News Agencies – August 17, 2011
Members of a Scarborough, Ontario mosque have expressed shock and disbelief that their “nice” and “humble” religious leader has been charged with a string of sexual assaults. Mohammad Masroor, the imam at the Baitul Mukarram Islamic Society on Danforth Ave., faces 13 charges involving sexual offences and death threats relating to five alleged victims. Police said Masroor, 48, travelled the world before settling in Toronto in 2008, and believe there could be more victims, here and abroad. Abdur Rouf Tarafdar was one of more than a dozen people who vouched for Masroor’s pious character as he left afternoon prayer on Wednesday.
Masroor was arrested Aug. 10 after a three-week investigation that is still ongoing. The assaults allegedly occurred between Nov. 1, 2008 and July 28, 2011. Masroor taught in Florida, Michigan and Bangladesh before coming to Canada, according to police. He has also lived and taught in Germany, France, Hungary, Singapore and Sri Lanka but police said the investigation is not limited to those areas.
Members of the mosque were especially upset that the allegations come during the holy month of Ramadan. Police said Masroor is being held in custody, and that a publication ban is in place.