The president of the Islamic Society of B.C. and imam of the province’s largest Sunni mosque has been charged with sexual assault, Coquitlam RCMP said Thursday.
Police launched their investigation in June and on Wednesday Crown Counsel approved a sexual assault charge against Saaldeldin Bahr, known in the community as Dr. Saad, of Port Coquitlam’s Masjid Al-Hidayah and Islamic Cultural Centre on Kingsway Avenue — the site of the alleged assault.
A member from the Islamic Society of B.C. declined comment on the issue and directed Vancouver Desi to Bahr’s lawyer, Lisa Jean Helps.
“At this point Mr. Bahr puts his faith in the justice system and has no comment at this time,” said Helps.
Bahr has served as the Masjid Al-Hidaya’s imam for many years. The mosque, which moved to its Kingsway location in 2003, serves the Muslim communities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. According to the centre’s website, islam-canada.com, regular activities include five daily prayers, weekend Arabic classes, as well as sports and recreational activities.
Meadows and Maple Ridge. It’s regular activities include five daily prayers, weekend Arabic classes, as well as sports and recreational activities.
Bahr is scheduled to appear in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court on Sept. 23.
Due to a publication ban to protect the identity of the victim, little information has been released, but the RCMP is inviting members of the public to come forward to further the investigation.
Any information can be passed on to the Mounties’ sex crimes unit at 604-552-4335, quoting the police file 2013-16651.