A Muslim mother has shaved the head of her 14-year-old daughter in Bologna, Italy, on learning that the child was taking off her headscarf as soon as she would leave the house.
The eighth-grade girl would reportedly put her headscarf back on just before returning to the family home, but her deception was eventually caught by her mother on Wednesday, who summarily cut off all her hair.
When the girl arrived to school bald on Thursday, her teachers inquired into what had happened, and when she told them, the school principal decided to inform the police, who took the girl into custody.
Charges of mistreatment and abuse have been brought against the girl’s parents, who are of Bangladeshi origin, and the case has been handed over to the local prosecutor of offenses involving minors, together with the cooperation of social services.
The mayor of Bologna, Virginio Merola, criticized the punishment inflicted on the girl as “unacceptable parental authoritarianism” and warned that “those who come to Italy must follow our laws and our Constitution.”
The Bologna coordinator of the Muslim community, Yassine Lafram, also took the girl’s side in the matter, stating that according to Islamic tradition “any form of coercion makes the act itself invalid.”
All the prescriptions of Islam, from the Ramadan fast to the pilgrimage to Mecca, “are part of a free choice of the person and no one can impose them, religiously speaking,” Lafram said.
At the same time, Lafram said it is necessary “to help the family, including the mother herself, and to understand what motivated her to carry out this act.”
“It’s too easy to condemn her and hand her over to the mediatic slaughterhouse,” he said.
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