KOZHIKODE: A buzz has turned into a roar within the community against religious bigots looking for alibis to save senior students involved in the savage abuse of a kindergarten girl at Darul Huda English Medium School at Nadapuram.
Adding to the shame, Perode Abdul Rahman Sakhafi, the chief of Darul Huda School, had argued repeatedly that those arrested were orphans. But later it was exposed that both the arrested have parents and that one of them is the son of a prominent religious figure.
Educated Muslim youth engaged themselves in heated discussions in social networking sites and public forums, coming out against attempts to protect the accused and justify the crime.
The majority of the youth stressed the need to revisit the religious education system moored in oppressive religious orthodoxy. “What should have been a fairly straight forward case of sexual harassment has been made into a communitarian issue by the management,” said N. P. Ashley, Assistant Professor of English, St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi.
“They played a double game, the accused were made to look like religious figures before the public and before the Muslim community; their ‘orphanhood’ was stressed for gaining sympathy. Such entirely unethical tactics is totally unbecoming of an educational institution, said Ashley.
Young women of the community also criticized the way the religious orthodoxy dealt with such a serious offence, committed against an LKG girl.
“The religious group, community and social status of the culprit have nothing to do with the crime. He is just a criminal who should be punished”, said Netha Hussein, an MBBS student at Medical College hospital, Kozhikode.
The youth of the community criticized the system that grooms such criminal minds. “Religion should not be a refuge for criminals”, said Maina Umaiban, noted writer. “Wonder why students specializing in religious study turn so wicked”, she added.
“The number of such offenders may be much less in the community, but the damage they bring to the entire population is beyond assessment. Why did they try to cover up the case?”, she asked.
“A child has been subjected to brutal sexual abuse by youths and Muslim scholars at the school hushing up the issue, saying criminals are orphans. Too ridiculous a justification of such heinous crime, which is a shame to entire humanity,” she adds.