Date: 16 Jan 2011


British imam charged with raping minor boy \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Indo Asian News Service, Updated: January 14, 2011 17:40 IST \\\\\\\\\ London: A Muslim religious leader in Britain has been charged with raping a 12-year-old boy while he attended mosque for religious lessons, a media report said.\\\\\\\\\\ Mohammed Hanif Khan, 42, allegedly sexually assaulted the boy inside the Stoke-on-Trent mosque where he worked as the imam, the Daily Mail reported. Khan is also charged with the attempted rape of and sexual activity with the boy's cousin, who was 15 at the time, as he stayed over at his home one evening. \\\\\\\\\\\ Khan, from Sheffield, appeared at the Nottingham Crown Court and spoke only to confirm his name and to enter not guilty pleas to all eight charges against him. He is charged with three counts of rape, four counts of attempted rape and one count of sexual activity with a child, which allegedly took place between July and October 2009.\\\\\\\\\\ Prosecutor Tariq Bin Shakoor told the jury that Khan's job as imam of the mosque was to lead prayers and to give Islamic education lessons to boys who attended evening classes there. \\\\\\\\\ He said that in police interviews, the 12-year-old boy - who cannot be named - said he was singled out by Khan following the evening prayer on about half a dozen occasions. \\\\\\\\\\\ "On each occasion it happened at the mosque, usually after the formal prayers in the main prayer hall. The defendant would request him to lay out his red prayer mat in a different part of the mosque. That is when the remaining prayer would be completed individually and not in congregation," Shakoor said. \\\\\\\\\\ "He seems to suggest that usually the defendant would take him through the door marked 'private' and into the sitting room area, and into the room with cushions on the floor used by committee members." \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The prosecutor said the accused chose different places within the mosque that were not covered by CCTV cameras. \\\\\\\\\\ He said the boy described the defendant asking him before the alleged abuse, "Do you want some?" and when the boy replied in the negative, the defendant would say, "For God's sake, just say yes". \\\\\\\\\ In October 2009, the boy told his father about the incidents. \\\\\\\\\\ The youngster - who is now 13 - said the abuse went on for around two months before finally coming to an end.\\\\\\\\\\ Prosecutor Shakoor said the last occasion happened Oct 16, 2009, when the defendant told him that he was going to take him somewhere else and "do it to him specially".\\\\\\\\\\ He said the boy told police that the accused was considered a very important figure among the Muslim community.\\\\\\\ "He gives an account of his knowledge of the defendant, his position, his roles in public life and how he perceived him to be a powerful man of high standing. His family trusted him and the defendant had a strong following. Such was that following that people would be prepared to die for him," the prosecutor said. \\\\\\ Read more at: \\\\\\\\ 000000000