The Bible and Society

How God’s Word is True

Bangladesh: Land of “rampant” acid attacks

Posted by Mats on 20/03/2009

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Her father used to put drops of acid on parts of her body every day

He also used to feed her acid. After all, he wanted a son. To demonstrate how rampant acid attacks against women and children are in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, consider the fact that the country actually has an “Acid Survivors’ Foundation” hospital. But not to worry; as this report keeps suggesting, all this misogyny is a product of “poverty.” It couldn’t have anything to do with Islam’s intrinsic misogyny — which manifests itself in daily headlines — now could it?

“Women and children bear scars of most acid attacks,” from the Gulf Times, March 8 (thanks to Jeffrey Imm):

At first glance, Bably Akter looks like any other nine-year-old Bangladeshi girl, dressed in a brightly coloured pink and turquoise skirt and top trimmed with silver sequins.
A matching headband conceals her left ear, badly deformed and the only obvious sign she is the victim of an acid attack, a practice rampant in the impoverished country, used mainly in domestic disputes and against women and children

As her mother, Parul, recounts the story of how Bably’s father put drops of acid on different parts of her body for five days when she was a baby, the little girl lifts her skirt to reveal a large scar on her legs and feet.

“Her father wanted a son. He’d been violent towards me before Bably was born but it was not until day five, when he actually fed her acid I realised something was seriously wrong,” Parul, 26, said.

She complained to the police but charges were never laid.

“We ran away and spent two years at the Acid Survivors’ Foundation (ASF) hospital where Bably had a lot of plastic surgery on her mouth. She still needs more operations.”

With her broad grin and her love of dancing, Bably speaks about her dreams of one day becoming a doctor to help others in the South Asian nation.

“She says she doesn’t remember what happened but sometimes she cries for no reason. Her speech is a little bit impaired and she gets teased at school,” Parul said.

The Dhaka-based ASF says most victims of acid attacks bear obvious physical scars, which make them pariahs. Bably is one of the lucky ones…

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