Heckmondwike Imam ‘agreed to forced marriage’

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A cleric from a Heckmondwike mosque is believed to have been caught on camera agreeing to conduct a forced marriage involving a 14-year-old girl.

Shams-Ul-Huda Khan Mishabi, who preaches at the Jamia Masjid Kanzul Iman Mosque, in Albion Street, is one of a number of Muslim clerics apparently filmed agreeing to perform an Islamic marriage, or nikah, between a 14-year-old girl and an older man.

Reporters for ITV’s Exposure programme posing as the mother and brother of the teenager to be married secured agreement from 18 out of 56 mosques they approached.

The documentary, to be broadcast on Wednesday, will apparently show Mr Misbahi agreeing to perform the ceremony.

On being informed that the girl is against the marriage, he tells the reporters that British law means he will not be able to provide official marriage papers but adds: “We’ll make everything okay by Islam. We’ll write down and put it in our records.”

The mosque said it had launched a thorough investigation into his comments.

‘This organisation does not condone forced or underage marriages,’ a spokesman said.

•See this week’s Spenborough Guardian for the full story.