SHAME: Muslim teacher arraigned for ‘touching schoolgirl sexually while teaching her how to pray’ (PICTURED)

A religious teacher put his hand under a schoolgirl’s headscarf and touched her sexually as she prayed, a court heard.

The attacks allegedly took place as he gave religious lessons to the girl – who is of primary school age – and her brothers.

Suleman Maknojioa, 40, of Blackburn, Lancashire, was said to have ‘squeezed’ the youngster’s chest, by placing his hand beneath the long folds of her headscarf. 

He denies seven counts of sexually touching a child. 

Giving evidence by video link yesterday, the youngster cried as she told Preston Crown Court she was “afraid of what he would do.”

She said the problems began some months after she started tuition of the Koran in Arabic. She said inappropriate touching, which had occurred over several months, started gradually, beginning with the arms and head, then moving to the legs, feet and chest and her thigh. 

The girl told the court that touching had typically occurred as she prayed; kneeling or cross-legged while reading from the Koran. 

She said:

“He would put his hand under my head scarf on my chest and he would squeeze. He would only use the one hand. The other hand would be writing something or he would be pointing to my brothers and telling them to pray harder. No matter how hard my brothers tried to pray it wasn’t good enough. He would always say I was better even if I wasn’t. My brothers asked me what he had been doing and I didn’t know how to describe it. I told them he had touched me up.”

Giving evidence, her brother said:

“He favoured her and praised her. He would give her 10 pages to learn and we would only get three. That way he spent most of the lesson with her. He did it slyly so we didn’t notice. When it happened she was trying to pray and he would interrupt her. I have seen him touching her thigh in a stroking motion.”

The defence barrister asked: “Was it in fact a reasonable teacher and pupil relationship where touching was done to console her?”

The brother said: “No, it was inappropriate.”

The trial continues.

Critical Thinking: I thought the clamour for Hijab in schools was in part to safeguard male teachers from being tempted by female students? How then do we explain this? Isn’t temptation a thing of the mind?

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