A 23-year-old Bangladeshi imam faces deportation from Italy after investigators confirmed he had physically assaulted young children at a religious school.
The migrant, who lived in Italy on a work visa, is said to have created what investigators described as a “climate of terror” at a Quranic school in Padua and engaged in humiliating young pupils and physically assaulting them, sometimes with a stick, Il Giornale reports.
The beatings of the children, who were aged between five and ten years old, took place at the Bangladesh Cultural Centre in the Arcella district of Padua. Investigators noted that the 23-year-old would engage in physical violence against the children for as little as a wrong answer or catching them being distracted.
Agents of the General Investigations and Special Operations Division (DIGOS), which investigated the case, also found photographs and posts of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and proposed that he may have also been teaching the young children antisemitic ideas.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 28, 2016
Italy has deported several radical imams in recent years, including a Tunisian earlier this year who came into the country illegally and declared to police that he would not only kill them but he would eat their corpses as well.
Last year, another Tunisian imam was expelled from the country after it was found that he celebrated the Berlin Christmas market terror attack from his prison cell. The imam was already in prison for robbery and drug dealing.
The former Italian coalition government of populist Matteo Salvini’s League and the Five Star Movement (M5S) led all of Europe last year for deportations of radical Islamists. Both illegal immigration and prison radicalisation have led to a growth in the number of jihadists in the country.
Professor Paolo Branca, Islamologist at the Catholic University of Milan, has even claimed that some jihadists get arrested on purpose in order to be able to preach and radicalise others behind bars.