06 November 2011

Sexual abuse in Great Britain's Islamic schools

Marco Tosati has written a piece examing child sexual abuse in the Islamic community in Great Britain, a topic that is receiving little attention by society as a whole.

The current situation is not insignificant:
Islamic schools in Britain, known as “madrasas” are faced with more than 400 allegations of sexual abuse over the past three years, according to a survey performed by the BBC, but only a very small number of these led to a successful formal legal inquiry. The situation brought about the need for a statute to formally regulate the activities of these schools, which greet approximately 250 thousand Muslim children every day for lessons on the Koran. The situation is so serious that the President of the Commission of Mosques and National Council of Imams stated that he would address the issue as a matter of urgency [emphases original].
Note well: that's 400+ cases in only the past three years.

Of a total 421 cases of abuse, only 10 were presented in court.  In 2009, there were 89 cases of sexual abuse; in 2010, there were 178 cases; in 2011 (which has, obviously, not yet come to a close), there have been 146 cases and may reach 200 by the end of the year.

With so many cases, one might well think this would merit the attention and coverage of the media.

It might be argued that this situation is in Britain so the American media wouldn't cover it.  By the American media did cover the abuse crisis in Ireland so that argument doesn't hold much water.

Could the media have covered the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church so thoroughly because of the cover up by some bishops and priests?  Perhaps, but there also seems to be some level of a cover up here:
A problem within the problem is the behaviour of the communities and families of children that are victims of the abuse. Very often, families were strongly pressured not to file claims to the Courts, or even to lodge protests or formal complaints at schools. And according to a judge the numbers only represent the tip of the iceberg of a problem that is in fact much greater.
We even know who seems largely responsible for encouraging victims not to present their claims: Mohammed Hanif Khanm.

Where is the media?  Where is society's concern for the safety of the children?  Where is the same anger and outrage hurled at the Catholic Church?

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