"Iraqi Culture" Mom Yusra Farhan Says She Treated Daughter "Like Any Parent Would"

Yusra Farhan -- the Phoenix mother who cited "Iraqi culture" as the reason for alleged assaults on her daughter -- said at her initial court appearance yesterday that she was disciplining her daughter "like any parent would."

Most parents haven't been arrested twice in the past week for tying their children to beds and beating them or burning them with hot spoons, and -- at least in America -- aren't citing "Iraqi culture" as the reasoning behind it.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, Farhan was first arrested on February 10 after her daughter was hospitalized, as Farhan admitted to police that she'd hit her daughter several times with her hand, and with a shoe, after becoming angry because the girl had started speaking with a boy.

She went on to explain that she'd carried out the beating while the girl was tied to a bed at their home.

On Wednesday, Farhan was arrested for a previous alleged attack on her daughter, and Farhan's husband and another daughter were also arrested for their alleged involvement in the beating that put their family member in the hospital the week before.

Police say Farhan's previous assault on her daughter came in November, when she tied up the girl again and burned the girl on her head and chest with a hot spoon.

"I swear I didn't hit her -- only slightly, like any parent would do to their children," Farhan blurted out during her court appearance yesterday. "Nobody would hurt their own children, you can ask her if she can be here with me."

Well, the police did ask her daughter what happened -- and she filled them in on how Farhan allegedly tied her up on multiple occasions, burned her skin with a hot spoon, and beat her with a shoe.

After being arrested on aggravated-assault charges for the second time in a week, Farhan's bond was set at $15,000.

Further reading: click here to read Honor Thy Father, a New Times feature story about an Iraqi man who murdered his daughter because she was becoming too Americanized.

Staff writer James King contributed to this report.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley