Allegations of Physical Abuse in Madrassas

18./ 19.102011

An investigation by BBC Radio 4’s “File on 4” has discovered that Britain’s madrassas faced more than 400 allegations of physical abuse in the last three years. However, only ten of them were dealt with in court, with successful prosecutions in only two cases (as identified by the BBC). While corporal punishment is still legal in part-time education settings in England, including madrassas, if lessons are taught for fewer than 12.5 hours per week, the revelations of both physical and sexual abuse in Britain’s madraddas are alarming and call for more formal regulations of the schools that are attended by more than 250,000 Muslim children every day.  According to the BBC, the cases of abuse reported may only be the tip of the iceberg, as many families are either pressured by their communities not to make a formal complaint or to withdraw complaints if they were made. Mohammad Shahid Raza, chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, considers the figures to be “very alarming and shocking” and said the issue needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.