28 May 2011

UK Muslim fundamentalists who severely beat religious education teacher given indeterminate sentences for public safety

Daily Mail   -  UK    May 27, 2011

Battered and slashed by a Muslim gang just because he taught RE: Four jailed over their 'dangerous extreme religious beliefs'


He was an ‘able, enthusiastic and popular’ religious education teacher who loved his job at an inner-city girls’ school.

But when a gang of Islamic extremists decided his lessons for Muslim girls were ‘mocking Islam’, they unleashed a sickening attack on Gary Smith, slashing his face and battering him with such force that his own mother didn’t even recognise him.

Akmol Hussain, 26, Sheikh Rashid, 27, Azad Hussein, 26, and Simon Alam, 19, ambushed the 38-year-old as he walked to work because they did not approve of a non-Muslim teacher giving lessons on religion to Hussain’s niece.

In a ten-minute attack, the fundamentalist mob smashed him over the head with a concrete block and iron rod and slashed his face from the corner of his mouth to his right ear with a Stanley knife. They punched and kicked him in the stomach, head and face, before driving away ‘praising Allah’ as they left their victim covered in blood and unconscious with a fractured skull and shattered jaw.

The Jihadi fanatics thought they had got away with it. But, following suspicions of a terrorist plot, the security services had planted a bug in their car that recorded them snarling: ‘This is the dog we want to hit, to strike, to kill.’

Despite the ferocity of the attack, Mr Smith was back in the classroom yesterday as his attackers were given an indeterminate sentence for public protection.

Sentencing the gang at Snaresbrook Crown Court to at least 19 years behind bars for grievous bodily harm with intent, Judge John Hand QC told them: ‘If you think that people around you in society present an insult or threat to God then you will not hesitate in attacking again.’

MI5 considered the gang such a threat to national security that they asked the Home Secretary for permission to plant a covert recording device in Hussain’s car. But it wasn’t until detectives listened to the tapes after the assault in July last year that they were arrested.

In a recording played to the court, Hussain was heard plotting the attack outside Central Foundation Girls’ School in Bow, East London, where Mr Smith worked as head of religious education.

Hussein said: ‘He’s mocking Islam and he’s putting doubts in people’s minds. How can somebody take a job to teach Islam when they’re not even a Muslim themselves?’ Just moments before the gang struck at 8am on July 12 last year, Hussain told the others as they donned gloves and black bandanas: ‘Does everyone remember the drill? One time, bang, bang, bang, bang.

The recording then fell silent for ten minutes while the attack took place. The gang later fled in a car boasting of their success. Hussain could be heard saying: ‘Praise to Allah. I turned and hit him on the face with the rod and he went flying and fell on his stomach.’

Mr Smith taught topics such as abortion, euthanasia and the role of women at the high-performing specialist state school, which has a high proportion of Bangladeshi students who do not speak English as their first language.

Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse said: ‘He was targeted as the victim of this attack quite simply because of his position as head of religious studies at the school.’

Mr Smith did not regain consciousness for two days. He underwent emergency surgery to treat bleeding on the brain, leg injuries and nerve damage.

He also had three operations to repair his face, but was left with a four-inch scar, memory loss and back pain. His mother, Heather, 75, said: ‘His injuries were so bad I didn’t recognise him. It was a horrific and evil attack.

Mr Smith said: ‘They were all armed with knives. I tried to defend myself and run away but they all jumped me and that’s the last thing I remember.

In the victim impact statement, he added that he has grown a beard in an attempt to conceal the scar. He can only do 75 per cent of his previous working hours and can no longer ride his motorbike or practise martial arts.

The judge said: ‘He enjoyed living in Tower Hamlets where he had lived alone for a number of years, but now is anxious about being alone and has gone back to live with his mother. He lives in constant fear of being attacked again.

‘He forgets about meetings and students’ names, something he never did before the attack.’

The four gang members appeared at court wearing traditional Islamic robes. Their wives and mothers dressed, in full burkas, wept as they were sentenced after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The defendants claimed they had heard rumours that the teacher raped a girl at the school, but this was unfounded.

Hussain and Hussein were given an indeterminate sentence but told they would serve a minimum of five years. Alam was told he would remain in a Young Offenders’ Institute for at least five years, before being released on a five-year licence.

Rashid was told he would be eligible for release after four years, when he too would be subjected to a five year licence.

A fifth man, Badruzzuha Uddin, 24, a mechanic who admitted helping the thugs by hiding blood-stained clothing, was jailed for two years.

Alam, who was born in Germany, faces deportation.

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  1. Mother murdered son for failing to learn the Koran

    The Telegraph UK November 1, 2012

    Sara Ege used a stick to beat seven-year-old Yaseen “like a dog” if he couldn’t recite passages from the Islamic text.

    The beatings were so brutal that the boy died from his injuries, and his mother tried to burn the body to destroy the evidence, Cardiff Crown Court was told.

    Yaseen was originally thought to have died in the house fire. But a post-mortem examination showed Mrs Ege had been beating and abusing her little boy in the months leading up to his murder.

    In a video recording of her interview with police, Mrs Ege told them: “I was trying to teach him the Koran.

    “I was getting more and more frustrated. If he didn’t read it properly I would be very angry — I would hit him.

    “We had a high target. I wanted him to learn 35 pages in three months.

    “I promised him a new bike if he could do it. But Yaseen wasn’t very good — after a year of practice he had only learnt a chapter.”

    The court heard Mrs Ege, 32, a university graduate, and her husband, Yousuf, had enrolled Yaseen in advanced classes at their local mosque.

    They wanted him to become a hafiz — an Islamic term for someone who memorises the Koran.

    Yaseen was coming to the end of a three-month trial period at the mosque, and Ege was keen for him to impress his Imam.

    Mrs Ege told officers: “I was getting all this bad stuff in my head, like I couldn’t concentrate, I was getting angry too much, I would shout at Yaseen all the time.”

    She also hit him with a hammer, a rolling pin and a slipper, as well as repeatedly punching him, the court heard.

    She would allegedly lock him in the shed, tie him to a door, and force him to do press-ups.

    In the months after Yaseen’s death, Mrs Ege told a doctor she been told to kill him by Shaitan — an Islamic name for the devil, the court was told.

    She said: “I have become so harsh, I even killed my own son.”

    Her husband, 38, denies causing or allowing the death of a child by not stopping the beatings.

    The trial continues.


  2. Mother jailed for beating son to death for failing to memorise Qur'an

    Sara Ege, who claimed the devil urged her to beat the seven-year-old, told she will serve at least 17 years in prison

    Steven Morris, The Guardian UK January 7, 2013

    A mother who beat her seven-year-old son to death for failing to learn the Qur'an by heart and burned his body in an attempt to hide her crime has been jailed for life.

    Sara Ege, 33, collapsed and had to be helped sobbing from the dock after being told she would serve 17 years before she could be considered for parole.

    Ege treated her son Yaseen "like a dog" when he struggled to memorise passages of the holy book of Islam, Cardiff crown court heard. Over three months, she beat him until he collapsed on the floor of his bedroom — still mumbling verses — and died.

    Ege used barbecue lighting gel to set fire to the boy's body. Initially, emergency services believed he had been killed in a blaze at the family home in the Welsh capital. But a postmortem revealed he had died before the fire started and had suffered multiple injuries to his body including broken ribs, a fractured arm and a fractured finger.

    A serious case review, published after Ege was jailed, revealed that staff at Yaseen's school had been concerned on "one or two occasions" about the boy but their worries had not been passed on to children's services or police.

    Several agencies and individuals worked with Ege but the serious case review said there was "no co-ordinated plan" and the extent of her "social and cultural isolation" – and the possibility that Yaseen might be at risk – were not realised or understood.

    It highlighted that agencies had been made aware on two occasions of allegations that Yaseen had suffered domestic abuse. On the first occasion, the allegations were not passed on to the police; on the second, Ege declined offers of intervention.

    In court, the jury heard that Ege, a mathematics graduate who had entered competitions as a girl to demonstrate her own knowledge of the Qur'an, had struggled to have a child. Before Yaseen was born, she suffered depression as a result of a series of miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. After his birth, she had postnatal depression. The court also heard that she had difficult relationships with her husband, taxi driver Yousef Ege, 38, and her mother-in-law.

    Despite all her problems, Ege was thought of as a good and loving mother who had done all she could to bring her son up well.

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  3. It began to go wrong when Ege and her husband enrolled Yaseen in advanced classes at a mosque because they wanted him to become Hafiz – someone who memorises the Qur'an – hoping such status would bring honour to the family and improve their standing in the community.

    He was given a three-month trial period at the mosque and told by his mother that he would have a new bicycle if he did well.

    But Ege was not happy with the boy's progress and would hit him with a stick, a hammer, a rolling pin and a slipper as well as repeatedly punching him.

    On the day of his death in July 2010, Yaseen was kept off school so that he could continue to try to learn his verses.

    In a confession to police following her arrest, Ege said the boy collapsed after she had beaten him. Ege said: "He was breathing as if he was asleep when I left him. He was still murmuring the same thing over and over again."

    When she went back to him, he was shaking and shivering. She did not seek medical help and the boy died. The woman then used barbecue gel to set fire to his body.

    Ege told police she was "getting angry too much", adding: "I would shout at Yaseen all the time. I was getting very wild and I hit Yaseen with a stick on his back like a dog." She claimed she had been urged on by the devil and believed the stick she used to punish her son was possessed by an evil spirit.

    She also told her GP she had been ordered to kill Yaseen by the devil and felt "100% better after the boy died". Notes kept by her doctor record her saying: "It is like something has been released. For three or four months, I have not been normal. Voices told me to hit Yaseen and then hit him more and more."

    Ege later retracted her account to South Wales police of what had happened and accused her husband, who stood trial with her, of being a violent bully and the real killer. Yousef Ege was cleared of causing or allowing his son's death by failing to act to prevent it.

    Sentencing Sara Ege for murder and perverting the course of justice, Mr Justice Wyn Williams said "in many respects" Ege had been "a very good mother" but concluded that Yaseen was subjected to "prolonged cruelty" and the violence "was not confined to the day of his death".