Blackburn imam arrested on suspicion of soliciting sex with child has bail extended

Mufti Ashraf Sidat

A Blackburn imam has had his bail extended after he was arrested on suspicion of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Ashraf Sidat, 45, was arrested on January 11 after a sting by paedophile hunters and was initially bailed until today. But police said his bail has now been extended until April 11.

Sidat has been suspended from Masjide Noorul Islam pending an investigation. He has also been suspended from The Islamic Educational Society, of which the mosque is a part of.

The arrest came after Mr Sidat was stopped in the street by members of Justice Will Be Served, a vigilante group who passed information to police.

The mufti had been the principal of Madrassah Noorul Islam for over 20 years and is a trustee of Al Islah Girls School. He is also the director of a translation and interpretation service.

In addition, he advised the Home Office on counter terrorism and Sharia law and worked closely with the local council and police.

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