Hafiz Abbasi, an imam at Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Central Mosque in Whalley Range, has been sacked from his role as the imam and has been given a 12-month community order in court.
Mr Abbasi bearly avoided a jail sentence after being found guilty of sexual assault after groping a woman on two separate occasions in the Mosque.
The court heard that Mr Abbasi first approached the woman last year on October 21 and touched the woman’s buttocks for “five seconds or so” and brushed against her body.
Prosecutor Kate Gaskell said the woman became “very scared” and felt sick before managing to flee.
On the second occasion on October 29 last year the woman attended the Mosque accompanied by another man but when the other man left the woman said Abbasi touched her again “two or three times”.
In an emotional impact statement the woman read out in court she said he now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
She said: “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.”
Trustees at the Minjaj-ul-Qur’an Central Mosque say they have dismissed Hafiz Abbasi after he was found guilty of two sex assaults.
Speaking on behalf of the mosque’s trustees, Moazzam Raza said: “Minhaj-ul-Quran has very stringent policies relating to such cases and we take each case seriously. 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.
“Understanding the nature of complaint and case, the investigation team decided to immediately suspend Mr Abbasi pending the court case.
“Now that Mr Abbasi has been found guilty and sentence has been issued, we have immediately dismissed him from any employment with Minhaj-ul-Quran.”