Nieuws/Binnenland
2685408
Binnenland

British sheikh reported to police for rape offences

The 51 year old leader Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi has thousands of followers and runs a Muslim commune on a secluded country estate near Birmingham.

The 51 year old leader Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi has thousands of followers and runs a Muslim commune on a secluded country estate near Birmingham.

THE HAGUE - Two Dutch women have made police reports against a well-known Islamist ’holy man’ for rape. The British Police have now interviewed the British sheikh. The „investigation is ongoing”, according to the Police.

The 51 year old leader Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi has thousands of followers and runs a Muslim commune on a secluded country estate near Birmingham.

The 51 year old leader Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi has thousands of followers and runs a Muslim commune on a secluded country estate near Birmingham.

The 51 year old leader Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi has thousands of followers and runs a Muslim commune on a secluded country estate near Birmingham. Tens of Dutch religious followers live there with him, most of whom come from the Hague area. The Hijaz movement has close ties with the Noeroel Islam mosque in The Hague.

The two Dutch women have stated to the West Midlands Police that the sheikh sexually abused them multiple times when they were children in the 1990’s. A third Dutch woman had already complained to the police about the religious leader’s father in the 1990’s, also for rape, whilst she was a child. The father, Abdulwahab, died in 1994 while Interpol were investigating that case.

The British lawyer and former Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal has dealt with tens of abuse cases and is following the Siddiqi case closely. According to him, „…for Muslim women it is even harder to come forward about their abuse, due to the culture of honour and shame. In this community people prefer victims to suffer in silence. That applies all the more when it concerns a religious leader, who is more or less untouchable.”

Ignored for years

The mother of two Dutch girls, who say they are victims of the sheikh, is angry that signals from her were ignored for years inside the community. „My children were abused in the most brutal manner”, she writes. „I see how they are suffering from the consequences to this day. What the Siddiqi family has done is devastating.” She warns that religious meetings exclusively for children are still being held on the sheikh’s estate.

Sheikh Siddiqi is a lawyer in Sharia courts and an entrepreneur. He runs one of his companies together with the secretary of the Noeroel Islam mosque in The Hague. The company, SIB Global Investments, has a business plan for a holiday village including a bar serving 117 different types of beer.

Siddiqi won’t respond to questions on the matter. Through his solicitor, he has stated that reports about sexual abuse are ’unfounded’. He says that rogue mosque-goers in The Hague are seeking to discredit his family.

Tips about this case? s.schoonhoven@telegraaf.nl