Muslim leaders warn of abuse in madrassas


by Rohin
22nd March, 2006 at 2:39 pm    

Muslims could face a child abuse scandal on a par with the Catholic Church, a report has warned.

A group of Muslim leaders says the community is in denial about child abuse in religious schools, known as madrasas. The UK has about 700. [BBC reports]

About 100,000 students study at those 700 schools. Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, the co-author of the report and chair of the Muslim Parliament of Britain, said that Muslims are in denial if they think physical and sexual abuse is not taking place. The group want madrassas to be regulated in the same way other schools are. Too often abuse is a taboo subject and victims are left with no one to turn to. Home tuition is also flourishing as parents have lost confidence in their children being safe at madrassas.

Anne Cryer weighed in with some meaningless nonsense:

“Are we saying that British Asian children are not entitled to the protection of the law? It is racist to differentiate between children and to fail to offer that protection.”


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Filed in: Current affairs,Race politics,Religion






33 Comments below   |  

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  1. Sunny — on 22nd March, 2006 at 2:45 pm  

    Wtf? 700 madrassas in this country? Is that true?

    Saying that, I think Mr Siddiqui is a great guy. Have met him on a few occasions and he makes some good points. Quite intelligent.
    And I’m so glad they’ve pre-empted any scandal by warning that abuse could be takingplace. I really hope this leads to some change.

  2. Kulvinder — on 22nd March, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    Obviously id agree that the children need protecting and those schools should implement whatever safeguards the wider education establishment use, but unless he can give some authoritative quantifiable evidence on the extent of abuse i won’t accept outright generalisations or saying its comparable to scandal X.

    Obviously i hope those (and other religious) institutions forsee the changing times and are aggressively pro-active in undertaking whatever procedual change is needed, but i refuse to jump on any bandwagon or start a process of general witch-hunting.

  3. nukh — on 22nd March, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

    now, imagine the conditions in the madrassas of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan…etc.

  4. Jay Singh — on 22nd March, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

    Rohin I think that Anne Cryer meansher comments to those who say that madrassas don’t need to be brought under the rubric of state regulation that it is a form of denying them the protection that every other kid in the UK has.

    Is the statistic of 100,000 children in madrassas in the UK accurate? That is a lot of children being schooled outside the system. Usually it is for an hour or two after normal school I think.

  5. Kulvinder — on 22nd March, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

    now, imagine the conditions in the madrassas of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan…etc.

    Imagine them how? Unless im missing something, you’re doing little more than shouting ‘paedophile’.

    Im not sure how its benefitial to start imprinting a wider belief that Madrasases are paedophilic/terrorist melting pots etc etc.

  6. Jay Singh — on 22nd March, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    I think that nukh spends a lot of time imagining things in Pakistan. For some strange reason.

  7. Rohin — on 22nd March, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    Kulvinder, you’re quite baffling. Are you suggesting madrassas in the subcontinent are no worse in terms of abuse than Islamic schools here? Good Lord. Or not, as the case may be. Abuse happens systematically all over the subcontinent, especially in schools.

    Back to the UK. Nobody’s jumping on a bandwagon – bar perhaps the usual brigade who will seize upon this as evidence of abuse. Dr Siddiqui has heard many anecdotal cases of abuse, but acknowledges they are anecdotal. At least he’s trying to do something.

    Your bizarre attitude could be extrapolated to rape. If 50 of 100 rapes are reported, are you claiming that only 50 occur? What about in the Middle East where almost none are reported? Children who are the victims of abuse don’t come forward and accuse their abusers, to sit there and demand evidence is not only foolish, it’s insensitive.

  8. Rohin — on 22nd March, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

    Remember – the abuse in the Catholic Church only came to light when victims had grown up and had the confidence and courage to come forward. Dr Siddiqui is trying to avert that ever happening. He said all cultures suffer from this and I agree. There is nothing wrong with prophylactic regulation.

  9. raz — on 22nd March, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

    I think it is excellent to take pre-emptive action in this case. Paedophiles exist in all cultures – they must be rooted out and dealt with in accordance with the law. Ann Cryer is just being an idiot as usual. I’ve already read of several cases of Imams being prosecuted and jailed for child abuse, so it’s not like nothing has been done. I DO thing this particular statement:

    “Muslims could face a child abuse scandal on a par with the Catholic Church, a report has warned”

    is a little misleading, because it implies that there is already a mass of abused children being covered up. What I believe is the real concern of this reports is to make sure that madrassas are properly regulated and checked so that these criminals are caught before they cause widespread harm over a long period of time. It’s a very worthwhile step by Mr. Siddiqui.

    Having said that, how long before this report is seized upon by right wing blogs as ‘Islam is a religion of pedophiles’?

  10. Kulvinder — on 22nd March, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

    Kulvinder, you’re quite baffling. Are you suggesting madrassas in the subcontinent are no worse in terms of abuse than Islamic schools here? Good Lord. Or not, as the case may be. Abuse happens systematically all over the subcontinent, especially in schools.

    I haven’t seen anything other than anecdotal evidence about abuse in britain, i haven’t heard anything other than the third world is worse than britain regarding abuse outside britain.

    I don’t know, so i prefer not to put forward negative conjecture.

    Back to the UK. Nobody’s jumping on a bandwagon – bar perhaps the usual brigade who will seize upon this as evidence of abuse. Dr Siddiqui has heard many anecdotal cases of abuse, but acknowledges they are anecdotal. At least he’s trying to do something.

    And i commend him for it.

    Your bizarre attitude could be extrapolated to rape. If 50 of 100 rapes are reported, are you claiming that only 50 occur? What about in the Middle East where almost none are reported? Children who are the victims of abuse don’t come forward and accuse their abusers, to sit there and demand evidence is not only foolish, it’s insensitive.

    If only 50 are found guilty by a jury, yes. Im not sure what you’re implying by the other 50, are they found not guilty or are you implying they occur but not attempting to substantiate that?

    I prefer to compare an open judicial system to one that is not, to allow stigmitization without demanding evidence is not deeply unfair, its dangerous.

  11. j0nz — on 22nd March, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

    Why does the BBC insist on using ‘brackets’ whenever mentioning anything to do with ‘Muslims’? They don’t need brackets, it’s already stated as a claim. How irritating. And they never use brackets when talking about abuse claims with regards to Priests or Vicars… I suppose they have to doubly careful these days when mentioning those Who Should Not Be Named

  12. Jay Singh — on 22nd March, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

    Raz

    I think anne Cryer is agreeing with you. She gets dissed a lot for the strong line she takes on these issues and people tell her to stick her nose out a lot and hence she always has the arguments ready to pre-empt those assertions when they say that Asian/Muslim kids at madrassas or wherever don’t deserve to have the full protection of the law. She is basically saying that they need it and to deny it is a failure to grant Asian kids the same protection they get in state schools when they are in religious schools.

  13. raz — on 22nd March, 2006 at 3:46 pm  

    Maybe – but she still seems a bit of a ‘one trick pony’ to me, although not as much as jonz.

  14. Jay Singh — on 22nd March, 2006 at 3:46 pm  

    Having said that, how long before this report is seized upon by right wing blogs as ‘Islam is a religion of pedophiles’?

    Raz, having been to some right-wing blogs, there are some people that already say that kind of shit.

  15. Sanjeev — on 22nd March, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

    700 Madrassas is not as scary as it might first soud, they are just sunday school types attached to(rooms in) mosques, not full fledged schools. When one considers there around 2000 mosquesin the UK.

    It is a good thing, everyone needs to wake up…there are kiddy fiddlers in every community.

  16. zubairc — on 22nd March, 2006 at 4:11 pm  

    let’s just wait and see what the report contains. If all the doctor has is anecdotal evidence, why is he making such a fuss? I look forward to reading the report.

  17. Siddhartha Singh Muslim — on 22nd March, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

    Raz, having been to some right-wing blogs, there are some people that already say that kind of shit.

    Since when did we bother what they say on Harry’s Paranoia? ;-)

  18. Siddhartha Singh Muslim — on 22nd March, 2006 at 4:19 pm  

    Child abuse at madarassas? ’twas ever thus.

  19. Rohin — on 22nd March, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

    “Raz, having been to some right-wing blogs, there are some people that already say that kind of shit.”

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Kulvinder my point about rape was about REPORTED crimes. Just because no one reports paedophilia, it doesn’t mean it’s not occurring. There was just a report on NDTV saying that the rate of reporting paedophilia on male children is almost 0%, but child sex trade gangs are being discovered every day. Might make a post out of it.

  20. Kulvinder — on 22nd March, 2006 at 5:05 pm  

    Just because no one reports paedophilia, it doesn’t mean it’s not occurring.

    Im not sure where you’re coming from, i never sought to deny that abuse may be occuring, if i gave that impression im sorry, i just said it was impossible to quanitfy it in any authoritative way based largely on hearsay. You can’t say its as bad as the catholic scandal or that its worse in third world countries. You don’t know that.

  21. Sunny — on 22nd March, 2006 at 5:49 pm  

    There was a Radio 4 report a few years ago on abuse by Imams, can’t remember what it was called. I’m pretty sure a TV programme has also touched on this.

    But it’s a political hot potato and therefore its my belief that other reports / investigations have been quashed. It is a brave BBC producer who will order another investigation into such abuse in the worry they will be called Islamophobic.

    So in that view it is not only important but also ideal that Dr Siddiqui has pre-empted this debate. Frankly I don’t give a shit about right-wing blogs who will use it to flog their own agenda. The important thing here is the lives of the young kids, not what blogs say. the lives of kids should not be used a political tool – end of story.

  22. Don — on 22nd March, 2006 at 5:51 pm  

    ‘If all the doctor has is anecdotal evidence, why is he making such a fuss?’

    If you had ‘anecdotal evidence’ of abuse in your local school, wouldn’t you make a fuss, at least to the extent of ensuring that proper safeguards and independant scrutiny were in place?

    After all, anecdotal evidence is all you will have until cases have gone through the courts, since all other cases will be either unreported or subject to strict confidentiality while being investigated.

    I don’t see anything wrong in Cryer’s comment. If only two councils have ensured that child protection measures are in place, the others need to be criticised, and if they have kept away from the issue because of some idea of ‘cultural sensitivity’ then they need a good slap to wake them up.

    More power to Dr. Siddiqui.

  23. jamal — on 22nd March, 2006 at 11:22 pm  

    If this is happening, then the children definatly need protecting and the schools need regulating.

  24. nukh — on 23rd March, 2006 at 2:14 am  

    Kulvinder,
    My comment “now, imagine the conditions in the madrassas of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan…etc.”
    was intended to draw attention to the plight of children enrolled in parochial [boarding] schools in the sub-continent.
    one can infer with reasonable certainity that child abuse is rampant in our part of the world…esp, given the regions govt’s whacked priorities
    p.s. – raz et al,
    please do not construe my post as an attack on muslims.
    this disease, in addition to madrassas, infects gurukuls [hindu seminaries], and khalsa schools.

  25. Kulvinder — on 23rd March, 2006 at 3:44 am  

    one can infer with reasonable certainity that child abuse is rampant in our part of the world…esp, given the regions govt’s whacked priorities

    Infer from what?

  26. nukh — on 23rd March, 2006 at 4:40 am  

    infer from the state of law and order in the indian subcontinent.
    infer from the stigma attached to anything sexual in that part of the world.
    infer from the abysmally low numbers of reported rapes in our neck of the woods
    infer form the utter denial prevalent in desh, when it comes to child abuse. esp, when the victims are boys.
    infer from tons of ngo reports floating out there….
    infer from ——-you get my drift, i hope.

  27. Kulvinder — on 23rd March, 2006 at 8:00 am  

    …not really. Again i don’t deny the existence of abuse but anyone claiming that ‘OMG ITS THIS BAD’ is going on nothing more than rumour.

  28. Jay Singh — on 23rd March, 2006 at 10:27 am  

    Kulvinder you are being deliberately obtuse

  29. Jay Singh — on 23rd March, 2006 at 10:35 am  

    nukh is right when he says that the ingredients are there for objectionable people to exploit taboos and silences and low priorities on these issues for their own immoral aims and there are indications that it takes place in all religious seminaries in the subcontinent. Your objection Kulvinder to the assertions of degree just seem pedantic and obvious – yes part of the reason why it is difficult to gauge the extent is because there has been no wide scale survey or investigation done.

    But it is fair to assume that given the widespread silence and denial on many of these issues in desi cultures it is not so OUTRAGEOUS that nukh said what he said.

  30. Sanjeev — on 23rd March, 2006 at 11:41 am  

    700 madrassas is not anytihng special when one considers that they mostly within the premises of the UKs 2000 odd mosques.

  31. Sunny — on 23rd March, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

    Kulvinder’s point is that we’re making assumptions because we expect such institutions to be bad, without any real evidence.

    Though I think I share Nukh and Jay’s suspicion that these places are not only open to abuse, but also that it takes place.

  32. Rohin — on 23rd March, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

    Nobody’s ASSUMING or EXPECTING madrassas to be bad.

    And Nukh’s point was about all religious schools in all subcontinental countries. Kulvinder is unwilling to believe that the subcontinent has a worse child abuse record than anywhere else, unless he sees real evidence. I say that’s utter idiocy. To refer to my most recent thread, he is being like the British Sea Cadet authority and refusing to believe ‘rumour’, when it’s patently obvious abuse is widespread.

    That’s all, we needn’t discuss it any further as we’ve all said our bits.

  33. Sunny — on 23rd March, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

    we needn’t discuss it any further

    Yessah!

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