I've blogged before about the Muslim culture's tendency to take everything personally. If you reduce the world down to office politics, Dar al-Islam is the woman who borrows your stapler without asking, chips her nail on it, and slashes your tires because you ruined her manicure. She's also the one who hates men and constantly rides her male coworkers with threats of sexual harrassment charges, even if all they said was "That's a nice perfume" or "My girlfriend was all crazy last weekend." And God Forbid you accidentally "disrespect" her things, because she'll ambush you after hours and try to shove you down an elevator shaft. In short, she's convinced that the universe revolves around her and that everyone else is out to get her, and she's prone to gross overreaction and personal retaliation.
Why do I bring this up? This story. If you can't follow the link or don't have time to read it, it goes something like this: at a school in Morocco, a six-year-old girl accidentally stepped on the imam/teacher's prayer rug. So he struck her in the face, bruising her eyes and possibly breaking her nose. She's six years old!
A rational, caring person would have taken the little girl aside, gently pointed out her error and showed her how to avoid it. You don't beat a child who isn't even old enough to realize her mistake without help. And for the record, I'm not one of those touchy-feely types that doesn't believe in corporal punishment. I just believe that it should be saved for really dire circumstances, like if the child takes a life-threatening risk or dents the car or something like that. And children should never, ever, ever be struck in anger. Not ever.
Via Isaac Schrodinger, who has many other harrowing tales of his own experiences growing up in Pakistan. He's currently applying for asylum in Canada, so you might want to send him an email or leave a supportive comment. Someone in his position needs all the positive help he can get.