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Muslim leader Hafiz Abdul Hannan detained by US immigration agents in Connecticut, faces deportation to Pakistan

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Hafiz Abdul Hannan, the leader of the Masjid Al-Islam mosque in New Haven since 2013, was taken into custody at his home on Friday.

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In this Feb. 27, 2016 photo, a sign inscribed "Love for all, hatred for none" stands outside the Baitul Aman mosque where the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worships in Meriden, Conn. The office of the U.S. attorney for Connecticut held an anti-bullying forum in December 2015 for children at the mosque, which had been fired upon three weeks earlier in a shooting that was prosecuted as a federal hate crime. VOA
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New Haven, Connecticut, May 24, 2017: A Connecticut imam has been detained by U.S. immigration agents and faces deportation to Pakistan.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Hafiz Abdul Hannan, the leader of the Masjid Al-Islam mosque in New Haven since 2013, was taken into custody at his home on Friday.

He was previously convicted of committing fraud in immigration documents and will remain in custody pending his removal from the United States, said Shawn Neudauer, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman.

Hannan previously served as a chaplain for the Middlesex House of Correction in Billerica, Massachusetts. He also was the leader of the Islamic Society of Greater Lowell in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

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He was one of 33 people arrested in 2006 in a nationwide investigation into immigrants who filled out phony applications for religious workers’ visas. At the time, leaders of the Islamic community in Massachusetts said the problem was an administrative error.

It was not immediately clear whether Hannan is represented by an attorney who can comment on his case.

A posting on the mosque’s website asks community members not to speak to the media about the situation.

Mosque leaders “will make a statement if deemed necessary with more insight into the situation,” it reads. (VOA)

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Mother Convicted of Forcing Daughter to Marry

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

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A union flag is flown at half mast in Westminster after an attack on London Bridge and Borough Market left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday convicted the mother of four of duping her then 17-year-old daughter into travelling to Pakistan on the pretext of a family holiday in 2016 and forcing her to marry there, the BBC reported.

The mother was found guilty of two counts of forced marriage and was scheduled to be sentenced.

The court heard the girl had been entered into a “marriage contract” with the man years before in Pakistan and became pregnant at 13. The victim had an abortion on returning to the UK, with her doctor reporting his concerns to social services.

representational image. pixabay

Prosecutors said the girl’s mother told them that her daughter and the man were just “two teenagers who had sneakily had sex” after she was referred, the BBC said.

The girl was tricked into travelling to Pakistan again in September 2016 and was forced by her mother to sign marriage papers.

When the daughter protested against the marriage, her mother threatened to burn her passport and assaulted her.

The mother was also convicted of perjury after she lied about the incident in the High Court.

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It is the first time a forced marriage case of this kind has been successfully prosecuted in an English court. Prosecutions for forced marriage, which became an offense in 2014, are rare. (IANS)