Parents are free to teach morals to their children. Parents are also free to share information about their religion and beliefs with their children, but not in a way that forces or pressures them to agree with it. No, but it should be done in a way that encourages them to seek out the truth for themselves. Such sharing of information does not come under indoctrination, religious brainwashing or blind following.
Please remember, indoctrination means to teach someone to accept a set of beliefs uncritically. If you’re teaching your children not to think critically, you’re a bad parent.
For example, imposing means telling children you are born in a Muslim/Christian family and thus you have by default become a Muslim/Christian and now you have no other choice but to offer the Islamic/Christian religious rituals. This is a False Narrative that parents have all the right to impose their religion and religious practices on their children.
Similarly, Japan has recently made a law that Inciting fear by telling children they will go to hell if they do not participate in religious activities is child abuse.
Moreover, if parents are teaching Hate Speech against others in the name of sharing information, then it is also child abuse. For example:
- If Muslim parents indoctrinate their kids in the name of sharing information that Allah will become angry with them if they befriend any non-Muslim kid, or if they participate or wish them on their festivals, then it is also child abuse.
- Of if Muslim or Christian parents block their children from becoming friends with homosexual children and instil fear in them Allah/God will become angry with them if they do so, is also child abuse. Japanese government is also making a law that blocking children's interaction with friends due to a difference in religious beliefs is a form of child abuse.
Kids cannot give their informed consent for religion, just like they cannot give their informed consent for marriage. So, why then impose religion on them by telling them that they have by default become a follower of a certain religion just by getting a birth into a family which follows that particular religion? No, but religion is a personal right of children, about which they have to make an informed decision only after turning 18, just like in the case of marriages they have to make such an informed decision themselves only after turning 18.
It is neither moral/legal in the case of marriage when parents force their own choice on their children nor it is moral in the case of religion and religious practices when parents force their own choice on their children.
Instead, in an ideal situation, children should be allowed to make their own informed choices about religion when they reach the age of 18. This approach ensures that young people are able to explore and discover their own spiritual paths without being influenced by their parent's beliefs. By giving them the freedom to choose, they can develop their own sense of spirituality and morality, which may or may not align with their parents' views.
At 18, individuals are considered legal adults and are capable of making informed decisions about their lives. They should be able to evaluate different religious traditions, consider various philosophical perspectives, and ultimately select a spiritual path that resonates with their own values and experiences. By allowing young people to make their own choices about religion, we promote critical thinking, individual autonomy, and spiritual growth.
No one can deny this religious indoctrination of children as the evidence of this religious indoctrination is:
- A child born in a Hindu family, also automatically accepts Hinduism.
- A child born in a Christian family automatically becomes a Christian.
- A child born in a Muslim family automatically accepts Islam.
It is not that these children accept these religions due to their own conscious choice after becoming adults, but rather because they have been indoctrinated with those beliefs since childhood due to this False Narrative that parents have all the right to impose their religion and religious practices on them.
Many religious families also indoctrinate their children with such teachings, which come under the "Hate Speech" against others. For example, many religious Muslim families indoctrinate their children that homosexuality is a crime and homosexuals are the worst creatures in the eyes of Allah, and they (i.e. children) should hate homosexuals and homosexuality from the depths of their hearts.
This type of religious indoctrination can have negative consequences For example.:
- I was born in a Muslim family.
- Later, even when I became convinced that there exists no Allah in the heavens and that Muhammad was making the revelations on his own, still it was a struggle to leave Islam.
- And although I succeeded in leaving Islam, but still I was unable to control my hatred against homosexuals, as I was brainwashed this hate speech right from my childhood that homosexuality is worse than having sex with my mother and sister, and homosexuals are the worst of creatures. It took many more years for me to finally break free from this prejudice.
Please also think about the homosexual children in Muslim families. At present, their Muslim parents are given full liberty to indoctrinate them against homosexuality. But when nature drives these Muslim children towards homosexual behaviour, then they become totally confused and this contradiction is a huge mental torture for them. In the next step, when these children exhibit behaviour that is perceived as homosexual, their Muslim parents attribute it to demonic possession and bring them to Islamic scholars who exercise Islamic Exorcisms. This approach places immense psychological strain on vulnerable children, amounting to a form of abuse that should be immediately stopped by the State. Yes, parents should not be given so much control over children that they bring such psychological harm to them.
The process of protecting homosexual children of such religious families is the same, i.e.:
- The state should educate children about homosexuality in schools and tell them about their rights.
- They should be educated that religious parents don't have any right either to impose their choice in the case of religion or to impose their choice in the case of gender upon them.
- They should also be educated that religious parents don't have the right to blame them for being possessed by demons, and to bring them to an exorcist. The parents must bring them only to qualified psychiatrists and involve the state in this issue to help the children together.
Imposition of Religious Practices/Rituals forcefully upon children by parents
If parents try to impose religious rituals upon them, then the law should enable children to be in a position to report it (just like they are in a position to report if they are beaten at home, or someone wrongly touches them etc.).
For instance, there are numerous accounts from ex-Muslims (such as those shared on the ex-Muslim subreddit) detailing how their parents enforced strict religious practices upon them. These individuals recount having to perform daily prayer obligations five times a day, attend Quran school six days a week, and spend multiple hours each day studying and committing the Quran to memory. Imagine the overwhelming sense of oppression that children experience when forced to adhere to these rigid routines without respite.
Furthermore, consider the plight of young girls who are coerced into wearing the Hijab, even if they personally object to it. Families with strong religious beliefs often impose this attire on their daughters beginning at the tender age of three. This constant requirement can feel suffocating, especially when compared to the temporary inconvenience many experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic when masks were mandatory. Yet, these girls face the burden of donning the entire Hijab every single day.
This law could end such situations for children and help them to face any kind of social pressure.
Islam demands Muslim parents to teach children reading prayers, and to beat them if they don’t offer their prayers at 10 years of age. Although the Western States have already banned the beating of children, however, this is not enough. They should also ban parents from sending their children to Quran schools or to mosques for prayers, or to fast. They should also ban parents from compelling their daughters to wear the Hijab or Abaya.
France had already banned Head coverings and Abayas in French schools. However, banning Hijabs and Abayas in schools is not enough to protect the Human Rights of a child. Their human rights can only be fully protected when parents are prohibited altogether from imposing religious rituals and practices on their children in public and at home.
Children are not in a position to give CONSENT to Religion, just like Marriage
Children are not in a position to give consent to religion, just as they are unable to give consent for marriage.
Even after puberty at the age of 11 or 12 years, children are still not able to give consent for marriage and thus they are not allowed to marry till the age of 18. Similarly, parents are also not allowed to wed them to anyone.
Thus, if children cannot give consent to religion, why then impose it and its practices on them?
Religion is a personal choice, and children should have the freedom to make their own decisions about their beliefs, just as they would in a marriage. It's not up to parents to decide for their children. Instead, children should be able to make their own informed choices about their religious beliefs and practices when they are old enough to do so.
Japan already classifies forcing kids to participate in religion as child abuse
Please read it:
The law stipulates four types of abuse: physical, sexual, neglect and psychological.
Inciting fear by telling children they will go to hell if they do not participate in religious activities, or preventing them from making decisions about their career path, is regarded as psychological abuse and neglect in the guidelines.
Other acts that will constitute neglect include not having the financial resources to provide adequate food or housing for children as a result of making large donations, or blocking their interaction with friends due to a difference in religious beliefs and thereby undermining their social skills.
When taking action, the guidelines will urge child consultation centres and local governments to pay particular attention to the possibility that children may be unable to recognise the damage caused by abuse after being influenced by doctrine-based thinking and values.
In addition, there are concerns that giving advice to parents may cause the abuse to escalate and bring increased pressure from religious groups on the families. In the light of this, the guidelines will call for making the safety of children the top priority and taking them into temporary protective care without hesitation.
For children 18 years of age or older and not eligible for protection by child consultation centres, local governments should instead refer them to legal support centres, welfare offices and other consultation facilities.
This law does not make Japan an authoritarian State, that wants to interfere in private family lives etc. No, but this law is made by Japan only for the PROTECTION of children against the misuse of the authoritarian powers of parents. And yes, the State must interfere in the private life of families for the following 4 abuses of children:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Abuse of Neglection and
- Psychological Abuses to indoctrinate children and impose religion and religious activities upon them forcefully.
Excuses by Islamic Apologists in favour of imposing religion and religious practices on children by parents:
Here is the list of common excuses by Islamic apologists as to why parents should be given the right to indoctrinate their children.
It is an Injustice against Muslim parents:
It is not an injustice against Muslim parents specifically because the ban applies equally to all parents regardless of their religious affiliation.
This ban does not include ONLY Muslim parents, but ALL parents. This means Atheists, ex-Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus etc. all of them are banned from indoctrinating their children and imposing their ideology/religion and its practices upon children.
One Islamic apologist wrote:
It is unjust, while atheists have no rituals. Thus such a law will only affect Muslim/Christian/Jewish families
If these religions are authoritarian and wrongfully impose their rituals on small children then atheist parents are not responsible for their wrongdoings.
The rule is only one, i.e. religion and religious rituals cannot be imposed on children. Blame these religions, not this rule or atheist parents.
It sounds like an Authoritarian State
It's not authoritarian to protect children from the imposition of religion and religious rituals. The state is only protecting, and not imposing anything on children.
True authoritarianism occurs when parents are allowed to dictate their beliefs to their children and impose its rituals upon them forcefully, denying them the chance to explore and choose their path. Forcing children to adhere to certain religious practices, such as attending Madrasa or reciting the Quran, against their will is a violation of their human rights. Similarly, forcing girls to wear the Hijab and Abaya is also a form of authoritarianism.
These are double standards when the state is wrongfully blamed for being authoritarian only for protecting children's rights, but they altogether neglect the authoritarianism of religious parents who impose their religion and rituals on children.
How can children be left alone at home when parents go to mosque or church?
One Islamic preacher objected:
You can’t realistically ban a parent from taking their kid with them to the Mosque or whatever other religious service. Parents have to go places and the kids have to come with them. It’s just a simple fact of life that children have to be dragged along with their parents wherever their parents go.
Firstly, if parents are going to watch a scary movie in a cinema, then they also don't take their children with them but make an alternative arrangement for their children.
Secondly, even if parents have to drag children along with them, then they should not compel children to pray along with them. Mosques or churches can also offer separate places for children.
The goal is not to eliminate all hurdles but to eliminate major child abuses like compelling children to go to Quran madrasas or to offer 5 prayers daily, or to compel girls to wear the Hijab etc.
Regarding minor issues, it may be enough to issue a guideline for parents. But such minor issues should not be misused as an excuse to reject this law altogether, and to make even major abuses legal for parents to impose their religion and all rituals on children.
Similarly, another Islamic preacher objected:
How can you differentiate between religious practice and culture? Are you going to make it illegal to give gifts on Christmas?
Firstly, since when does giving gifts come under the imposition of religious rituals? Is it an obligatory religious ritual in Islam or Christianity to give gifts? Even people of other religions can also give you gifts on Eid and Christmas and Diwali etc.
Secondly, the answer is the same. We are not living in a 100% perfect world. It is enough if laws serve the purpose of stopping the major abuses, which are like compelling girls to wear the Hijab in public, or compelling kids to go to Quran Madrassas or circumcision of male children etc.
Even simply educating children that parents are not allowed to impose religion or religious rituals is enough to bring big changes and stop major child abuse.
It is against the PRIVACY of families to be punished for things that are not harmful
Of course, these are harmful practices, when:
- A child is forcefully circumcised.
- A child is forcefully compelled to go to the Quran school and to pray five times a day, and fast.
- A girl is forcefully compelled to take the Hijab and Abaya against her will.
- When a kid is taught hate speech.
- When a kid is pressured to enter in faith of his parents and all other choices are blocked for him.
At present, parents are fully in a position to influence and impose their DEMANDS upon children forcefully, and there are consequences for children if they don't fulfil their demands.
There are tons of evidence and thousands of witnesses present in the stories of ex-Muslims (on Exmuslim Subreddit), when girls didn't wear the Hijab, or didn't go to Quran school, or said that they didn't want to be Muslim, then their parents made them suffer in one way or the other (if not physically, then mentally they abused their children). Or what homosexual children have to endure in a religious family, is horrible.
When it comes to the rights of children, then there is already no privacy involved. The State of Japan has already identified those four issue, where the so-called privacy of family doesn't matter as this privacy is only misused to protect child abuse. These four issues are:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Abuse of Neglection and
- Psychological Abuses to indoctrinate children and impose religion and religious activities upon them forcefully.
If parents are not allowed to beat children privately at home, then forcing them to learn the Quran and to pray five times at home privately should also be a crime and investigated upon report.
The state is not enforcing anything upon the children, but it is prohibiting the parents from imposing and enforcing abuses upon their children as if children are their private property.
How can a State stop Muslim boys and girls who want to fast or wear the Hijab on their own, without any imposition and enforcement from their parents?
An Islamic apologist wrote:
Many children with religious beliefs will want to practice their beliefs before 18.There is nothing you can do without becoming an authoritarian regime and taking people's freedoms away.
Since we don't know if parents have enforced anything upon children or not, the STATE has more rights over a child in such a situation.
For example, if a 9-year-old girl wants to marry an old man, then the State gets the full right to prohibit such a marriage, and it is not counted as an authoritarian regime, or taking away the people's freedom.
Even after maturity at the age of 12 years, the state neither allows kids to marry on their own nor allows parents to wed them.
Yes, kids are allowed to like (or even love) any person of their choice. Still, they have to wait till they are 18 years old to marry the person of their liking. Similarly, kids are fully allowed to like the religion of their parents and to read about that religion. But they have to start acting upon religious rituals only after turning 18.
Neither a State bans marriage nor religion. But for children, the States have the full right to ban marriage as well as religious practices till they become adults of 18 years of age so that they are no more under the influence or indoctrination of their parents.
It is impossible to implement it while Religious communities will bitterly oppose it
Where there is a will, there is a way.
Yes, it seems a difficult task at the moment, but remember that it was also seen as an impossible task when the French Government first decided to ban the Hijab and all other religious symbols in schools. But then the French Government and French people proved us wrong, and indeed they found a way to implement it.
Similarly, it was considered an impossible task to ban child beating in the beginning. But then such laws were made and indeed successfully implemented.
We have the arguments and morality on our side, and we can indeed succeed in protecting the rights of children.
And yes, religion needs indoctrination to survive. If they rely on 18-year-olds as new followers, then most probably religions will die. But this is not our concern if a religion lives or dies. If religious people think that their religion is the best, then it should have the ability to attract 18-year-old people too.
There will be no benefit of such a law as 5 to 10-year-old kids are dumb and cannot report such things
The same excuses were also made against the laws about physical and sexual abuses of small kids (i.e. no use of such a law as small kids cannot report it). However, the laws were made, and it indeed provided protection to kids and people learnt about it and started abiding by it.
Even a 5-year-old kid cannot report such abuse, but his elder siblings can do it, friends and extended family members can do it, and neighbours can report such abuse.
Yes, such laws may not provide 100% protection against physical or sexual or psychological abuses f they are invisibly done at home, but something is always better than nothing, especially when there are many other indirect ways to prove the crimes indirectly (e.g. other siblings or friends or neighbours are also allowed to report and testify it).
And there are some visible abuses which can be immediately stopped, like compelling small girls (even as old as 2-year-old baby girls) to wear the Hijab, or to send small kids to the Quran schools or taking them to mosques/churches/temples for worship.
Therefore, it would be the dumbest thing to absolutely not make a law against it on the assumption that it could not protect small kids. This law is the only option to challenge this false narrative that parents have the full right to indoctrinate their children by blocking their access to other information and imposing their religion and religious practices forcefully.
Another Islamic apologist wrote:
If you want to try to create a utopia, better clean up all the gray space, and make it all work in black and white.
But we tell them that:
- No, we are not religious people who believe their Allah to be 100% perfect, and thus their Allah also created 100% perfect nature and thus there exist no grey spaces, and all is black and white.
- No, we don't believe in 100% perfect Utopia. No, we don't believe that things have to be 100% black and white. No, we don't deny the existence of grey areas.
We live in a non-perfect and flawed world. We take decisions on the basis of what is "more" beneficial and what is "less" beneficial. Or what is "more" harmful and what is "less" harmful.
Thus, even if such laws fail to 100% eliminate the physical, sexual and religious abuses, still they should be supported as they indeed bring a lot of good to society and provide protection to children to a great extent.
State control of people's lives is the reason where the genocide begins
Another Islamic apologist made the following allegation:
The state coming into folks homes and policing their thoughts, their speech, their interactions with their family will lead to State control of people's lives. This is how genocide starts.
It is a dumb and totally flawed allegation.
The State is not controlling the people's lives here, but it is only protecting that the child's life and thoughts and speech is controlled in an authoritarian way by the religious parents.
That is why the State comes to the homes and protects children against beating and physical abuse by authoritarian parents, and no genocide occurred due to this, but the result was only the positive outcome, where beating of children was reduced many folds and people indeed learned the law and how to abide by it.
That is why the Japanese State identified the 4 issues, where there exists no privacies of families, i.e.:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Abuse of Neglection and
- Psychological Abuses to indoctrinate children and imposing religion and religious activities upon them forcefully.
In these cases, the allegations of privacy breach, policing, genocide etc. are only used by religious elements to provide protection to abuses of religious parents against their kids.
Why stop at religion? Why not ban politics for children
Of course, children should not be involved in politics till the age of 18, till they can make informed decisions on their own.
That is why, there already exists an age limit of 18 for voting.
Islamic preachers are strange. They want a person to do a PhD degree first before leaving Islam. But how can they then bring small children into the domain of Islam without their informed decisions?
France has already banned the Hijab and all other religious symbols in schools.
Unfortunately, this is not enough. Parents are still in the position to demand their children to follow their religion and its rituals. And if any child refuses to accept their demand, then there are consequences for him. His parents are in a position to harm that child physically or mentally.
The job must be done completely, and the rights of children should be safeguarded completely, otherwise, parents would always be in a position to exploit them for the sake of their religion.