There's been something that's been bugging me ever since the days just after 9/11/01, when the media was awash in reports on the Taliban run madrassas in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
If you don't recall, madrassas are supposed to be centres of Islamic education. For centuries it was the preferred option for poor families in the Muslim world to get a decent education for their sons. More recently the institution has evolved, thanks to people like the Taliban and Al-Qaida into storage houses for young boys and terrorist indoctrination centres.
Now here's what's been nagging me.
I'm a Canadian, and since the 1980's Canada has heard all sorts of stories of horrible physical/sexual/psychological abuse going on in institutions that were supposed to be taking care of children. There was the Mount Cashel Orphanage Scandal in Newfoundland, the Duplessis Orphans of Quebec, and the dreadful Residential School system that scarred Canada's native population.
These scandals had 3 ingredients in common-
- The people running these places were more often than not religious institutions who possessed an improper amount of clout with the local or even federal political systems.
- They used that clout and air of sanctimony to fight off any oversight and bury any scandal.
- The children they were supposed to care for, were poor and often without families, thus were powerless against the intitutions that abused them.
These ingredients made these institutions a prime hunting ground for perverts and sadists of almost any stripe.
My question is if anyone has done any serious investigation into the possibility of the abuse of students in Taliban and Al Qaida related madrassas?
All the ingredients for an abuse scandal are there, with the added element of the fact that the people who ran these Taliban connected schools literally had the power of life and death over their charges.
Has anyone ever asked the question, or will it explode into the world's consciousness 20 years from now when someone finally finds the courage to speak out?
Does anyone care?