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Islamic preacher assaulted children for laughing in mosque

A preacher at a mosque in Greater Manchester has been convicted of slapping three boys because they were laughing when they were supposed to be reading the Koran. The boys giggled when they found a leaf in the supposed ‘holy book’.

Ghulam Sarwar hit two of them so hard they temporarily lost their hearing. When once child told his mother about the incident, she reported it to the police. In a victim impact statement read out at Manchester Crown Court, she said she was disgusted by Sarwar’s conduct. “They are just children,” she said. “Things like this can go on but the law in this country says you cannot hit and injure a child. They did not deserve this treatment.”

The court heard that the three boys were sitting together at a Greater Manchester mosque in March this year. One of them found a leaf in his copy of the religious text. Another boy said he tried to smell it and it stuck to his nose, causing the three to laugh.

Sarwar struck one boy on the back of the head with a flat hand, knocking his hat off. He slapped the other two on their right ears. One boy alleged that Sarwar had hit children in the mosque before.

Sarwar, described as a preacher in court, denied assaulting the three boys and said in evidence that his faith prevented him from striking anyone. Five young character witnesses described Sarwar as a kind, calm and patient man during the trial. Magistrates found him guilty of three counts of common assault by beating. He will appeal against the conviction.



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