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Bangladeshi Students Come Out About ‘Rampant’ Sexual Abuse In Islamic Schools

Bangladeshi students of Islamic schools have made horrifying revelations about the ‘rampant’ sexual abuse by teachers and older pupils.

Breaking silence on a topic taboo in their conservative country, the former students are turning to social media to put forth allegations of the sexual abuse perpetrated in Islamic schools.

Chile abuse in madrasas frequently goes unreported in the Muslim-majority nation, where the hardcore Islamist groups gather support from the thousands of Islamic schools across the country.

However, following the brutal murder of a teenage girl, who was burnt to death in April after she accused her headteacher of sexual assault, sexual abuse has become a subject of discussion and debate in the country.

In July, at least five madrasa teachers were arrested on charges of rape against boys and girls who were under their care.

Students not only suffer sexual abuse at the hands of their teachers, but also their seniors. Several senior students had also been held earlier by police over the rape and beheading of an 11-year-old orphan. Moreover, a Dhaka cleric and seminary teacher was charged with sexually assaulting a dozen boys aged between 12 and 19.

The accusations reveal the disproportionate abuse suffered by poor and rural students of Islamic schools as opposed their counterparts in secular schools.

Rights activists have made horrifying a claim that the assaults, which range from forcible kissing to violent rapes, are just the tip of the iceberg.

Abdus Shahid, the head of a child rights’ group, Bangladesh Shishy Odhikar Forum, told foreign media, “For years these crimes eluded spotlight due to sensitivity of the subject.”

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He added that devout Muslims sent their children to madrasas, but failed to speak up about sexual crimes as they felt that speaking up would harm these key religious institutions.

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