August 22, 2019
A 32-year-old teacher is accused of sexually assaulting a student in north suburban Skokie.
Mohammedimran A. Mulla is charged with predatory sexual assault of a child, attempted predatory sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
On July 5, Skokie police were alerted to an alleged sexual assault of an 11-year-old student, the state’s attorney’s office said. Mulla, a teacher at Noor Learning Center, was arrested the next day.
He was ordered held without bail and is scheduled to appear in court July 30.
August 22, 2019
(RNS) — A Texas judge has ordered a Muslim cleric to pay $2.55 million to a Muslim woman who says he groomed her for sex after counseling her for years when she was in her teens.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit in July 2018 against Imam Zia Ul-Haq Sheikh, claiming he had coerced her into sex with him at a local motel after years of exploitation, including sexting and lurid video chat requests.
“We are thrilled at this outcome for Jane Doe,” said Amy Jones, head of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, who served as an expert witness for the plaintiff. “I hope that survivors everywhere will take this as confirmation that times are changing. This is a new world in which survivors have the hope of being believed and perpetrators will be held accountable.”
The judgment, a victory for advocates in the emerging Muslim #MeToo movement, covers mental anguish, punitive damages and the accuser’s legal fees.
Sheikh was hired in 2005 as head imam of the Islamic Center of Irving, one of the region’s biggest mosques, where he remained until his forced resignation in 2017. It was there that he met Jane Doe and began counseling sessions with the then-13-year-old at her family’s request in 2010, the lawsuit states. Sheikh quickly became a confidant and father figure, even offering to co-sign a loan for her car.
When the woman was 18, Sheikh offered himself as a potential spouse even though he already had two wives at the time, according to the lawsuit. The complaint alleges that Sheikh had no intention of marrying her and instead began a yearlong process of “grooming Jane to become more sexualized and to ultimately engage in illicit sexual acts with him.”
Soon after engaging in sexual intercourse in a motel in 2016, Sheikh allegedly cut off contact with Doe.
Sheikh told The Dallas Morning News that he was considering appealing the ruling, saying the judgment was “in error.”
“Unfortunately, litigation in this country does not always favor the truth,” he said. “In most cases, it boils down to how much financial stamina one has, and whether one has good legal representation.”
The lawsuit followed a yearlong investigation by Facing Abuse in Community Environments, an Irving nonprofit created by Muslim women activists and lawyers to ensure that victims’ rights are respected and Muslim institutions face accountability.
“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for this outcome,” said Alia Salem, executive director of FACE and a trial witness for the plaintiff, in a statement. “We are here because Jane had the faith and courage, despite the risks to herself and her family, to persevere and see this trial through. I pray that this victory sends a message to victims and survivors that they are not alone, but also lets abusers everywhere know that we will not be quiet any longer.”
An extensive report by FACE, published last year, outlined Sheikh’s history of polygamous relationships and alleged spiritual abuse of female congregants at several mosques across the country, from Texas to Tampa, Fla. Investigations by both FACE and BuzzFeed News confirmed that he had been forced to resign from a Richmond, Va., mosque more than 20 years ago after he had secretly married a second wife, a young woman convert he had been teaching.
After Sheikh left the Islamic Center of Irving, the mosque sent a letter to 2,000 institutions informing them of Sheikh’s alleged misconduct. Still, Sheikh was hired on at the Grand Prairie Islamic Society, just 9 miles from his previous place of employment.
Sheikh has since left the Grand Prairie mosque, too, according to media reports.
A prominent imam that local media once referred to as “a hero to the Muslim community,” Sheikh has led mosques in the U.S. since 1996 and was a founding board member of the North Texas Islamic Council, a coalition of Muslim organizations in the area.
He has authored several books, including one called “Addressing the Taboos: Love, Marriage and Sex in Islam.” He was also an instructor of Arabic morphology at Irving’s Bayyinah Academy, a well-respected institute of Quranic studies led by preacher Nouman Ali Khan.
According to FACE’s investigation, it was Khan, then president of the Islamic Society of Irving’s board, who first heard Jane Doe’s allegations of abuse against Sheikh.
Khan himself has been accused of spiritually abusing and manipulating several of his followers into secret sham marriages.
Khan advised the woman “to seek mental health services and also discouraged her from sharing what she experienced because it would harm Sheikh’s reputation as a respected religious leader and family man,” FACE’s investigation alleges.
Since other members of the board ousted Sheikh, the Islamic Society of Irving has also faced other sexual abuse scandals.
In May, a security guard at the mosque was arrested after being accused of molesting a third-grader in an empty classroom at the mosque’s Islamic school.
Last year, days after the lawsuit against Sheikh drew national attention, the mosque filed a police report asking for “guidance from law enforcement” in incidents involving a man kissing two minors at the mosque. In a public statement, mosque leadership identified the man as an elderly relative of a mosque member who was briefly visiting from overseas who left the U.S. shortly after being identified to mosque leaders.
The same day that the mosque’s board filed the report, the mosque’s Imam Nick Pelletier delivered an impassioned Friday sermon that has since gone viral, titled “Speaking Against Evil,” slamming the mosque’s board for attempting to investigate the allegations themselves and failing to report the accusations to police earlier.
“You want to go down the route of the Catholic Church?” Pelletier asked listeners. “Turn a blind eye, ‘Oh, we didn’t hear about it,’ even though it’s been reported more than once? … Somebody’s inappropriately touching people in the masjid (mosque) – true or not true, somebody’s got to report it. End of conversation.”
July 29, 2019
Idris Ahmed, 42, raped both boys and girls by intimidating them with tales of supernatural forces
The principal of Mirzapur Girls’ College, Harunor Rashid, has been permanently terminated from his job on charges of sexually abusing two young schoolgirls while a team of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested an imam of Dakhsin Khan Mosque for allegedly raping several women and boys.
In Tangail, Md Zakir Hossain, the chairman of the governing body of the college, and Pronob Kumar Shaha, the acting principal, confirmed the termination of the principal yesterday. Sources said Rashid had sexually abused two girls of Classes VI and VII on December 20, 2018. The two girls, along with others, were playing on the college field. The principal summoned all these girls to a room. He served the girls biscuits. After they ate the biscuits he allowed every girl to leave the room except the two victims. He closed the door and sexually abused the two girls. The girls cried for help. The mother of one of the girls came to help them, but found the gate closed, and a clerk, Ershad, was found on duty. Ershad opened the gate and the principal went out of the gate wearing only a lungi. The mother rescued the girls with the help of locals. Police arrested the principal but released him after a few moments.
The two guardians lodged a complaint with Mirzapur upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Abdul Malek. It attracted the attention of Tangail deputy commissioner (DC) Md. Shahidul Islam. A three-member probe body was formed to investigate the matter. Principal Harunor Rashid was temporarily suspended and a decision to serve a show-cause notice was adopted.
It finally discharged the principal on grounds of moral turpitude. Locals alleged that Harunor Rashid has a bad moral character. He has allegedly been earlier involved in several incidents of sexual abuse as well.
In Dhaka, the arrestee was identified as Idris Ahmed, 42, and also had been teaching at a local madrasha for 18 years. Sources of RAB-1 said, Idris Ahmed, 42, raped both boys and girls by intimidating them with tales of supernatural forces like genies.
He has been accused raping 4 to 5 women and 10-12 teenage boys, the sources added. RAB-1 commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Sarwar Bin Kashem said, he used to record intimate moments with his victims on phone video and used them to secure their silence. “A case has been lodged against Idris in Dakshin Khan Police Station,” sarwar added.
July 15, 2019
Christian belief has halved in Britain in 35 years with just one in three people now identifying as Christian – while atheism and Islam continue to rise.
Figures published by the British Social Attitudes Survey reveal the widest ever margin between staunch atheists and believers who are certain that God exists.
Of almost 4,000 people polled by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), 38 per cent described themselves as Christian – a fall from 50 per cent in 2008 and 66 per cent in 1983.
Those identifying as Muslim increased from 1 per cent in 1983 to 3 per cent in 2008, and 6 per cent in 2018.
No doubt due to the increasing influx of immigrants from the Middle East.
The survey shows that the biggest change is in the number of people who define themselves as “confident atheists”, which rose from 10 per cent in 1998 to 18 per cent in 2008 and its record high of 26 per cent in 2018.
In contrast, researchers found that an overall 55 per cent of the population express some sort of belief in some kind of God.
Nancy Kelley, deputy chief executive at NatCen, said that the steady decline in religion and belief among the British public is “one of the most important trends in post-war history”.
“As our society has become more secular, the role of religious institutions and religious identities in determining our moral and social norms has weakened. Other world views, such as scientific rationalism and liberal individual-ism, now play a more significant part in British society.”
The report’s authors said the survey suggests Britain is becoming more secular “not because adults are losing their religion” but because older people with an attachment to Christian denominations are “gradually being replaced in the population by unaffiliated younger people”.
They added that religious decline in Britain is “generational” as people tend to be less religious than their parents.
Dave Male, the Church of England’s director of evangelism and discipleship, said: “For many people ticking a box marked ‘Church of England’ or ‘Anglican’ is now an active choice and no longer an automatic response. In spite of this, the Church of England remains at the heart of communities.”
Andrew Copson, the chief executive of the non-religion charity Humanists UK, said: “With these trends set to continue, policymakers in every field, from education to constitutional law, to health and social care, need to wake up to such dramatic social changes.”
June 29, 2019
An Afghan court has sentenced a mullah to 20 years in prison after finding the religious teacher guilty of raping a 10-year-old girl.
The sentence, passed by a Kabul judge on Saturday, has been welcomed by family as well as women’s support groups as a rare victory in their fight for justice for female victims of sex crimes. Rape is often treated as adultery in Afghanistan, and victims can face prison themselves.
Hassina Sarwari, who runs a shelter for women in northern Kunduz province, where the rape took place, said on Sunday that if the trial had not been transferred to Kabul the result would probably have been very different.
The rape took place in May in the girl’s home village near the provincial capital, also called Kunduz.
“If the case would have not been transferred to Kabul, we were so worried that the mullah would have not been punished in Kunduz for his crime,” said Sarwari. When she saw the girl, Bershna, who like many Afghans only uses one name, for the first time in the hospital she was in a bad condition and required transfer to Kabul for additional treatment.
Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini said his colleagues were shocked at first to hear the story but acted immediately to apprehend the mullah. “We sent a police unit to make the arrest, and we caught mullah Mohammad Amin while he was trying to flee,” he said.
Sarwari, who followed the case closely, said the crime occurred after the mullah chose three girls to help clean the village mosque. Two escaped when they discovered his intentions but Bershna fell into a nearby stream while trying to flee and Amin took her back to the mosque where he raped her.
“The mullah threatened Bershna, saying that if she told anyone what had happened she and her family would be killed,” but the child suffered injuries that could not be hidden.
Mohammad Rasoul, Bershna’s uncle who attended the trial, said the family was happy with the sentence.
“We welcome the decision by the judge as that is the maximum punishment he could be given according to our country’s law,” Rasoul said.
June 20, 2019
Toronto police have arrested an Imam for sexually assaulting a woman after a lengthy investigation.
Investigators say the woman came forward in early 2019, accusing her Imam of sexual assault.
The woman met the Imam at a Mosque in 2008. Shortly after, he went to her home and convinced her she was possessed and he could help her.
She was brought back to his living quarters where the victim alleges she was sexually assaulted during what the Imam claimed was a religious ceremony.
Over the next several years, it’s alleged she was continually sexually assaulted and he threatened to harm her on numerous occasions. Police also allege he threatened to expose her to the community and congregation.
On Tuesday, Imam Syed Zaidi, 49, was arrested as he tried to board a plane to leave Canada at Pearson Airport.
He’s been charged with breach of trust, three counts of sexual assault, threatening death and criminal harassment.
June 14, 2019
An Imam found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls who he privately tutored has been jailed in United Kingdom.
According to Metropolitan Police, Hafiz Azizur Rehman Pirzada, 76 (19.08.42) of Laughton Road, Northolt was sentenced to a total of eight years’ imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, 21 January for child abuse offences.
Pirzada will also have to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and a Sexual Harm Protection Order was issued.
He was found guilty of seven counts of sexual assault of a child, and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity after a trial at the same court in September 2017.
During the trial, the court heard how the victims, both sisters, came forward to speak to police in July 2015.
Between 2007 and 2009 the two girls, aged between nine and 11 when the abuse took place, were taught the Quran by Pirzada when he was an Imam appointed by the family.
On 28 July 2016, Pirzada was arrested at his home address and bailed pending further enquiries. He was later charged with all ten counts on 16 March 2018; eight counts of sexual assault with a female under 13, and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
Detective Sergeant Tony Killeen, from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Team, said: “This is a case which dates back more than ten years, but despite the length of time since the incidents Pirzada has been convicted of his crimes.
“Pirzada exploited the trust placed in him as a religious leader to assault these two young girls.
“The victims have shown great courage, persistence and determination in securing the conviction, having persevered with the allegation and supporting the police investigation.
“The victims have had to live with this trauma and the appalling abuse they endured for the years they were taught by Pirzada, and will have to live with these memories for the rest of their lives.
“I would urge anyone who has been a victim of Pirzada to contact police; specially trained officers will be there to support you.”
June 3, 2019
A Madrassa teacher from Kerala who is believed to have sexually abused several children over a period of many years has finally been arrested by the police.
The 63-year-old has been identified as Yusuf, a Madrassa teacher hailing from Aluva who was employed at a local mosque in Kottayam.
For the last two years, Yusuf was teaching at a mosque in Thalayolaparambu where he sexually abused several of his students, police say.
“The Chief Imam of the mosque would not visit the Madrassa for three days a week. This is when Yusuf would pick his victims, take them to a private room and abuse them,” Soofi TM, Sub Inspector of Thalayolaparambu station told TNM. The accused would carefully choose victims of 10-years of age or below, to ensure his crimes were never reported.
“Since children that young are naive and are unlikely to understand what sexual abuse is, he relied on this,” Soofi added.
The accused also earned the confidence of local residents by holding long prayers and speeches to avoid suspicions. He later convinced the mosque authorities to set aside a private room for him, where he would go on to abuse most of his victims.
“He would lure children, especially girls, by promising them sweets and nicknacks and taking them to the room. Here he would abuse them,” Soofi added.
How Yusuf was exposed
Yusuf’s predations came to light 2 weeks ago, when he abused a young boy by promising to teach him the Holy Quran in his private room. The visibly disturbed boy returned home and disclosed the incident to his parents when they questioned him, noticing a difference in his behaviour.
The family immediately complained to the mosque authorities who fired the accused and then filed a complaint with the local police police.
The accused used this opportunity to flee from the place. Instead of returning to his native place of Aluva, he visited mosques and addressed gatherings in Thrissur and Palakkad during the month of Ramzan.
The Thalayolaparambu police finally nabbed him from Kodungallur on May 27th, as he was getting ready to address a mosque gathering.
The exact number of children Yusuf abused remains unconfirmed. The police have got in touch with the Mosque authorities to see if more students would speak up.
Accused was a victim of child sexual abuse
While this is no way excuses what he did, it does go to show that the abuse of children can lead to the victims themselves becoming abusers.
Following his arrest, Yusuf claimed that he too was a victim of child sexual abuse.
Yusuf told the police that his first victim, a girl, was the daughter of a man who had sexually abused him and that he’d committed the crime as an act of revenge.
“He told us that he continued to abuse young children after this and did not stop as he was never caught. We believe he may have abused at least 19 children and we are yet to probe the case deeper,” a police officer said.
May 3, 2019
An imam who fled the country after being convicted of historical sex attacks has been jailed for eleven and a half years.
Hifiz Rahman, 58, was found guilty of five sexual assaults at Queens Cross mosque in the West Midlands between March 1986 and August 1987.
He took a flight from Birmingham Airport to Bangladesh the day after his conviction last month.
Rahman was sentenced in his absence at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Judge Nicholas Cartwright said the father-of-seven from Netherton, who had not attended some of his trial because he claimed he was too unwell, had deceived his victims and own solicitors by lying about being sick.
Speaking about the offences, he said: “What he did was a gross breach of the trust placed in him.”
The court previously heard how Rahman, of Ballard Road, carried out “almost daily” assaults on one victim.
One woman, who was seven when the imam started assaulting her, said he was treated like a “god” by people associated with the mosque in Cradley Heath.
Hifiz Rahman was imam at the Queens Cross Mosque in Cradley Heath when the assaults took place in the 1980s
On one occasion, when she threatened to report him, he invited himself round to her parents’ house for dinner, she said.
Rahman’s passport was surrendered before the trial but a second one, unknown to solicitors, was used to fly to Dakar in Bangladesh.
Prosecution barrister Peter Arnold said “strenuous efforts” were being made to get him back to this country.
Vinny Bolina, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said it was in dialogue with its international division about the possibility of applying for an extradition.
Speaking after the sentencing, one of the victims said: “It’s over for now, we just need to get him back here to serve his time.
“His life is over and mine can now restart.”
Rahman was also told to pay £5,590 in costs and banned from working with children.
ISIS supporters celebrate deadliest-ever attack with poster of burning Pope, Trump and a statue of the Buddha
April 26, 2019
When people really believe the tenets of their religion what often happens is carnage.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
- At least 359 people killed and 500 injured after nine suicide bombers attacked three churches, four hotels and a block of flats in Sri Lanka
- Thirty-nine foreigners were killed including eight Brits, ‘several’ Americans, one Dutch, one Chinese, two Turkish, three Danes and one Portuguese national
- 40 suspects have been arrested
- Authorities name local Islamic terror group National Thowheeth Jama’ath as being responsible for the attacks saying they were helped by ‘international network’ of jihadis
- ISIS claims the suicide bombers were ‘soldiers of the Islamic State’
After claiming responsibility for the atrocity, the brainwashed death cult’s official media channel Amaq issued a disturbing poster.
The chilling propaganda post featured the masked extremists believed to have carried out the bombings in Sri Lanka above images of the Pope, US President Trump and a statue of Buddha.
And a clerk from the downtown Colombo KwikiMart.
Along with splatters of blood, the sinister image also includes depictions of fire.
On the poster, the warped militants wrote: “We will not make you cry of blood, enemies of religion and the first of the clouds shall fall upon the rivers of unclean blood.”
The coordinated attack, which involved nine suicide bombers, is believed to the terror group’s biggest ever mass murder.
ISIS’s previous largest attack was a bomb assault on a shopping district in Karrada, Baghdad, which left 340 dead in 2016.
Their deadliest attack in Europe remains the Paris massacre in November, 2015, which claimed the lives of 130 innocent people.
Meanwhile, one of the suicide bombers who studied in the UK has been identified as Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed.
He is believed to have attended a university in the southeast of England between 2006 and 2007, security sources told Sky News.
He was responsible for the smaller suicide blast at the Dehiwala hotel in southern Colombo hours after the later explosions, it has been reported.
Officials earlier revealed that the twisted ISIS extremist also studied for a post-graduate degree in Australia.
It has since emerged that he attended a university in Melbourne, reports the Age.com.
Speaking at a news conference, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said: “We believe that one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and later did his postgraduate studies in Australia before coming back to settle in Sri Lanka.”
The bombshell revelation that one of the depraved extremists studied in the UK has sparked fears that he could have been radicalised while living in this country.
Isn’t religion wonderful?
The number of people who have no religion has risen 266 per cent – one third of the population – in three decades
April 5, 2019
- People with no religion accounted for 23.1% of the U.S. population in 2018
- By comparison, Catholics make up 23% and Evangelicals account for 22.5%
- The three are now statistically tied as the largest religious groups in America
- Meanwhile, mainline Protestant Christianity has seen a 62.5% decline in believers since 1982, to now account for just 10.8% of the U.S. population
The number of Americans who identify as having no religion has risen 266 percent since 1991, to now tie statistically with the number of Catholics and Evangelicals, according to a new survey.
People with no religion – known as ‘nones’ among statisticians – account for 23.1 percent of the U.S. population, while Catholics make up 23 percent and Evangelicals account for 22.5 percent, according to the General Social Survey.
Those three groups now represent the largest the religious groups in America.
The survey has tracked a broad swath of American trends since 1972, offering comprehensive insight into the evolving face of religion over more than four decades.
Ryan Burge, a political science professor at Eastern Illinois University who analyzed the data, said that experts have several theories about why the number of ‘nones’ has risen so dramatically in recent decades.
‘One of them is that many people used to lie about what they were,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘Many people were (always) atheist or non-religious, but it was previously culturally unacceptable to not have a religion in America.’
March 10, 2019
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The special police team has arrested former Tholicode Imam Shafeeq Moulavi, who has been accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl. The accused and his aide Fazil, a native of Perumbavoor, were arrested from a lodge in Madurai, putting an end to almost three weeks of man hunt. District Crime Branch DySP D Asokan said Fazil was the driver of the 35-year-old accused and had taken him to several places to avoid the police net. Before being holed up in Madurai, the accused took shelter in more than 10 places.
“After leaving the state, he went into hiding in several places in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. He changed his appearance to give the police a slip,” Asokan said. The police said Noushad, one of the relatives of the former Imam, was into plywood business and hence he knew several places in TN and AP. “Noushad was the one who dissuaded the accused from surrendering before the police. He suggested the accused the places to go into hiding,” the officer said.
The police ascertained the accused did not go to Bengaluru and statements to that effect were given to derail the probe. After grilling Noushad and another person, Sudheer, who was also arrested for his connection in this case, the police came to know the accused was in Madurai. A seven-member team led by Asokan went to Madurai and arrested the accused, his driver and also seized their car.