It’s absurd the lengths the religious will try to go to in order to get out of justice. In this week’s Horror Show Sunday, Muslim Imam Nermin Spahic, 40 is one such case. Spahic lives in Iowa, where he works as a Muslim counselor and therapist. On the evening of August 12, 2013, he was called to the home of a woman in Des Moines who reported that her 18 year old daughter was having some personal issues including depression and drug use. According to the two women, Spahic performed a Muslim ritual that involved “chanting and rubbing the body with oil,” which got him accused of and arrested for molestation and sexual abuse.
Under Iowa law, counselors and therapists are barred from “sexual conduct” with patients, but since the two women say that Spahic never claimed to offer “mental health services” or counseling, those laws really don’t apply.
“The ceremony he was performing was not psychotherapy, nor was it counseling,” said Des Moines defense attorney Angela Campbell. “The sexual exploitation charges are therefore necessarily based on his religious identity and the religious nature of his relationships to the accusers.” She claims that because Spahic and the two women never had developed an “emotionally dependent” relationship, that he should be seen as acting as his religion dictates and therefore, beyond the ability of the courts to prosecute.
Robert Rigg, the criminal defense program director at the Drake University Law School, says this is a very common tactic among the religious who get caught doing something illegal. A therapist who was accused of abusing a patient under Iowa law might claim, for instance, that the person was never officially their patient and therefore, they haven’t broken the law. This is also common among religious wrongdoers who may claim that their actions were acceptable under their religious beliefs and therefore, the first amendment comes into play and the state cannot prosecute them, else they would lose their religious freedoms.
I’m sorry but religion is not a universal “get out of jail free” card. You do not get to proclaim that your religion allows you to do things that society does not permit. I don’t know what went on at this “Muslim ritual”, but apparently it was serious enough for Spahic to be bound over for trial and the fact that he and his defense attorney are trying to play the “religion card” shows that they have nothing significant or worthwhile to excuse his actions. Maybe he really thought what he was doing was okay, I don’t know, but the religious have to get it through their heads that their primitive rituals are not automatically acceptable, just because it says they are in some primitive book of bronze-age mythology.
Sorry, off to the Religious Horror Show with you.