Brit Muslim found guilty of child cruelty during Shia ceremony

August 28th, 2008 - 3:10 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug.28 (ANI): A Brit Muslim has been found guilty of child cruelty for forcing two boys to beat themselves with a bladed whip during a religious ceremony.
According to The Times, Syed Mustafa Zaidi made the boys, aged 13 and 15, flog themselves on their backs with a five-bladed implement called a Zanjeer Zani.
Both needed hospital treatment for cuts sustained during the Shia ceremony commemorating the death of a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
Zaidi now faces up to ten years in jail.
The boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted that they had wanted to beat themselves, but not under duress and not using blades.
Throughout the trial at Manchester Crown Court, Zaidi, 44, insisted that the act was part of the boys religion and therefore not illegal. But the jury convicted him of two counts of child cruelty.
The incident took place at the community center in Levenshulme, Manchester.
The jury was shown a 20-minute film of the ceremony featuring Zaidi flagellating himself until his back was bloody and cut. Performing the matam self-flagellation is believed to bring out feelings of grief at the deaths of Prophet Mohammad and his grand children.
Sentencing has been adjourned until next month. (ANI)

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