A female Quran teacher is on the hot seat after she told some female students at a middle school they “deserve rape” when they attended class without a headscarf.
“You don’t cover your head anyway, so raping you or doing evil to you is permissible [in Islam],” said the teacher, identified only as L.Y.İ.
The incident occurred at the Rifat Pasa Middle School in the province of Tokat on March 9. The substitute teacher was teaching an elective class on the Quran. She lashed out at the seventh grade students when they refused to listen to her lessons. She also “chided students who attended a march in memory of a young woman named Özgecan Aslan, who was brutally killed in February after she allegedly resisted rape.”
“You ran to the demonstration,” she yelled at the students. “She is under the ground now. Did you cite al-Fatiha [opening chapter of the Quran]? You may end up like Özgecan.”
The students immediately told their parents about L.Y.I. They went to the school principal, who spoke to the teacher. L.Y.I. insisted “her remarks were misunderstood and that she had apologized.” One parent was not satisfied.
“She insulted our children, saying they would deserve to be raped because they do not wear the headscarf,” claimed the parent, identified as Fadime G. “She insulted our 13-year-old children this way because they are not wearing the headscarf. So I went to the prosecutor’s office and filed a complaint. This teacher cannot teach my child at this school.”
Levent Yazici, the education director in Tokat, told the media “an official investigation into the claims had been launched” and the teacher was “temporarily appointed to another school. Officials are waiting for an outcome before taking more action.
“We hope they are not true,” said Hakan Akkaya, the head of the Tokat branch of the Education Personnel Union. “There is nothing justifiable in what she said; we would support her getting a punishment that she deserves.”
Turkey implemented the elective classes on the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed in 2012. Religious classes are mandatory within schools. However, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled “that high school students in Turkey must be allowed to opt out of this class to ‘ensure respect for parents’ convictions’ and to guarantee the right to education.”