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A 13-year-old has told a court he was telling the truth when he claimed he was sexually assaulted at a mosque by his Sheffield-based imam.
The boy, who cannot be named, claims Mohammed Hanif Khan, 42, sexually assaulted him when he was 12 inside the mosque on Capper Street, Stoke on Trent.
Khan, of Owler Lane, Sheffield, denies eight charges, including attempting to rape the boy's teenage cousin as he stayed over at his home one evening.
He is charged with three counts of rape, four counts of attempted rape and one count of sexual activity with a child, all alleged to have taken place between July 1 and October 16, 2009.
On Wednesday prosecutor Tariq Bin Shakoor told the jury the boy claimed in police interviews in October 2009 that he was singled out by Khan after evening prayer on several occasions, the first of which was around August 2009. He was sexually assaulted in various areas of the mosque which were not covered by CCTV, Mr Shakoor told the court.
Giving evidence from behind a screen, the boy said he attended the mosque for evening classes every weekday, arriving at around 6pm and leaving about an hour later.
The court heard the boy told police the last alleged assault, said to be on October 16, 2009, happened in a private room. When asked by the defence barrister, Robert Woodcock QC: "Did it happen at all?", he replied: "It did happen."
Mr Woodcock suggested on that occasion the boy was upset because the imam had thought he could smell drugs on him and questioned him about it.
He said: "He detected on you the smell of cannabis and asked you about it, didn't he? Once again he made it clear to you that he thought you and (your cousin) were up to no good, didn't he?" The boy replied "no" to both questions.
On Wednesday the court heard Khan was arrested on October 19, 2009. The case at Nottingham Crown Court was adjourned until Friday.
British imam charged with raping minor boy
Khan is also charged with the attempted rape of and sexual activity with the boy's cousin, who was 15 at the time, as he stayed over at his home one evening.
Khan, from Sheffield, appeared at the Nottingham Crown Court and spoke only to confirm his name and to enter not guilty pleas to all eight charges against him.
He is charged with three counts of rape, four counts of attempted rape and one count of sexual activity with a child, which allegedly took place between July and October 2009.
Prosecutor Tariq Bin Shakoor told the jury that Khan's job as imam of the mosque was to lead prayers and to give Islamic education lessons to boys who attended evening classes there.
He said that in police interviews, the 12-year-old boy - who cannot be named - said he was singled out by Khan following the evening prayer on about half a dozen occasions.
"On each occasion it happened at the mosque, usually after the formal prayers in the main prayer hall. The defendant would request him to lay out his red prayer mat in a different part of the mosque. That is when the remaining prayer would be completed individually and not in congregation," Shakoor said.
"He seems to suggest that usually the defendant would take him through the door marked 'private' and into the sitting room area, and into the room with cushions on the floor used by committee members."
The prosecutor said the accused chose different places within the mosque that were not covered by CCTV cameras.
He said the boy described the defendant asking him before the alleged abuse, "Do you want some?" and when the boy replied in the negative, the defendant would say, "For God's sake, just say yes".
In October 2009, the boy told his father about the incidents.
The youngster - who is now 13 - said the abuse went on for around two months before finally coming to an end.
Prosecutor Shakoor said the last occasion happened Oct 16, 2009, when the defendant told him that he was going to take him somewhere else and "do it to him specially".
He said the boy told police that the accused was considered a very important figure among the Muslim community.
"He gives an account of his knowledge of the defendant, his position, his roles in public life and how he perceived him to be a powerful man of high standing. His family trusted him and the defendant had a strong following. Such was that following that people would be prepared to die for him," the prosecutor said.
District judge Andrew Vickers dismissed two public order charges. He said Mr Peterson had a right to free speech.
Mr Peterson, 37, from Tilehurst, said he was "over the moon".
The judge said the words were not threatening, abusive or insulting.
Mr Peterson said he was trying to highlight concerns about how planning permission was granted to the mosque, the length of time it was taking to construct and worries over how it was being funded.
'Religiously aggravated' Speaking outside court, he said of the prosecution: "It shouldn't have ever happened in the first place.
"It was a lawful protest that I was doing, with a genuine concern.
"I made all my views at the time clear to the police when they turned up and all I had was my St George's flag and chanting 'England' and 'EDL'."
Police were called to the scene by two Muslim men, the court heard.
They told officers they were concerned by the protest as prayers were about to start at a nearby mosque and they believed an English Defence League (EDL) demonstration was about to take place.
Mr Peterson, of Elvaston Way, was charged with two public offences, including a "religiously aggravated" offence.
In a statement, Nina Maisuria from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "When we looked at the evidence provided by the police, we were satisfied there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction."
More than two thirds of French and German people now consider the integration of Muslims into their societies a failure, pollster IFOP said in a survey published on Jan. 5. In France, where Islam is the second-largest religion after Catholicism, 42 percent saw it as a threat to national identity.
"This has become a key political issue," said Frederic Dabi, IFOP's head of research. "Street prayers and the perceived growing influence of Islam are seen as impinging on French values of secularism, communal living."
Controversy over the street prayers has translated into growing confidence within the National Front, some 15 months before a presidential election likely to see a battle for votes between the far right and Sarkozy's centre-right UMP party.
National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has said he expects the party to outdo its electoral performance in 2002, when it knocked out the mainstream Socialist candidate in the first round of voting, but then lost to Jacques Chirac.
"These fears hang mostly on symbols: minarets in Switzerland, the niqab (full-face veil) in France, even the halal Quick menu," Dabi said, referring to a fast-food chain which recently opened a range of halal-only restaurants in France and Belgium. "The far right is playing on these fears."
Le Pen's comments seem to be taking hold. A poll published by TNS Sofres this week, showed that support for National Front ideas has grown by 12 percentage points over the past year.