An Islamic human rights group, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has declared that torture centres recently discovered in some states of the country are not Islamic schools.
MURIC, made the declaration on Saturday in a statement issued by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The group stressed that torture was forbidden in Islam, hence the centres could not have been Islamiyyah schools.
It said efforts must be made to distinguish between Islamiyya schools and rehabilitation centres.
Said MURIC: “Those torture centres are not Islamiyyah schools. The only thing going on in Islamiyyah schools all over the country is teaching and learning of Islamic subjects, particularly Qur’an and hadith. Our mallams love their students. Our mallams are mentors and responsible people.
“For the avoidance of doubts, we strongly condemn what is going on in the torture chambers and we dissociate Islamiyyah schools from them. It is horrible, inhuman and barbaric. But the fact remains that those places are not Islamiyyah schools. They are rehabilitation centres. A clear distinction exists between Islamiyyah schools and reform centres. This would have been clear enough if efforts had been made to visit Islamiyyah schools after which comparisons can be made.
“The inmates were brought there by their parents after noticing their weird and bohemian behaviour. They are victims of drug addiction whose anti-social demeanours made their parents to seek solutions to their drug addiction. The fact that parents came out to protest against the police action in the centres further cements our position. The parents even demanded immediate return of their children and wards to those centres.”
MURIC said it rejected the methods used to reform drug addicts in those centres.
“They are too crude and too inhuman. Chaining and severe flogging are unacceptable correctional methods. Those styles are sadistic. They are the height of man’s inhumanity to man. But there is no scintilla of doubt that they stand in contradistinction to well-known and acceptable teaching methodology in Islamiyyah schools.”
The group suggested panacea to the proliferation of torture chambers around the country.
“We are alarmed at the proliferation of torture centres around the country. But people should not be beheaded just because they have ordinary headache. Instead of punitive measures, therefore, we suggest that the state governments where torture centres were found should integrate the owners of the centres into the state’s rehabilitation programme particularly for training. They can tap into their various experiences. More correctional centres should also be built by state governments.
“As we rise from this session, we reiterate that those torture centres are not Islamiyyah schools. We affirm clearly, emphatically and categorically that Islamiyyah schools do not put pupils in chains. The horror centres are crude correctional facilities which state governments can upgrade while the owners of the centres can be trained and integrated into official rehabilitation centers.”