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One Size Tall
In relation to covering up child sex abuse, other religions are just as culpable as the Roman Catholic Church.
Eamonn McCann, 31 Aug 2012
One internal church report going back 40 years has never seen the light of day. Another by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, published in 2010, detailed cases which had been reported to the Church but had never reached court. Butler-Sloss commented that Church leaders showed “a lack of understanding about the seriousness of historic child abuse”.
Manchester lawyer Richard Scorer, representing victims of both Catholic and Anglican clerics, says, “The one thing I’ve learned is that the churches only act on the issue of child abuse when they face external pressure. There is no internal momentum to deal with this issue.”
In the Muslim world, too, victims have begun to speak out.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has reported on religious schools where children, mostly boys, have routinely suffered sadistic sexual assaults. Cases include a 12-year-old boy scarred with a hot iron for refusing a teacher’s advances, a 14-year-old drenched in acid for resisting rape by a cleric and a three-year-old sexually assaulted by a teacher.
When one imam was arrested for sodomising a 13-year-old, several hundred zealots stormed the jail and freed him. The imam then called on other Muslim leaders to protest to the government against police “interference” in a matter they deemed appropriate to the Mosque.
Allegations of Muslim clerical child abuse have also surfaced in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Indonesia, Malaysia and in Western countries.
Followers of the hip Hindu guru Sathaya Sai Baba have likewise been grappling with claims pouring in from countries where the Swami had been scattering his wisdom and seed before departing this earthly plane last April at the age of 84. Complaints of sexual assault have come from the US, Britain, Australia, India, Sweden, Germany, Pakistan, Venezuela and Argentina.
The Swami told believers that “our faith is being tested.”
Sathaya Sai Baba had grown fabulously rich from donations from devotees and sales of books of blissful sayings. “I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts... I shall be with you, march on, have no fear... You are in the Light, then the Light is in you, you are the Light... Shed one tear, I shall wipe a hundred from your eyes... See good - Hear good - Speak good - Do good - Be good...”