Continuing the responses to a post I wrote previously on my Qur’an teacher sexually abusing girls.
The responses below came in the form of comments or short messages, not in the form of email. So I’m sharing them in one post here. Most of these were posted as comments on the old blog when I first raised this issue of sexual abuse in Muslim communities. (If you think this means only Muslims can be or are sexual abusers, you are one of the stupidest people on earth and you need to 1) go read, 2) be friends with more people from backgrounds different from your own, 3) stop wasting your time on social media and actually meet and interact with people through it who can enlighten and challenge you!)
4. One commenter said: “I am man and was abused then my grades slipped – I was a problem child till I grew up; I don’t like talking about it but then it took a long time to come to terms with it.”
5. A female friend of mine wrote:
We had this teacher (who worked and taught in Madrasa and Mosques) who came home to teach us Qur’an, I was oldest (8 yrs of age) of the children (the rest of all were 4, 5, 6 etc). So he would teach us and the neighbor’s kids Qur’an and fiqh. He was always decent when I was present (in fact he didn’t even touch/pat/pinch/beat/talk ‘flirtingly’ like the other teachers ‘normally’ do, which made me think he was ‘extra’ good or decent). Then one day my younger sister and others (4 yr olds) told our mother and neighbor that the teacher misbehaved. And I spoke defending him 😐 and that I have never witnessed any such thing and there was nothing wrong with his conduct towards the children, after all he taught Qur’an and how can he be a bad man? Then another day my brother said the same thing, he told the elders that teacher would move his lower garment and show them his private parts, he took pleasure in doing that. Though at first people thought it was the kids’ story to escape from Qur’an lessons, they knew they were too young and innocent to make up such stories and before things got worse, they told him he no longer need to teach their children Qur’an and other things. I am glad and at the same time disappointed because I didn’t believe the kids at first, I was a child myself and that was what I first had to say “he’s such a good man, religious and pious”. I have a group of friends/cousins who believe that every teacher at Madrasas is a pedophile 😐 that was the conclusion they came to. I’m sure there are many who think that way.”
6. A male told me that his Qur’an teacher at his community mosque would sexually abuse him and so he’d skip classes as often as possible. This person’s family and relatives and other community members would never have believed him if he’d told them because everyone deeply respected this imam. (I knew this imam and mosque growing up. Girls went there as well.)
7. Another person (male) wrote:
I also have a close friend who was abused by her ‘Qari sahib’ who used to come to her house to teach her and her siblings, but she felt too ashamed to tell anyone for ages – until she finally told her mother as her younger sister was now old enough to take lessons with the teacher and she didn’t want her to go through the same thing. The fellow promptly got sacked, but her mother didn’t do anything else about it, probably as she didn’t want it to get out in the open. To this day, my friend (who has only told a handful of people about her experience) feels shame and disgust at herself even though mentally she knows it was not her fault. That touches on another question that comes to mind after reading your piece – about what the psychological effects of that abuse were for those girls and how it affected the rest of their lives. It just makes me so so sad to think of that.
More later. Stay tuned – and feel free to share any of what you have seen, heard, or experienced if you’re comfortable talking about it.