Imam Found Guilty of Sexually Abusing Boy in Mosque, Muslim Community Turned Against Victim

Mohammed Rabani, 61, who was imam at a mosque in Sneinton, Nottinghamshire, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a boy between 1990 and 1992.
Nottingham Police

A Muslim faith leader in Nottinghamshire was found guilty of three counts of indecently assaulting a young teen boy in the mosque where he preached and taught children the Quran.

Mohammed Rabani, 61, was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday of the historic abuse which took place between 1990 and 1992 when the victim was aged between 12 and 13 years old, reports the BBC.

The indecent touching took place in the attic of the Sneinton mosque where Rabani had been imam for 25 years. The jury heard that the abuse began after the imam had agreed to allow the young teen to use the loft to smoke and watch movies.

The victim went to police in 2015 when he had returned to the area and asked the mosque leaders to eject Rabani from his role; instead, they removed him from preaching duties but still allowed him to teach the Quran to children.

During the trial, the court heard that after the victim raised the allegations with police, Rabani spoke to the mosque’s congregants about the claims, turning the Muslim community against the abuse survivor.

“He decided to go round telling everyone and make sure the whole community goes round in my face, saying ‘what is all this you are saying?’ People were coming up saying ‘why are you making these allegations? They are not the truth.’

“It was creating a dark atmosphere. I didn’t want that, I didn’t want to bring disrepute to the House of the Lord,” he said.

The victim also said that after the abuse he suffered he was sent abroad, telling the court: “It was to get me out of the way so they could sweep it under the carpet so things would fizzle out and die down.

“They said people like the EDL [English Defence League] could get hold of this – that the world is against Muslims.

“All people wanted me to do was be quiet and basically take it to my grave,” he said, according to NottinghamshireLive.

Judge Gregory Dickinson QC told Rabani that “a prison sentence is inevitable” when he is sentenced on May 31st. He was released on conditional bail to allow him to put his “affairs in order”, according to the judge, and his British passport was handed to police.

Prosecutor David Outterside noted that older, Pakistani passports had been found but he does not rule out the convicted sex offender from having possession of a current Pakistani passport.

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