Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bangladeshi Imam in Toronto Arrested on Charges of Sexual Assault on Children


News on Imam Mohammad
Masroor of Toronto

News courtesy: National Post
(Toronto: August 25, 2011)
(To read the above news,
you may click on the image)

Mohammad Masroor (48), a Bangladeshi imam (leader of the group prayers in a mosque) of Baitul Mukarram Islamic Society mosque on Danforth Avenue, Toronto, has been arrested on August 10, reports the National Post. He faces 13 charges for sexual assault on five young male and female children under his care for Quranic studies both in the mosque and at their homes. The police appealed to the public to come forward and report any other sexual wrongdoing of this imam against children.

The arrest was quite a surprise to the Bangladeshi Muslims who regularly attend prayers under the leadership of Mohammad Masroor. This was a more painful news in their holy month of Ramadan when Muslims try to live sacrificial and holy lives by fasting and prayers.

One Bangladeshi Muslim told the reporter of National Post, “I don’t believe it. I know he’s a good guy. His character is good all the time.”

Another Muslim commented, He is “easy to approach, friendly, jokes around with everyone. He has kids of his own, he has like three kids, so he’s a family guy.”

The police also mentioned that Imam Masroor belonged to the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic movement that tries for spiritual revival among Muslims at the grassroots level and its members travel far and wide as sort of “missionaries.” Tablighi Jamaat, although originally founded in India in the late 1920s, at present has a strong presence in Bangladesh. Imam Masroor in the past went on preaching missions, among others, to India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Singapore, USA, and lastly in Toronto.

National Post again reported today that Imam Mohammad Masroor used aliases (false names) in his past travels abroad. He carried different passport in the names of Junaid Salman, Abdur Rahim, Abdul Karim Abdul Aziz and finally Mohammad Masroor. The police believe that he might have committed similar crimes in his past missions.

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