(MENAFN - Morocco World News)
By Hajare el Khaldi
Rabat – An imam in the Temara region has been accused of raping six children inside of a mosque. Amid the parents' outrage and the childrens despair, the authorities have little help to offer.
Temara has been shaken by accusations that an imam, entrusted to convey a divine message to children, instead performed gross sexual acts on the innocent minors.
The newspaper Assabah reported that the imam in question had established a kuttab, an elementaryschool in that follows the Islamic tradition, inside of the mosque with hopes of encouraging the children of Douar Southern Aoulad Bennaser to memorize the Quran.
Parents from the community met the imam's seemingly benevolent initiative with great enthusiasm, placing their sons and daughters' well-being in his hands.
However, the parents soon began to suspect the imamof inappropriate behavior when their their children share some of the his odd requests, such as asking them to sit on his lap inside the kuttab. Others reported more serious charges.
One family filed a complaint to the General Deputy of the King on charges of rape, only to be met with negligence.
Confronted by the authorities' lack of support and the lack of evidence against the imam, the residents of the Douar decided to take matters to their own hands by forming teams to track the his behavior and accumulate evidence.
On Thursday February 15, the families' nightmare came true when one of the residents witnessed the imam alone with an eight-year-old boy. Sacrificing the child's safety to gather evidence, the local chose to contact the child's family, rather than intervene. When the family arrived at the kuttab with other witnesses, they were appalled to see the imam sexually assaulting the child.
After the arrest, five other people presented complaints against the alleged rapist, which finally caused the police listen to the children in the presence of their parents. The victims' identical stories and the imam's silence convinced the detectives of the legitimacy of the accusations.
This is certainly not the first crime of its kind, as news of children's sexual abuse by religious authorities, teachers, and family members continues to make headlines. The hope remains that this time, after the shock dissipates, real action will be taken to raise awareness about this sexualabuse and provide support those who have been forever scarred by this misconduct.