disrespect their parents is apparently a grave sin. Our culture is full of double standards like this, like your parents and older siblings can tell you to shut up but you have to be polite to your elders. I think such traditions are stupid. I don’t care if it makes me a bad son, if someone hits me I’m going to hit them back. I think more children should stand up to their parents. If it came to it though, I’m not sure I could actually bring myself to hit my parents. I think shoving them roughly is all I could manage. Fortuately they haven’t put me in that situation.

    • StevoR says

      At some point in my early teens I made it pretty clear to my parents that if they laid a hand me I would hit them back. ..(snip).. I don’t care if it makes me a bad son, if someone hits me I’m going to hit them back.

      So if an old person or a small child hit you you’d knock ’em down?

      Is physical violence an acceptable way of solving your problems?

      Now okay, you may need to defend yourself physically if you;re being mugged or in certain situations where its a last resort to prevent yourself or other people being harmed.

      But those unnuanced lines there are a bit much and a bit of a worry. Maybe think about them some more.

      • teh_faust says

        Self-defense doesn’t stop being legit self-defense just because your culture sees your attacker/ abuser as an authority figure and somehow entitled to your body.

  8. phatone says

    The parents should be jailed for life. It’s even more important to arrest the family imam and throw his rabid a$$ in jail too.

    BTW, thanks for joining FTB, Taslima-di.

    – KP

  9. alanbagain says

    For those who have wondered why memorising the Quran is so important, as an introduction, read the Wiki* article on Hafiz (Quran). One of the benefits is family pride and one upmanship. Another is the guarantee of acceptance on the Day of Judgment combined with being able to get 10 relatives accepted, even if they were not going to be accepted based on their own lives. Note, of course, that the memorisation is the entire Quran word perfect and with the ability to continue directly on when a short piece is read to you. Also, thq Quran is not the Quran if it is in anything other than Arabic so this young lad had to memorise thousands of verses in order and in a foreign language. The requirement is to act on it as well.

    *I know. I know. But some parts of Wiki are pretty good – especially when they cover non-contentious subjects. If it was seriously incorrect great pressure would be put on the Wiki people. “Nice building you’ve got there. Pity if it burnt down …”

    • Herro12356 says

      The guarantee of acceptance only applies if you lived by the Qur’aan and its teachings, read some of it every day, etc. It doesn’t count if you spend years memorizing it, but then forget it. You yourself will never know if it’s accepted. Clean intentions, ie intentions of pleasing Allah, will definitely get you into heaven.

      As for the family pride: if you memorize it just for the sake of your reputation, go kiss Paradise goodbye. That’s a shallow act of showing off that may get you places in this world but will never benefit you after you die.

      I myself memorized the Qur’aan, believe it or not. My parents taught me the right way. It was never their plan, though. I was 12 when I decided I wanted to memorize it. They put little pressure on me, only to help me accomplish my goal. But never would they beat me. They were very sensible in that matter, very different from other Southeast Asia parents. Three years later, voila. I came to them with good news that they were indeed successful parents.

  10. taha ommer says

    This killing cant be condoned but the comments that followed this wierd piece are though unworthy but condemnable. How can u ppl judge about a religion by looking at an isolated act and then generalising it for entire community.
    Memeorising this divine scripture has a unique importance both here as well as in hereafter. So better for non muslims not to discuss that. Moreover if printing has substituted for memorising then y dont we scrap our system of academic examinations were entire passages are to b recollected for mere passing. Referal to the printed word at times of need should work for everyone.but alas u will say that only when it comes to religion particularly islam.
    Also by memorising our scriptures we ensure that they r safe from creative imagination of human, as has happened with other scriptures. That is they got adultered. Our memorising of scriptures resists this.

  11. taha ommer says

    This killing cant be condoned but the comments that followed this wierd piece are though unworthy but condemnable. How can u ppl judge about a religion by looking at an isolated act and then generalising it for entire community.
    Memeorising this divine scripture has a unique importance both here as well as in hereafter. So better for non muslims not to discuss that. Moreover if printing has substituted for memorising then y dont we scrap our system of academic examinations were entire passages are to b recollected for mere passing. Referal to the printed word at times of need should work for everyone.but alas u will say that only when it comes to religion particularly islam.
    Also by memorising our scriptures we ensure that they r safe from creative imagination of human, as has happened with other scriptures. That is they got adultered. Our memorising of scriptures resists this.

    • billyeager says

      Probably best if you didn’t expose yourself too much to the rational and reasoned debates that go on around here religibot. Your knee-jerk reaction that our criticisms are unfair and/or should be prohibited outright, is just the kind of the example of indoctrinated idiocy we expect from theists, of all flavours, not just Islam, so you are not special.

      But, then, perhaps that’s the whole problem with theism, you are so caught up in the notion that you are ‘special’, to a God no less, that you cannot possibly contend with reality.

      You are brainwashed Taha, it’s up to you whether you want to keep your mental shackles on for the rest of your life and commit yourself in totality to the mass delusion you ascribe to, or, perhaps, you might possibly be intellectual enough to actually be willing to simply *consider* that all your faith and belief, all the labels ascribing ‘holiness’ and ‘divinity’ to your totems and stories, the ‘special’ genuflections and muttered prayers to an invisible entity, are, in fact, meaningless.

      • MaryamaSaysThumbsup taha. says

        Delluded you say.,well.. It takes one deluded psyco to know the other. For one, its obvious you have no concept of God and thats only because your heart is too dark to realise its purpose. You have therefore ‘deluded’ yourself into thinking that responsible, bright, pious people are wothless and their prayers are meanigless because they pray to an invisible God. Well am quite sorry that you are too lazy to actually get over yourself and realise that your not the greatest and that you were created. Yes, i said it! Sue me.

        There can only be one superior being. And He created all of us. If your going to attack someone for speaking the truth(thumbs up taha) well dont use fancy words to make yourself look smart cause even a rat is better than those who claim that God doesnt exist, or prayers are meaningless. It doesnt take rocket sciense to figure it out, ‘oh! I was created and am therefore here for a reason!’.
        Just because that mother did a regreatable act does not mean lets blame it on religion. It means shes human. And humans make mistakes. Religion has nothin to do with what that woman did. Especially islam. Let anyone give us sound proof that that’s what islam teaches. ‘Murder all who cant memorize the Quran!!!. Yeah right, quite original.
        If you were not too arogant to research about what islam REALLY teaches, you’d realise its entire name preaches peace. Islam means peace and a muslim is one who surrenders his will to God to gain peace. Hows that ‘rational’ for ya? So stop these cheap attacks on islam and go eduacate yourself about it before baming religions for your obvious faliure in lacking to have any reason to find yourself special to God.

    • latsot says

      And let’s not forget that by far the biggest child abuse scandal of our generation concerns the Catholic church deliberately and systematically covering up child abuse and protecting child abusers for (at least) decades.

      Religion was entirely responsible for at least three things: creating an environment within which such abuse could more easily happen; lying about many, many, many cases of abuse, covering them up; and protecting abusers by moving them to other places, where they could continue their abuse.

      Tell me that religion had nothing to do with these three things.

    • Safia says

      Yes I agree but I don’t think removing religon would remove an excuse, in most cases religon makes a person better than they would be without religon if it is for the right reason, the mum clearly said she wanted the child to memorise it to impress his teacher therefore her intention wasn’t about God, a person who is religous for other than God is not truelly religous. but false.

  12. says

    Can we please stop pretending that religion has nothing to do with this or that it’s a problem of Islam only?
    The major religions provide a reinforcing background for child abuse. They demand unquestioned respect and authority at their very basis.
    They often have corporal punishment written into their very own rules. They keep us from shifting the overton window towards a more equal, reason and respect based society and yes, they give cover for some really mentally disturbed people (often creating them in the first place).
    Say you talk to Elvis and people realize quickly that there’s something odd about you and that probably some professional should take a look. Say you talk to angels and in the right circles you’ll be lauded and encouraged.

    No, even if religion disappeared tomorrow (wouldn’t it be funny if religion disappeared by a supernatural event?), child abuse wouldn’t stop. Child abuse will stop when we create a society in which children are people and not property, in which humans are respected and treated as equals, in which people get adequate mental healthcare. Religion is on of our main enemies in this struggle.

  13. latsot says

    Gru. I suspect it’s not the memorization that’s important to these people, it’s the obeisance. Making people do arbitrary things because you can is quite clearly what religion is all about, isn’t it?

  14. latsot says

    Oh Winterwind. Do you really think we haven’t heard all this before?

    First, religion quite obviously played a role. There’s no doubt about that.

    Second, you have absolutely no idea at all about whether she would have abused her child anyway if she weren’t religious. Neither do I, but I wonder what motivation she would have had.

    Third, calling it ‘cultural’ rather than ‘religious’ changes nothing. Children are still being beaten to death because of bad ideas. Do you think atheists oppose religion because it is religion? You’re wrong. We oppose it because it is a bad idea that results in horrible behaviour. We oppose religion for a different reason, which is that it tends to make bad ideas seem like good ones.

    Forth, I don’t pretend to understand your personal circumstances, but hitting someone is not necessarily a reasonable response to being hit. I think it can be the right response sometimes but it is not automatically so. If we’re going to be literal, the first thing I’d do if someone hit me is to make sure they didn’t hit me again, not to hit them back.

    OK, I’m sounding preachy aren’t I? Sorry.

  15. StevoR says


    Cannot imagine such cruelty from such an unexpected source

    Only religion could foul someone up so bad and lead to such an atrocity.

    • latsot says

      I suspect you’re right. Has anyone killed their child because of poor grades, for example? Oh they probably have, but if so they will have been called mad. By some people.

      What we do, unfortunately, is justify the intense and stupid shit we actually want to do.

    • Safia says

      No your wrong, only anger could do that. the problem is anger and control.

      Religon never told anyone to do that and religon is actually the thing that said do not kill and that the person who kills will burn in hell.

  16. asifa says

    Islam is not to blame. For this how dare u accuse the islamic religion the lady might have mental problems or she might be ill that’s why she killed her son because a mom would never kill her own child becuase they can’t read the quran so juss shut up islam is the best realigion and more people have converted into islam than the other religions

  17. Safia says

    This is crazy, an adult muslim should memorise the quran and force themselves to memorise it before forcing their children, yes every muslim hopes and prays that their child will memorise the quran but making them memorise 32 pages in three months is crazy! 20 pages in three years is what the target should be for children unless they are very smart, there is no rush to memorise it, most people will have theri while life, as long as the parent tries but shouldn’t use force, make it something nice that the child enjoys….

    The strategy should be to remove distractive items fromt eh house like tv and such so that the child can enjoy reading books and becoming smart, god have mercy on the child who was murdered.

  18. Muhammad says

    Guys our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “OUR RELIGION (ISLAM) IS A RELIGION OF ADVISE” so if any stupid human does stupidity such as this woman who had murdered so this does not mean that Islam “religion” told her to do that and by the way it is not obligatory on a Muslim to memorize the Holy Book “Qur’an” of Allah “God” so please he who has mind do not believe that Islam is telling Muslims to do that and if you do believe that Islam is telling us to do that so GIVE ME A PROOF

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