Islamic scholar accused of sexually assaulting brothers
Written by Denis Scott Chabrol
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:15
An Islamic scholar is being accused of sexually assaulting several brothers at a Madrassa (Muslim school) in Sophia, their mother told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) .
Police Chief of Criminal Investigations, Assistant Commissioner Seelall Persaud confirmed that the police are probing allegations of sexual assault.
While police say the man allegedly committed the act on three boys, the mother is saying that her four sons four, six, eight and 10 years old were all victims.
The suspect was arrested Tuesday afternoon.
She said a medical examination has unearthed evidence. “There were bruises and when they questioned them separately, the three children came up with same story,” she said.
The alleged acts were committed at the Madrassa that’s held at the Turkeyen Muslim Association.
The mother, who is a Muslim, said the suspected perpetrator is a Mufti who is highly rated in the Caribbean and goes to Haj.
Demwaves.com has confirmed that the man lectures at a school that is associated with the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG). Efforts to contact senior CIOG officials were not immediately successful
The mother said she was first made aware of the incident when a Welfare Officer turned up at her home Monday night with her three children. She said she had just arrived home from selling on Regent Street and did not see them, instead they arrived in a car with the official.
Based on the information provided, she believed that her sons have been sexually assaulted between December 2011 and January.
The mother said the occurrence might have come to light because other children might have lodged complaints although the man allegedly threatened to kill them with a gun which he had allegedly shown them.
According to the woman, she has declined an offer by the Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA) for her children to be taken into care because she prefers to have them with her. At the same time, she said they are not attending a government primary school.
“They asked me to…I prefer them home with me. I wouldn’t want anybody abduct them. The children can’t go to school because they are traumatized,” she said.
The law, however, provides for mandatory care if the CPA authorities see the need to do so.
Imam at center of child sex probe
-alleged victims shown guns and threatened
An Islamic scholar who is also the Imam for a Masjid in Turkeyen is under investigation for allegedly having sex with four boys.
According to reports, the man was taken into police custody on Monday after a medical examination revealed that boys, ages ranging from 4 to 10, were sexually molested. All of the children are members of the masjid. The Imam was released on station bail late yesterday.
The story began to unfold earlier this week after an anonymous tip was left at the Child Protection Agency about the children being abused. Following this tip, officers from the CPA informed the parents of the children and the police. After being questioned, the children reportedly made several allegations about being sexually molested by the Imam.
Subsequently, a medical examination confirmed that all four boys were indeed molested. There are reports that the CPA has received the names of several other boys from the community who were allegedly molested by the Imam and efforts are being made to contact the parents of these children.
Meanwhile, the children’s mother who spoke with this publication said that she never suspected anything as she had confidence in the Imam and held him in high regards.
“I never expect this. After school, they would go to the masjid and stay until like 8 in the night.” The woman related that there were rumors circulating in the community about the Imam but she dispelled them. She added that after her sons were questioned and they related their stories she then began to recall one strange incident.
“One night my big son come home late and it look like he was crying so I ask him what happen and he say that the Imam beat him to stay back and watch game on the computer… and he just go straight in he bed.”
“He tell we that when he was about to come home the Imam called him back to watch game on the computer and he refused so the man started beating he and he try to jump the back fence and a man pull he back and took him into a room.”
The woman added that her son further related that once he was in the room with the Imam, he was ordered to take off his clothes. He was then allegedly molested.
According to the lad, the Imam then showed him two guns and told him if he told anyone he would kill him. After that time, the lad said it continued until it was reported recently. His brothers were also molested.
Meanwhile, the mother of the children says she is fearful that the matter will be ‘swept under the carpet’. The woman said she has been told that efforts are being made from the higher levels in the Muslim community to have her settle the matter.
“I want justice for my children. I don’t want any money- no money can compensate what has been done to my children and if I take money it would mean that I am condoning what has been done and that I’m putting other young boys at risk.”
This same concern is being expressed by officials from the Child Protection Agency.
“We are calling on all advocates to come out and speak out against this matter.”
In addition, the CPA is also concerned for the safety of the children.
Also several residents of the community have come out in condemnation of the act saying that many of them had confidence in the Imam but for a while rumours have been circulating.
“Long we hearing this thing but we never had solid evidence and when people come forward… two days after, the big ones hold a meeting and the next thing the family change their story.”
Meanwhile, the man who is also a teacher at a popular Muslim School, was late yesterday released on $150,000 station bail.