Via the islam_Ahmadiyya reddit forum, we have come to learn that yesterday, there was a “plea hearing”, where Muneeb Ur Rehman Ahmad was supposed to plead guilty and be sent to prison. The victim and his family showed up, the victim and his father were ready to give statements, but at the last minute, the defendant, Muneeb, pulled another delay tactic which resulted in the plea hearing being delayed.
Sara Bawany, a social worker for Facing Abuse in Community Environments was present at the plea hearing and shared some thoughts about the plea hearing on her Instagram story. It would not let me post screenshots of her story here, so I am linking her Instagram, if you want to see the story itself. Sara Bawany’s Instagram here, as well as including what she wrote in her story below. It should be noted that Sara Bawany is married to Usama Ahmed Malik (who is the son of the famous ex-Ahmadi Mushtaq Malik). Usama Ahmed Malik has volunteered extensively with Humanity First-Texas.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________Sara Bawany’s Instagram story:
cw: sexual abuse
last 2 days have been a whirlwind. sometimes i forget how traumatizing and exhausting this job is. yesterday, i spent time at court with a survivor who was abused as a minor by a community leader they trusted. after almost 2 years of waiting for this to be over, the defense played yet another delay tactic that left the survivor in tears. they are about to graduate high school and start their freshman year at a college away from home. the last thing they want is for this to be kept dragging out.
the words they said after realizing this would be delayed another month were noteworthy. “i am seriously reconsidering my involvement in law/politics after this whole experience.” a reminder for many of us how the justice system is so flawed. this survivor was molested multiple times and has braved their fears over and over to go up on the stand just to be able to give a victim impact statement during a plea bargain hearing. to spend hours and months building up that courage only to have the opportunity be snatched away by another control tactic is beyond frustrating and retraumatizing. i wish people recognized how horrible this process is before trying to funnel victims into it quickly just to get rid of their own discomfort. @facingabuse
(Picture of victim holding his fathers hand as Muneeb Ur Rehman Ahmad was speaking to the judge) in this photo i took yesterday, the survivor and father held hands as the judge sternly warned the defense about how many times they had withheld information until the last minute. one of the survivor’s family members flew in from another country to be there with the family. to know that this still isn’t over is incredibly frustrating for them.
remember that according to RAINN, one of the leading organizations on sexual assault, out of 1,000 perpetrators only 25 will be incarcerated. we also recognize as an abolition-leaning group of individuals at @facingabuse that jail time is not justice. justice doesn’t hinge on imprisonment or offender registries. it’s harm reduction and nothing more than that. there are no winners at the end of these processes. there is only a long recovery and healing journey to be pursued on both sides.
and so we wait til next month to see what the outcome will be.
appreciate all the comments flooding in from today’s story. the survivor noticed and was reading too and was thankful. one thing HE wanted y’all to know is that HE is a MALE. an 18-YEAR-OLD MALE.
no offense taken to anyone misgendering him at all. but both him and i wanted to share this with you all because most of the donors for this campaign were female and many assumed the survivor i’m referring to is a female. it is not.
males are also impacted by abuse. a good percentage of our victims are or were young boys when these heinous things happened to them. the more you know!
Salaam, Shalom, Peace! I’m Usama and I am a native of Austin, Texas, just doing my best to help my community in any way I can. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2015, with a B.A. in Government and then obtained a Master of Divinity at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in May 2020. I late completed my Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy from Hartford Seminary in December 2021. I currently work full time at Austin Seminary as the Program Coordinator for the Office of Student Affairs and Vocation, and apart from this I serve as the Resident Chaplain at Muslim Space, providing chaplaincy services to the local community as well as to other local correctional and educational institutions. I also serve as the Communications Chair for the Association of Muslim Chaplains.
Outside of chaplaincy I am very passionate about student and organizational development, higher education activities, community organizing and service to others. I combine my passion for these areas with my experience in photography, videography, creative design, and marketing. These skills honestly just came to me by accident, but I haven’t looked back ever since taking my first few pictures at a campus event and designing my first flyers. Through the visual and creative arts, I aspire to empower students, particularly those in higher education, to become better connected with their institutions, each other, and the community around them.
I continue to learn new things daily, and hope to be able to use my talents in photography and design to help those around me, especially students and all others around me to become agents of change within their own community settings.
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