Koran teacher cleared of assaults

A teacher at a mosque accused of assaulting pupils when they failed to memorise verses from the Koran was found not guilty of the allegations today.

Sohail Musa, 21, was charged with assaulting two of his pupils while he was teaching a class at Zakariyya Mosque in Peace Street, Bolton, on April 20 last year.



Musa - an "Islamic scholar" - "punched and slapped" pupils when they made mistakes while reciting verses from the holy book, a three-day trial at Bolton Magistrates' Court heard.



But District Judge Paul Richardson said today: "I have to ask myself after all the evidence, am I satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that one or other of these assaults has been proved? I find that I am left with doubt.



"I must find in favour of the defendant and absolve him of both these charges."



Speaking after the hearing, Musa, of Croston Street, Bolton, said he was "really pleased that justice had been done".



He said: "I want to thank my family and friends and the community who have whole-heartedly supported me."



The trial heard from two boys, both 13, who gave evidence via video link.



One of the boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Musa "twisted his arm and punched him near his kidneys" when he made a mistake while reciting a verse from the Koran.



The second boy said he got "12 hits on the head" when he made mistakes.



Peter Turner, defending, said the boys' version of events was not the truth.



He said Musa had warned the first boy about his behaviour and patted him on the back when "he tried to encourage him to behave".



A spokesman for Bolton Council of Mosques said they had worked closely with Bolton Council's safeguarding team to ensure all mosques and madrasahs were aware of the requirements for child protection.



The spokesman said: "We cannot go into details into an ongoing case, but have full confidence that all our mosques take safeguarding and teaching practices very seriously and ensure that the best provision and teaching is provided to all children and young people in the mosques' care across Bolton."

Suggested Topics
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London