Rasheda Begum thought she was promoting virtuous behavior in a play. She thought this would please her madrassa leaders.
Instead, she was caned in front of her classmates.
Rasheda Begum is seen acting with other cast members in the play ‘Dai’ (midwife). The young madrassa student was caned in front of classmates for acting in the play. (Khabar)
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The young student thought she was helping to promote virtuous behavior by participating in a play aimed at raising awareness of social ills. Instead, she was subjected to a caning at her school.
Seventeen-year-old Rasheda Begum didn’t have the slightest idea that she could be punished for acting in a play that highlighted various social ills that are forbidden in Islam – usury, dowry, gambling, child marriage and corruption.
Her participation came at a painful cost, however. The 10th grade madrassa student was caned in front of her classmates and expelled from indulging in “un-Islamic activities” when she returned to her class on June 2nd after the end of summer vacation.
“I still do not know what my crime was,” Rasheda told Khabar South Asia. “The play was all about the bad things that Islam forbids and I thought I was doing the right thing by highlighting the social ills.”
For 18 days Rasheda begged her teachers at the Jagabandhu Islamia Senior Madrassa, located in the district of Kamalnagar, to let her resume her studies, but they refused.
She says they also insulted her father Mohammad Ali, a poor rickshaw puller from Pandithat, a remote village in southeastern Laxmipur district, when he accompanied Rasheda to plead on her behalf. She and her father also sought the help of village elders but they refused to intervene.
Having found no other avenue, the family reported the matter to the local human rights groups and police.