A former leader of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in Texas, US, who is facing a string of child sexual-abuse offences in different counties, is likely to be convicted for multiple offences by a court of Denton county tomorrow (April 27).
There is a likelihood that the accused, Muneeb Ur Rehman Ahmad, 38, would be sentenced to eight years behind the bars, to which the convict and the complainant parties have already agreed.
The crimes took place between March 2018 and March 2020 while the accused was working on an assignment from Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya to oversee boys between seven to 15 years of age at Ahmadi Bait-ul-Ikram Mosque, Dallas city, according to a report compiled by FACE, a US-based non-profit with a mission “to foster safe community environments by holding abusive religious and community leadership accountable”.
Muneeb Ahmad was arrested on March 11, 2020, and was later released on bail after furnishing a $100,000 surety bond. He faces at least six charges, including three charges of sexual assault of a child and three charges of indecency with a child by sexual contact. These charges are in two different counties – Denton and Collin. There are two other allegations of the same nature against Muneeb in Harris County. His trial has yet to take place in Collin and Harris counties. He is from Canada but due to the confiscation of his passport by the court he cannot leave the US.
According to the FACE report, the accused groomed the 14-year-old boy under his care. Over the course of at least 11 documented encounters, the accused was reported to have sexually abused the boy at his apartment, in his car, and during community events and on youth group trips, they both attended. During the sex abuse interaction, the victim was appointed as Nazim Atfal (head of boys aged seven to 15) on July 21, 2019. The identity of the minor victim and his family are being kept secret.
After learning about the grooming and sexual assault attempts, the victim’s family went to the police and Muneeb Ahmad was arrested on May 11, 2020. He was subsequently removed from the post of Motamid Khuddam.
The victim said in a statement to FACE that: “They (Jamaat) abandoned me when I needed them (the) most. I want my community to do better. This is not a matter that can be fixed by keeping it behind closed doors, or by telling girls to cover up, it can happen to anyone.”
He said, “If there are any survivors from our community who have been abused, please come forward. Now is the time for you. Nothing will change unless we as a community foster safe environments where crucial social issues like these can be openly discussed without any judgment and dealt with transparently”.
In a written statement given to FACE, the victim’s father said his family is feeling a deep sense of betrayal, anger and loss. He said that nothing can ever bring back the sense of safety and trust in the community (Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya) that has been lost.
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Muneeb’s case came to light after revelations of three other Ahmadis, including Dr Muhammad Afzal Upal, Akash Ashar, and Nida Ul Nasser, 36, who has alleged being sexually molested from early childhood to the age of 25. Nida spoke of a long history of alleged sexual abuse by her father and by close family members of the global leader of the community who continue to serve despite serious allegations.
The UK police is investigating Nida’s case. Dr Upal, the chair of the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and Akash had alleged that their male relatives had sexually abused them when they were quite young at Rabwa, the spiritual headquarters of the Jamaat in Pakistan. Dr Upal and Akash have not reported to the police.