On 7th January 2011 Ashraf Miah, a private Arabic tutor from east London, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for sexually abusing children.
This terrible abuse of trust occurred during 2005 and 2009, when Miah was teaching either at his home or children's addresses.
We utterly and unequivocally condemn such abuse. Sexual abuse is a heinous crime with life-long consequences for its victims. We welcome the news that Miah has been sent to prison.
However, it is with considerable regret that we note that The Daily Telegraph on 19th January 2011 wrongly associated the East London Mosque with this tragic abuse case.
Ashraf Miah, the abuser, was never a teacher at the East London Mosque. Miah was convicted for offences committed as a private teacher in peoples' homes.
We take the highest level of precaution in safeguarding the young people in our community. We have a robust child protection policy, which requires all teachers to be checked with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). All our Evening Madarassa (Arabic School) teachers are thoroughly vetted.
No-one from the Police or Child Protection Agencies have ever contacted us regarding this case. The Police have confirmed there have been no direct accusations regarding the East London Mosque in this matter.
Deputy Borough Commander, Colin Morgan has said: "There is no obvious link with the Mosque. We would have been in touch as part of the investigation if this was the case and/or was relevant."
There have never been any allegations of abuse in any of our schools or educational projects. We have a proud record of looking after the welfare of children via a wide range of projects. These include Improving School Attendance and Attainment in Partnership (ISAAP), which helped Tower Hamlets Council gain Beacon status in 2002; and the London East Academy, which has the highest percentage of pupils achieving A*- C GCSE in English and Mathematics in the borough.
We reiterate that we do not tolerate those who use the guise of religion and faith as a cover for abusing children. Our position on this is unequivocal and very clear, we do not accept any form of child abuse. The East London Mosque and the London Muslim Centre is committed to fulfilling its statutory, ethical and moral obligations in protecting young and vulnerable children.
We would like to reassure all parents and guardians of East London Mosque and the London Muslim Centre that our primary concern is to ensure the safety and well-being of all young people who use our services and facilities.
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