California: Muslim polygamist guilty of torturing 2 wives, 19 children
Here is one of the 50,000 to 100,000 Muslim polygamists in the U.S. Of course, there are abusive husbands in all cultures, but only in an Islamic context is there the idea that beating one’s wife has divine sanction (Qur’an 4:34). Might not that create a culture, an atmosphere in which this kind of thing is more likely to happen?
After being convicted on 24 charges involving torture, abuse and false imprisonment, Mansa Musa Muhummed, seated, looks up at his defense attorney as he is being handcuffed. When the verdicts were read in court, Muhummed had shook his head from left to right.
MURRIETA, Calif. â€” A self-described polygamist was convicted Wednesday of charges that he starved, tortured and abused his two wives and many of his 19 children and stepchildren.
A Riverside County Superior Court jury found Mansa Musa Muhummed guilty on 25 counts, including torturing seven of the children, abusing 12 of them and falsely imprisoning the wives. He faces seven life sentences.
Muhummed, 55, shook his head as the verdict was read, prosecutor Julie Baldwin said.
His wives and children were not present in court but they plan to attend his sentencing, which is scheduled for August 1, she said.
Muhummed, whose birth name was Richard Boddie, told authorities that his Muslim faith gave him the right to take multiple wives. He was arrested in 1999 after one of his wives, Laura Cowan, managed to slip a 13-page letter to a postal service worker describing the abuse….
Once the case went to trial, a string of his children and stepchildren, now adults, also took the stand, telling the jury that they had been beaten, starved, strung up by their feet and forced to eat vomit and feces.
Muhummed testified in his own defense. On the stand, in sometimes tearful testimony he denied the charges and blamed one of his wives for the alleged abuse.
He said that his children and stepchildren ate three regular meals a day except during the holy month of Ramadan, when the older children ate two meals â€” one before dawn and one after sunset.
Doctors said the children were extremely malnourished. A 19-year-old daughter was 4-foot-1 and weighed 56 pounds.
* In other news:
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BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip – An explosion flattened a house in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing seven people. After blaming Israel and unleashing a barrage of rockets and mortar shells, Hamas suggested the blast was accidental, not an Israeli attack.