Islamic watchdog calls for madrassa reform after teacher found guilty of child cruelty in UK
London, Sep. 9 (ANI): An Islamic watchdog has called for reforms of madrassas after a teacher was convicted for child cruelty in the United Kingdom.
The Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) said that it is aware of rampant cases of abuse in after school classes.
"We are working to raise standards and want the teachers to be qualified," Ahmed Beg, a member of the board, said.
According to the BBC, Irfan Patel, 33, was found guilty of cruelty against children at a Lancashire mosque.
A Lancashire mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, was horrified to discover her son's madrassa teacher had been hitting and abusing him.
"I never sent him to be beaten - I sent him to learn the Koran," she said.
He was not the only one to suffer at the hands of a teacher at a madrassa, an after school class, where children learn about their faith, the report said.
Last year, three teachers from madrassas in Lancashire were convicted for thrashing children under their watch.
"In terms of corporal punishment, I'm not going to accept that in any form or any way because no child learns with that," head teacher Ustad Muhammad, Jamia Ghosia Academy, said.
According to the report, corporal punishment has been banned in mainstream schools since the 1980s.
However, madrassas are classed as supplementary schools where it is still legal in religious settings as long as it does not exceed 'reasonable chastisement'.
The schools are unregulated and teachers often have no training.
Nazir Afzal, the chief crown prosecutor for north-west England, who handled the prosecutions, said he considered the abuse to be far more widespread.
"When we talk about three successful prosecutions in the last year in the North West and probably a dozen nationally, we're talking about literally the tip of the iceberg," he said.
"There is no Ofsted, no inspection regime, they're reliant entirely on a particular committee enforcing standards, ensuring discipline is correctly maintained," he said,
"And, if they are not up to the job, there's nothing to prevent children being harmed pretty much on a daily basis," Afzal added. (ANI)
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