A father-and-son pair of teachers from a Birmingham Islamic School have been jailed after being found guilty of beating a 10-year-old student.
Imam Mohammed Siddique, 60, and his some Mohammed Waqar, 24, punished the boy for apparent shortcomings during a Qur’an study session.
Authorities became aware of the issue after the pupil confided in a mentor at his school.
Birmingham crown court was told that Siddique and Waqar beat the boy on two occasions each with a plastic rod and he suffered extensive bruising.
Judge Mark Wall QC told the pair he had considered suspending the prison term but concluded “it would not be right to do so”.
He said a message had to be sent that such brutality could not be tolerated.
He added: “This is not a case where you each overreacted only once to provocation, neither is it a case in which you misunderstood what constitutes proper punishment and therefore requires some guidance from probation services as to where that boundary lies.
“Added to that, there must be no mistake about the message taken from this case. Acts of brutality of this sort which you each indulged in, with a stick, will not be tolerated.”
The two admitted wilful cruelty to the boy during lessons at the Sparkbrook Islamic centre, attached to the Jamia mosque, in Anderton Road, Birmingham.
Sam Forsyth, prosecuting, said their victim had been beaten with a plastic stick and given back-of-the-hand slaps by each of his tutors for “talking in the classroom” at the centre.
He was hit during four separate incidents; photographs showed extensive bruising to the back of his legs. The boy also said Waqar would call him names including “paedo”.
Wall told the men: “The use of a weapon with which to hit a 10-year-old is, and was known by you both, to be wholly unacceptable in this day and age.”
The judge praised the boy for having found the courage to tell someone about the attack, triggering a police inquiry and bringing his ordeal to an end.
The pair’s barrister, Charanjit Jutla, said both men were of good character and deeply regretted their conduct. He added: “Past students and other professionals speak exceptionally highly of both defendants.”
Siddique had been teaching for 30 years. Outside court, worshippers from his local mosque said he was “a polite gentleman”.
Nowroz Uddin, who has known him 25 years and was in court to hear the case, said: “We’re all in shock. Pray behind him at mosque. I have never heard a bad word said about Mr Siddique; he’s always been a polite gentleman.”
A restraining order was made banning either man, who are from Tyseley, Birmingham, from contact with the victim.
The judge said he had no doubt the “relevant authorities” would make an order barring the men from teaching in the future.
The case is likely to be seized on by those who believe that there needs to be more outside control and monitoring of religious schools including madrasas.
In May last year it was reported that a voluntary code of conduct to regulate teaching in madrasas in Britain was about to be announced by the government.
That plan did not come to fruition.