The more you scratch the surface, the more you find.
The situation deserves more investigations, not only in the Netherlands but anywhere a koran school is in operation. These are kids for crying out loud, they deserve the same equal protection under the law afforded to the rest of society, and that right shall not be infringed upon due to religious or cultural sensibilities.
Mayor Peter Noordanus of Tilburg has complained to the police about suspected ill-treatment of children at two Koranschools in his town. The suspicions are based on an investigation by the Municipal Health Service (GGD). Six children of ten and eleven year old have declared that they were witnesses of the ill-treatment. At a Moroccan school a teacher is accused of hitting children with his hands and threatening to whip them. The other complaints concern a Somalian school.
Four incidents come from the weekend school associated with the Moroccan mosque in Tilburg-Noord, the controversial Salafist imam Ahmad Salam. A teacher would hit the kids with the (flat) hand and threaten to use a whip. Salam in 2004 became known nationally in his refusal to shake (then) Minister Rita Verdonk’s hand.
Two incidents come from Ypelaer community center where Somali children on weekends were being taught.
‘The findings of the GGD upset me very much. I find it unacceptable that children in our city are mistreated. That is intolerable. Any evidence of child abuse should be considered criminal,” the mayor wrote in a letter to the council.
Noordanus has spoken with representatives from both schools beginning this month. The schools say that the incidents are new.
Because Quran education is not covered by standard supervision, there is a protocol agreed to with the schools. The schools will be prosecuted for having any form of physical punishment, humiliation of a child writes the mayor. There is an anonymous hotline for incidents and parenting questions.
The VVD in Tilburg Wednesday responded immediately. The party is not surprised but shocked. The VVD deems the declaration a tough but legitimate step.