This week, a British court tried a mosque leader and the father of three jihadi fighters in an alleged assault involving an attempted exorcism. The case involved 49-year-old Abubaker Deghayes, leader of the al-Quds mosque in Brighton, who allegedly assaulted a woman last May, dislocating her shoulder.
“He was not normal. He said he was ‘making the demon come out,'” the alleged victim, who remained anonymous, claimed in court. “He said he wanted the demon to come out because that was what was upsetting me.”
“He had his legs on my back and with his hand he pulled strongly on my shoulder. I was just saying ‘stop, stop, there’s no demon,'” the woman testified, Court News reported.
The alleged victim claimed Deghayes forced her from her sofa onto the floor, smashing her face into the ground and dislocating her shoulder.
The woman further alleged that the mosque leader returned to her apartment and intimidated her in October, after she reported the earlier alleged assault to police. Deghayes has denied all charges.
In March, the mosque leader was acquitted in a previous assault case. In the courtroom, he refused to stand for the judges, citing his Muslim faith. He claimed that he would not stand “for anybody else other than god.”
In 2014, Deghayes learned that his 18-year-old son Abdullah Deghayes died while fighting for a jihadi terrorist group in Syria. “As I far as I know Abdullah went to Syria without my consent, nor his mother’s consent, to fight Syrians against the dictator Bashar al-Assad,” the father told Britain’s Daily Mail. The man’s other two sons also fought for jihadi groups in Syria, and only one survived. “They went of their own free will. They went without taking consent from their parents.”
Deghayes described the jihadi war effort as a “just cause” and praised his son as a “martyr.”
“I am sad for the loss of Abdullah but at the same time I can feel some comfort that he went for a just cause” in fighting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, the father said. “Of course I think, as a Muslim, that my son is a martyr. Anyone who dies for a just cause is a martyr.”
Deghayes’ brother Omar was detained at Guantanamo Bay as an enemy combatant for five years before being released in 2007. He was granted refugee status in Britain after his release.
In 2006, Deghayes branded then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and then-U.S. President George W. Bush as “legitimate targets” for suicide bombings.
Muslims have engaged in the practice of exorcism in the past, and one British imam claimed to have carried out more than three thousand exorcisms. He also released a shocking video of a woman attempting to hit him with a table during an exorcism.
Whatever the religious beliefs in question, assault is still assault. While Deghayes may not have been convicted for marking George W. Bush and Tony Blair as terror targets, he may face penalties for allegedly injuring a woman in an attempted exorcism. Go figure.