An imam in England has his job back at Jamatia Islamic Center after being suspended for agreeing to marry off a 14-year-old girl.
Sajid Zafar Hussain had been suspended from his job for the last month after two undercover TV reporters were able to catch him on camera agreeing to marry off a teenager. The reporters were posing as the schoolgirl’s mother and brother and asked Hussain if he would be willing to give her away. He agreed. When the incident was made public, Hussain was immediately suspended.
The TV reporters actually visited 56 mosques across England and asked them if they would perform the marriage ceremony on a 14-year-old girl. Seventeen imams, including Hussain, agreed to perform the ceremony.
Police say that no action will be taken against Hussain because he didn’t actually commit a crime and go through with the ceremony.
“Those ceremonies were never conducted and having carefully scrutinized the footage and transcripts of the discussions, detectives from the force’s Public Protection Unit have established that no criminal offences were committed,” West Midlands Police said in a statement. “Detectives have also examined the records at the mosques to establish if other ceremonies have been conducted. Again, no crimes have been identified. Officers along with council officials and faith leaders are working closely with the Birmingham mosques mentioned in the programme to remind them of their responsibilities in relation to child protection issues.’’
Leaders of the Jamatia Islamic Center say that Hussain regrets what he did and that they strongly condemn his actions.
Many members of the mosque were split on their feelings regarding Hussain’s suspension. Some felt that it was justified, and others thought that it wasn’t right because he didn’t technically do anything wrong.
Regardless, Hussain is now back at his job at Jamatia Islamic Center and will not face any criminal charges.