Shariatpur, Bangladesh: After 14 year old Hena Begum was raped by a 40 year old cousin, she was convicted of “adultery” by a council of elders and Muslim clerics who practice Sharia law. Hena was sentenced to 100 lashes, and publicly flogged. In the middle of the grueling punishment she collapsed and was taken to a hospital where she died six days later.
Young Hena had suffered horribly. First she had been raped by a 40 year old married cousin, whose family members beat her up then accused her of “adultery”. She was brutalized then humiliated in a public trial, where the rapist was exonerated and the shem the victim, found guilty by order of a fatwa (religious ruling). Hena endured an estimated 80 lashes before collapsing. If that’s not bad enough, her father, Dorbesh Khan, was fined $700.
Bangladesh’s court has declared Sharia punishment illegal 8 months ago. Since this incident 4 people have been arrested in connection with Hena’s death, and police are searching for 14 more suspects.
We need to take a stand against child abuse and laws that condone child abuse. It is appalling that an entire village witnessed Hena being flogged–her body lashed over and over again, her flesh torn and bleeding, her screams ringing through the crowd. And no one did anything to stop the flogging; if Hena had lived who would demand justice? And why is a rape victim being brought up on charges while the rapist goes free? This is a horrific failure of justice–which will likely continue until Sharia is abolished, and government officials actively work to end its practice. In addition, people need to learn God’s truth, rather than blindly follow a law out of fear or archaic loyalty.
Hena’s death was ordered under the guise of religion but let there be no mistake, this act of brutality is the work of the devil.
Here is the TRUTH: Scripture tells us that our children are an inheritance from the Lord, a blessing (Psalms 127:3). This beautiful child’s was given life by God, the Creator. Hena was wonderfully made (Psalms 139), her name was written on the palms of God (Isaiah 49:16), she is a jewel in the crown of the King (Zechariah 9:16).  God’s law instructs us to love and protect our children, and condemns violence and brutality.
My prayers go out to Hena’s family and friends, God hears your cries and will wipe away every tear. May precious Hena rest in peace.
Hena Begum (BBC News)
AOL News, “Rape Victim, 14 Dies After Public Flogging in Bangladesh”. Feb, 3, 2011:
BBC News, “Four arrested after Bangladesh girl ‘lashed to death”. by Anbarasan Ethirajan. Feb. 2, 2011: