Islamic kids abused during Koran lessons: Amsterdam councilor

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No image availableNL Times

Amsterdam city councilor Samira Bouchiti (VVD) heard "dozens" of accounts of kids being physically assaulted during Koran lessons while she was giving guest lectures at schools in the city. "They're about teachers who strike. Sometimes even with a stick, hits on the fingertips, slaps, ear pulling. It is structural and apparently suits the way in which lessons is given", she said, according to newspaper AD. She raised the issue with the Amsterdam city council and asked the college of mayor and aldermen to investigate.

Alderman Simone Kukenheim calls this topic "extremely important" and calls on parents and students to report abuse. She will check with the municipality whether other signals were received.. "If this is true, that would be terrible." she said to the newspaper. 

In 2008 Ahmed Marcouch, then the district mayor of Slotervaart, raised the issue of corporal punishment during Koran lessons. And in 2010 Eberhard van der Laan, then Minister of Integration, ordered an investigation done. The Verwey-Jonker institute started an investigation, but later ceased its efforts because the mosques would not cooperate. 

Marcouch told AD that he is no longer receiving signals of abuse. "I feel that a lot has improved and that corporal punishments is no longer accepted in mosques, but I can't rule it out. If there are signs, we have to investigate."

Mohamed Salihi, chairman of the Union of Moroccan Mosques in Amsterdam, told the newspaper the same thing. "I think it's going pretty well in mosques, but occasionally this could happen."