Hafiz Abbasi, 32, an Imam working for Minhaj-ul-Qur'an Central Mosque in Whalley Range, Manchester, England, has been accused and found guilty of groping a woman whilst working inside the mosque.
The groping incident occurred twice to the same Muslim woman. The first incident occurred on the 21st October 2015, the court was told that Hafiz Abbasi, touched the woman’s buttocks for “five seconds or so” and brushed against her body. The incident made the victim feel scared and sick, the woman had to flee the scene away from the Imam.
The second incident occurred eight days later on the 29th October, The Muslim woman entered a room in the mosque with a male companion, when the male companion left the room Imam Hafiz Abbasi touched her again “two or three times”.
The sexual assault impacted the woman's life severely, she has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The victim commented in court about her ordeal, "You changed everything in my life. You tried to destroy who and what I am by your sick actions. You shattered my confidence and mentally and physically disturbed me."
The court found Hafiz Abbasi guilty of two counts of sexual assault, he dodged a prison sentence and received a 12-month community order.
Minjaj-ul-Qur’an Central Mosque provided a statement on their website, they stated, "As soon as we received a complaint relating to Mr Abbasi and came to know of pending court proceedings we immediately set-up an internal investigation team." As soon as the guilty verdict was heard in the court, the mosque trustees terminated his position at Minjaj-ul-Qur’an Central Mosque.