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Austin Cline

Pakistan: Child Abuse At Madrassas

By December 15, 2004

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Clerics in Pakistani Madrassas are being accused of sexual abuse of male children. Their response is to issue death threats against the the minister responsible for revealing the allegations.

The BBC reports:

There were 500 complaints this year of abuse allegedly committed by clerics, Aamer Liaquat Hussain, a minister in the religious affairs department, said. That compares with 2,000 last year, but as yet there have been no successful prosecutions, Mr Hussain told the BBC.

Mr Hussain said he had received death threats from clerics, but that he had done his job and his conscience was clear. ... [T]he revelations have angered some Islamic leaders. At a parliamentary meeting this week, some demanded he apologise.

I've read about these accusations before, but now it sounds like something might actually be done about it. This would appear to be expected in a situation where religious leaders are given absolutely authority alongside little to know independent oversight. Who is in a position to question or challenge the actions of these clerics? They can threaten the lives of anyone who crosses them, and without fear of repercussions it seems.

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