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Monday, May 29, 2023

Sexual abuse claims rock Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya: Report

After Nida Ul Nasser, a second person, this time a man, has come forward with allegations of sexual abuse, ratcheting up a ‘Me Too reckoning for the closed-off Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, Samaa TV reported.

The latest story came to light from the Chair of the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Muhammad Afzal Upal.

“I was six years old when an older male relative sexually abused me. He was visiting our house in Rabwah, Pakistan, the then worldwide headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community,” 51-year-old Upal, an Ahmadi, said in a column.

“Staying quiet is no longer an option for us; the safety of our children depends on us raising our voices and holding our leaders accountable,” he said, as per the report.

Upal’s revelations came months after those of Nida Ul Nasser, 36, who alleged of being sexually assaulted from early childhood to the age of 25.

She spoke of a long history of sexual abuse by her father and by close family members of the global leader of the community. Furthermore, a recording surfaced in December of the leader telling her to remain silent or face the system of the Jamaat, which could lead to her excommunication. The UK police are investigating Nida’s case, the report said.

Talking to Samaa Digital, Upal said he is an Ahmadi and is in favour of the system of the Jamaat and wants to make it accountable, transparent and safe for his children as well as for those of the other Ahmadis.

“There were too many other Rabwah boys of my age who were known victims,” he wrote.

Upal claimed to know of one case of a boy who lived down the street from him. Being a known victim, he was far more attractive a target for sexual predators, he said. There was always a line-up of older boys from the neighbourhood wanting to take him out to a coffee shop or a restaurant, he wrote.

“Instead of taking any action against the abusers, the Jamaat high-ups forced the family of the victim to vacate the residential quarters of Tehrik-e-Jadid, an auxiliary organisation of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, as a punishment of ‘spreading vice’,” according to Upal, the report said.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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