4 Feb 2011

UK Muslim extremist leader jailed for molesting little girls while they recited religious texts

The Telegraph - UK January 20, 2011

Extremist leader jailed for child abuse

By Andrew Gilligan | Telegraph's London Editor



Here’s the full version of a story which appeared in the print edition of the paper:

A MAN has been jailed for a series of sex attacks on children committed while he was leader of a Muslim extremist group and a teacher at a hardline London mosque.

Ashraf Miah, 38, from Mile End, a former teacher at the East London Mosque, repeatedly molested the girls whilst they recited religious texts. The youngest victim was five and the oldest only seven.

Miah was at the time the East End leader of the notorious extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir, which believes that voting and democracy is forbidden in Islam and wants to turn Britain into a sharia state. He is listed as its contact for a number of events.

“He was a bit of a loner in the Hizb and did not have many friends, but he was a senior figure,” said one former member of the group.

During his trial, Miah claimed that the prosecution was a “conspiracy” against him because of his political views. Senior members of Hizb ut Tahrir gave evidence in Miah’s defence. However, the jury rejected his claims.

The assaults took place over a four-year period, from 2003 to 2007, during lessons at Miah’s flat and other houses in east London. Some of the girls complained to their parents about the abuse, but were not believed.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that the offences came to light after one of the girls’ fathers had a change of heart and reported her case to police. More victims were traced and Miah was convicted of a total of 13 sexual assaults against five different youngsters.

Sentencing him to three years and three months, Judge William Kennedy told Miah: “The children in this case came from three entirely separate and different families.

“Your suggestion at trial, and apparently still now, was and is that somehow the parents of those children have conspired to destroy your reputation. The suggestion that any parent would willingly encourage his or her daughter to lie about events in these circumstances was one which the jury considered and rejected.

“The possibility of coincidence of similar complaints by unconnected children is simply impossible.”

The court heard that Miah also taught at the hardline East London Mosque, controlled by the Islamic Forum of Europe, which also believes in turning the UK into a sharia state, though by different methods. The mosque has hosted many hate, extremist and terrorist preachers, including Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda spiritual leader. Some of the victims were introduced to Miah via the mosque. The mosque said last night that it had “no record” of his working there.

The judge told Miah: “You were entrusted with these children as a religious teacher. As such you occupied a position of great importance and reputation. You repeatedly abused that trust.

“Right thinking people find it impossible to understand what gratification could possibly be achieved by the almost surreptitious touching of very small children. That the touching was sexual is beyond doubt.

“The offending was persistent, extending over a period of four years, and always involving children unlikely to be able to complain believably about what you were doing to them.

‘Whatever may be the answer as to why you committed offences of this sort, the fact is that all decent people reserve a particular condemnation for those who abuse positions of trust to interfere with children.”

A Hizb ut Tahrir spokesman said last night that Miah had not been part of the group for two years and it was “satisfied that he did not use Hizb ut Tahrir for any criminal purpose.” The spokesman said that Hizb ut Tahrir members who testified for Miah “did so in a personal capacity.”


This article was found at:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andrewgilligan/100072691/extremist-leader-jailed-for-child-abuse/

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