London, Dec 10 (ANI): British Muslim kids are being beaten and abused regularly by teachers at some madrassas during Islamic evening classes despite ban on corporal punishments in schools.
Almost 1,600 madrassas operate in Britain, teaching Arabic and the Koran on weekday evenings to about 200,000 children aged from four to their mid-teens, The Times reported.
Students have been slapped, punched and had their ears twisted, according to an unpublished report by an imam based on interviews with victims in the north of England.
One was "picked up by one leg and spun around" while another said a madrassa teacher was "kicking in my head - like a football", says the report which was compiled by Irfan Chishti, a former government adviser on Islamic affairs.
While there is no hard evidence to indicate how many are involved in the physical abuse of children, The Times reported a disturbing pattern in one town - Rochdale - through interviews with mainstream school teachers, Muslim parents and the children themselves.
One woman said that her niece Hiba (7) was slapped across the face so hard by her madrassa teacher that her ear was cut. It later became inflamed and she had to have emergency medical treatment.
When the teacher refused to apologise, Hiba's aunt, Jamila, insisted that her niece should be moved to another madrassa. "I have absolutely no respect for religious teachers who behave like this," she said.
Another girl described how, at the age of 12, her madrassa teacher hit her whenever she mispronounced a word or forgot a verse of the Koran.
When Imam Chishti, a religious education teacher who also runs the Light of Islam Academy in Rochdale, decided to carry out his own investigation into the problem he was shocked by how even the victims had grown to accept the abuse.
Corporal punishment was banned in state schools in 1986 and in all schools in 1998. Under current law teachers acting in loco parentis may use only "reasonable punishment" such as a smack, providing it does not cause any marks or bruising.
But the abuse discovered goes far beyond what could be termed "reasonable force." (ANI)