Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Texas "Polygamy" Compound Raid

By now, most people have seen the below picture in newspapers or on TV news shows:

I don't know. Something just doesn't seem right to me. Let me say that I am not a fan of domestic violence or child abuse, but this isn't sitting well with me.

I think Texas is screwing with these people.

Where's the evidence? An alleged phone call by a young woman at the "compound"? How come no one knows this woman? Where is the infamous "911" call that we have heard many times on news programs? Just where is the smoking gun in this case? Even the authorities admit that they have not "located" this young woman caller yet.

I don't know.

Especially when I DO know that it is usually VERY difficult to remove a child from a home, yet alone 400+ children. Most of us know children who the authorities SHOULD remove from homes, but they don't. Not without SOLID proof that there is a problem. Oftentimes a child in America suffers incredible abuse and neglect before the authorities do something about it. Many times, it is too late.

What's next, Texas? Waco 1993?

Everyone should be outraged if there IS abuse going on. Likewise, everyone should be outraged if it's a flimsy case.

Wonder what will happen when someone figures out that Muslim men can have up to four wives! Are we next?

("First they came…" is a poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. ( )


أبو سنان said...

I'd have to disagree with you on this one. I think in the coming weeks and months we are going to find out a lot. Because of the coming custody issues the authorities are keeping quiet.

What we do know for sure is that the leaders of this sect have the ability to "reassign" wives and children. So if you are a man and not living up to what they want you to do, they simply reassign your wives and your children to other men.

The family lives of these people are so convoluted that many of the children in custody do not know who their mother or who their fathers are. More than a few of them do not know their last name.

One 16 year old girl has four children already, father by a man old enough to be her grandfather. In the temple where these marriages were performed there were beds set up so the men could take their child brides instantly to consumate the marriage.

The leader of the group married all of his father's wives after her died, dozens of them, and father children with his father's wives.

They teach that the more wives you have the higher heaven you'll get and that at one point you can become a god of your own world. To further this select men are given dozens of wives, often before they are even teenagers.

They have taken hard drives, confiscated other materials. I think we will be truly horrified about what they did when it slowly leaks out.

The USA has taken similar actions against Mormans since they were founded and it has never been used against other groups, no reason to think it will be now.

At some point a line MUST be drawn in the sand. The multiple marriages of girls not yet in their teen years is a good place to start. The fact that these children often are "reassigned" to new "fathers" is big time child abuse and that is the least of it.

I understand your concern, but if we let these nutters walk then basically it is a free for all in America and anything, however crazy, can be justified by calling it "religious".

Their practices are VERY abusive to these girls and it must be stopped. Muslims and other groups are well aware of the law in the USA and if they do not like it they can move to another place that allows them to practice their beliefs.

The multiple marriages of pre-teen girls is criminal and not justifiable. Some of these guys had 10-20 wives, most married when they were in their teenage years and younger.

Insane. We make a lot of talk in this country about protecting children and that "our children are our future" but our actions show this to be BS. It is time to really start treating children as they deserve.

Taking down this bunch of multiple child rapists is a start.

أبو سنان said...

PS, I think according to Texas law if a report is made of child abuse they are required, by law, to follow up on it. In this case it would have been impossible to get a valid outcome of any investigation without taking the measures they did.

Because the leader (prophet) of their church has been convicted for his role in the rapes of children, authorities know exactly, through court evidence, what this sect has been up to.

As to Waco, I feel bad about the people who died there, but they opened fire on law enforcement and followed a semi-suicidal belief system which almost predicted their deaths for them.

As for them coming for us, they could do that if they wanted to and wouldnt need to justify it because of a bunch of old child rapists in Texas.

In this case the old saying should read:

"First they came for the child pornographers, and no one spoke for them.

Then they came for the internet paedohilia rings, and no one spoke for them.

They came for the sex traffickers and no one spoke a world.

Finally they came for the people who use religion to justify the rape of pre-teen girls and there was no one left to speak".

Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

hmm this whole thing is a maze just due to the sheer number of kids. I honestly don't have answer for this. I am hearing something new everyday about this case. Perhaps they should have removed the men instead of taking the kids, but then again ur in a hard spot if you are an authority in this case. Either way you wont win no matter what u do!

Anonymous said...

Once again, you said it all, Abu. Bravo!

These people need to be examined very carefully. If there were Muslims doing this type of thing, I would want someone to step in as well.

For God's sake, why wouldn't you stop at nothing to protect these girls?

I have 3 daughters and this makes my blood boil!!!!

One girl had four children by the age of 16? Are you %$#@*&% serious?! And she is still able to STAND UP????!!!!!


The true WILL be exposed, you better believe it.

American Muslima Writer said...

Totally gonna blog about this.

The similarities between us and them are large and over lapping yet they still have things that are bad that we don't do (hopefully most don't do...)

Thanks for your enlightenment Abu Sinan, you opened my eyes more to their inside workings. But how do you know all this? How did you know such inside info or are you just speculatin'? :)

أبو سنان said...

I got my information from various news agencies, as well as knowing one or two of these types when I was younger.

I am a news junky and get more news, from more sources, than the average bear! }:>)

Safa said...

I haven't even heard about this.....what world am I living in?

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikom,
I have to disagree with you on this one, as well. Research these groups (they exist in Arizona, Utah, and Western Canada, too.) What you'll come to realize is that this very long-standing problem has been IGNORED for a very long time. This is not a case of authorities acting too aggressively. Quite the opposite! "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer is a good book that explains the different sects and their history.

And American Muslima Writer, you said that they do bad things that we don't. Well, I suppose, but you cannot honestly say that this is a case of comparing apples and oranges. The *human* capacity for destruction (abuse, war, etc) is depressing, really. This is a case of comparing different *brands* of apples.

This group is not likely to ever come around to seeing things as the larger society sees things, but I do hope that they find peace one day and this event ultimately does save children from abuse.

Safiyyah said...

Everyone has made good points.

My question/concern is this: what can be done?

The people in these groups can't be forced to stop having children(except for having kids with young girls against their will).

So do the authorities step in every so often and just sweep off ALL of their kids?

That's the part that disturbs me. Are we saying that ALL of these kids are the result of abuse and rape?

And what about the children of drug addicts? Why doesn't Children and Youth step in and take ALL the children away from underage crack addicts for example? The "potential" for abuse definitely exists there. The history is well known. Recovering addicts have told us what happens in the drug world.

In my career as a substance abuse counselor, I have known addicted mothers who have had say 3-4 kids removed from the home by Children and Youth. And then the mom turns up pregnant a short time later. I have seen where the mom keeps the child, but under very close supervision of Children and Youth.

Why couldn't that have been done in Texas. i.e., the authorities go in (like they did) remove the cases where there is proven abuse, and continue to supervise these people.

That's all I'm saying.

Hopefully, I'm making some sense.

It's darn hard in America to remove a child from the home - yet alone 400+ children.

May Allah (swt) forgive me for being so dense and not understanding if all of those kids are being abused.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I have not read anything about preteen girls being married or getting pregnant in this sect. Teenage girls, yes, but not preteen.

This bed in the temple was later said to be not for consummating marriages but for those doing church work to lie down.

Yes, some of the stories sicken me. I definitely do not think that we should condone wives being reassigned, young girls given in marriage to older men, but I also feel that the due process of law was not carried out.

If some children are being abused, that does not mean that they are all being abused. The state should not be allowed to cut these children off from their mothers without knowing for a fact that these mothers have allowed their children to be abused. I'm talking about an individual basis here, not lumping everyone into one group.

ALSO - the mothers have repeatedly stated that they are willing to do what it takes to get their children back. They have said that they will go to counseling, move out of the FLDS compound, anything the state orders them to do to regain custody of their children.

Anonymous said...

Salam Sister!!

I saw an interesting take on the bias language that has been used in the media with regard to these women. I wanted to bring this article to light:

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Sister:

Thanks for posting this; I definitely agree with the author.

She is correct in stating that the information we have (and use to judge) is from the media. Can we really be sure that we have ALL the information in order to judge the families?

Like Anonymous observed, the women said that they would do anything the state required to get their children back. So why aren't they working with these moms?

Anonymous said...


Just stopping by and saw this post. I'm not very familiar with this sect or the news surrounding it, but I caution folks to be careful about accepting the word of the media on these matters.

In the case of Waco, many unsubstantiated claims were made about child abuse that later, quietly, were dismissed. And about who shot first...well, we'll likely never know since the FBI confiscated the front doors and promptly "lost" them (how convenient). David Thibodeau, a survivor of Waco, wrote a very informative book on the topic to help explain their side on the events that transpired. After much studying up on the Waco case over the years, I am thoroughly convinced that the government (namely the ATF) behaved as criminals against a sect whose only real, known violation was a misdemeanor for lacking a firearms dealer's license.

So, anyway, I am skeptical on any cases where the government moves in, using shockwords such as "compound," "religious sect," and "arsenal." They tend to convolute the issue to where people feel awful about disagreeing with how justice is being served, which is quite unfair IMO.

I completely agree that the allegations of child abuse should be looked into, but what's up with so much media focus? They act like they've never heard of kids being taken advantage of. As another commenter mentioned, this goes on ALL the time, outside of polygamous groups even, and very little is done, even when reported. And as saffiyah explained, there are many, many families where drugs are used and kids are mistreated and/or neglected. Heck, there are plenty of seemingly civilized families where no drugs are used and kids are mistreated. And then we create a media circus over one particular case as if it somehow deviates from the norm in our society. The only different about these people, as far as I can tell, is that they don't follow the mainstream Christian beliefs and therefore garner contempt, whether warranted or not.

But it's hard to say what's really happening here this early on. Pardon me for being extremely distrustful of any government actions against minority sects, as the officials have shown a tendency toward bungling everything up and/or outright lying and covering up.

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Safiyyah,

I wonder if everything is, as it always seems? Meaning this story---tragic to see on TV---is perhaps a facade for something else at the expense of these people. Could it be possible this is a political move? To distract us from something else? Again at the expense of these people in Texas? Certainly if the allegations are true, it needs to be handled appropriately and with absolute sensitivity to the children, for they are precious.

My thoughts wander so far to wonder "why now?" Why is this an issue when supposedly these sects have been conducting their lives as such for quite sometime with little or no recognition? Certainly when there is more than one person involved (and there are many in these sects) there is bound to be some upheaval and disagreements......opportunities for the authorities to be contacted in some form or another to aid to their assistance. Why now?

It would sicken me to think the allegations were true and never dealt with, and yet in the same vain it would sicken me to think these people were used as pawns for some political distraction or otherwise.