POSTMEDIA NEWS AUGUST 18, 2011
A Toronto imam who has lived in numerous countries is facing 13 charges as part of a sexual assault investigation, and police are appealing for more potential victims to come forward.
Mohammad Masroor, 48, of Toronto, was arrested Aug. 10 for sexual offences that authorities allege he committed between Nov. 1, 2008, and July 28 of this year. Police have identified five alleged victims, both male and female, and are appealing to others to come forward.
Masroor worked as an imam at the Baitul Mukarram Islamic Society in Toronto, where he taught Qur'anic studies to students. He was on leave at the time of his arrest.
Attendance here has risen recently as the Muslim community celebrates Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam. On Wednesday, the usually quiet mosque was surrounded by media, seeking reaction to the news. Many members are skeptical of the allegations.
"I don't believe it," says Mohammad Abdul Halim, who has been a member at this mosque for eight years. "I know he's a good guy. His character is good all the time."
Det. Const. Karen Armstrong told a Wednesday morning news conference that "Mohammad Masroor was a leader in the community, he was in a position of trust. Because he was in a position of power, we believe there are other victims."
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