In Selected Opinion

By Dr. Sherif Younes (*) –

It is assumed that the return of the child Shenouda to his family, who raised him, is a happy ending to an unfortunate event (assuming that this is a final decision, not a temporary one).

But the truth is that there is nothing happy in this story, which reveals a society and a state that – supposedly – have laws, a constitution, and state organs, but its ruined mentality can be described in contradictory terms as “organized barbarism.” It is organized because it operates through “laws” sometimes, and fatwas some other times, and always through institutions stipulated in the constitution.

The summary of this complicated “formula” is as follows:

  • The last thing that mattered in the whole story was the child himself. The first and worst thing that was done was to take the child away from the parents who raised him and put him in a “Muslim” shelter (believe it or not, the shelter here has a religion and also prays and fasts!). He wasn’t even left with his family until his legal status would be settled.
  • The barbaric society brought out on this occasion (as on many other occasions!) its “pure sectarian gems” and welcomed the great official measure that had been taken. And of course some moral epithet was stuck to the subject since (of course!) we want to guarantee that he lives in the “right religion” so that he eventually enters paradise, because (of course!) this is his supreme interest! His (current) interest, in other words, is not the interest of the roaring herds!
  • After the issue became a scandal and its sectarian smell spread all over the world, and after all what happened to the child for months, the prosecution decided to release the “captive” so that he could return, months later, to his family. His psyche is most likely devastated and he does not even grasp what happened to him.
  • The most amusing thing, is that the decision to return the child to his family was to salvage what can be saved from the scandal that occurred, not to save the child himself! It was taken based on a fatwa and not on any law since, in reality, applying the law would, in an extreme case, have simply ended with changing the child’s family lineage in order to fit the so-called “orphan custody” status. In other words, the decision has only an incidental relationship with the child’s own interest—with the exception, of course, of his alleged otherworldly interest, which is now overthrown by the repatriation decision and the state’s recognition that the child is “Christian,” as if that was the problem!
  • In adhering to the principle of preventing adoption, the Public Prosecution decided to give the child a fourfold Christian name, and thus he will not be attributed to his (“adoptive”) family; but in fact this is not anymore a big problem because what happened to the child is no small thing, and it is no longer useful for him to live as a normal child.
  • The argument for preventing adoption by not mixing lineages is just a mere justification, because there is another rule that is exactly the opposite of this argument: ‘the childborn is (attributed) to the (marriage) bed,’ i.e. to the husband, regardless of biological origin!
  • The only solution that really could fix these disasters is that, if these parents can afford it, they take the kid out of this garbage can and live in a respectable country where they can try to make him forget what happened as much as possible, and find him psychological care that cannot be provided by this psychopathic society, including many of its psychiatrists who are infected by the same virus. This would be the first measure taken in the interest of the child himself, not in the interest of the societal and historical complexes, ever since when this story began.


(*) Dr Sherif Younes is professor of history, Helwan University

Article translated from a post in Arabic on his FB page

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