The rising incidents of rape, sexual harassment and physical torture of women and children is already alarming in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, but the involvement of elderly Islamic preachers and clerics in raping children of religious schools has worsened the current situation.

The armed Islamist extremists and radical leaders are currently engaged in a revolution to establish Islamic rule in the country through bloodshed and spreading propaganda against other religions terming those rubbish.

They also claim that Islam is the best philosophy, though they themselves are divided in at least 73 parts and each of the sects bins others as rubbish.

Even though they claim that the Qur’an is the best and complete solution for all the problems in the Earth, they actually rely on many different Hadiths – both old and new – which explains the verses of the complicated and inconsistent Qur’an.

For this, when a group of Muslims justifies an act by citing a verse, another group stands up and mentions about another verse with a different explanation to nullify the other.

A large part of the campaigns by the Islamists is dedicated against the women – those who are not subservient to their male guardians – fathers and husbands. It seems that these men regularly torture their wives, sisters and daughters if they fail to comply with the orders.

Such sermons given at religious functions and even mosques are widely applauded by their followers, who you will find in any Facebook post involving women doing jobs, studies or regarding fashion.

They comment on those posts using indecent and abusive language, often supporting rape of women without veils. They preach that women must use veils to avoid rape or any sort of sexual violence; but they will surprisingly remain silent seeing news reports on madrasa teachers, imams or muezzins arrested for raping children – both male and female. The female students obviously use veils and maintain it strictly than any other group of women.

Such acts surprise the moderate Muslims as well as atheists and secularists as they think or are taught that the religious people or clerics have the cleanest image, as if they are like angels with nothing bad in their holy brains.

It should be mentioned that minimum age for marriage for girls is 18, but it is widely violated across the country, widely by the Muslims. When the government is currently considering to amend the law, radical Islamists demanded that there should not be any bar.

May be they want to cite the example of their Prophet Muhammad, who married a six-year-old Ayesha and engaged in sexual intercourse at her nine.

Even though the incidents of rape are not often reported because of a yet prevailing social stigma, the tally is still high and alarming.

Alarming Since January till June 21, at least 47 madrasa girls and three boys were raped and gang-raped in Bangladesh. Most of the victims are aged below 10. In the incidents, at least 14 madrasa principals and teachers have been accused, and most of them were arrested by the police for raping the victims, in most cases inside the institutions.

Last year, the number of madrasa students raped or gang-raped was 75!

Let’s take a look at the rape incidents that took place since May 2016:

June 21, 2016: Principal of Nurani Talimul Qur’an Madrasa in Comilla’s Laksam area Maulana Lokman Hossain is arrested for raping a class three female student at the madrasa on June 18.

June 19, 2016: Teacher of Deuti Darul Huda Talimul Qur’an Madrasa at Pirgachha of Rangpur Mahfuzar Rahman is caught by locals and handed over to police for repeated rape attempt on two girls of class three. He is the son of the madrasa founder Mafizul Islam.

June 7, 2016: Mazharul Islam Baqui alias Babul Master, a teacher of Sener Char Shah Sufi Madrasa in Tangail’s Gopalpur, is arrested for abduction and rape of a teenage girl.

June 4, 2016: Abdullahpur Hafizia Madrasa teacher Haider Ali, 24, is arrested for raping an 11-year-old male student for two months at Bhober Char of Gozaria in Munshiganj. His associate, another teacher of the madrasa Maulana Saidur Rahman, remains absconding.

May 26, 2016: Maulana Abdul Aziz, 25, teacher of Jorkhali Hafizia Nurani Madrasa is arrested for raping a seven-year-old female student inside the madrasa in Dhunat of Bogra.

May 17, 2016: Maulana Yakub Hossain, 28, teacher of Dawatul Quran Madrasa at Noakhali sadar, is arrested for raping a grade one female student.

May 3, 2016: Makhrazul Uloom Nurani Madrasa teacher Riaz Uddin attempts to rape eight-year-old student inside the madrasa at Gafargaon in Mymensingh.

In these circumstances, we are forced to say that women are not safe in Bangladesh – no matter what they wear; no matter whether they stay at home or go to the religious schools.