A preacher of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya has been arrested in Canada for producing child pornography and threatening the victims with injuring their reputation for personal gains.
According to a media report, Muhammad Luqman Rana is facing at least 10 charges of producing pornography of five children and extorting them by threatening to injure their reputation in the United States. If convicted on all counts, Rana faces a mandatory term of 15 to 160 years in a federal prison.
According to the US Department of Justice, 32-year-old Rana persuaded, induced and coerced five minor victims, residing in Maryland, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Washington, and New York to “engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography and extorted the victims by threatening to injure their reputation”.
The accused is a resident of Peace Village, the Canada headquarters of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya. Department of Justice officials say the incidents took place between June 2014 and June 2016, when Rana was in the final year of his seven-year-long missionary course at Jamia Ahmadiyya, Canada.
The Justice Department’s office of international affairs worked with law enforcement partners in Canada to secure Rana’s arrest in Canada and his extradition to the United States. The investigation is being conducted jointly by the FBI and Toronto Police Services.
According to page 9-10 of the June–July 2015 issue of Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada’s newsletter The Western Horizon, Rana graduated as a missionary in 2015 with six other students.
The court documents in the case were sealed until January 26, 2022, when Rana made his initial appurtenance in the US District Court in Baltimore before Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite, the DoJ said in a statement. In presence of the accused before the court, an assistant attorney of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, the US Attorney for the District of Maryland, a special agent in charge of the FBI, and the chief of Toronto Police Service announced the charges.
According to the indictment documents, Rana was charged with five counts of production of child pornography and five counts of extortion by threats to injure the reputation. These charges were framed under sections 2251(a), 875(d), 2253, and 981(a)(1)(c) of title 18 of the US Code; section 853(p) of title 21 of the US code; and section 2461(c) of title 28 of the US code.
Reportedly, Canadian police had arrested Rana on March 24, 2017, for extorting a teenage girl into sending him sexual photos and videos of herself. The police had arrested him after receiving information from the National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre in Ottawa. He was allegedly using the email address kingcheetah01hotmail.com online. According to Jamaat sources, after his arrest in 2017, Rana was ousted from the Jamaat but was later restored and given an assignment at a Mississauga place of worship.
GRADUATES OF JAMIA AHMADDIYA
According to the report, Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada prepares Ahmadi missionaries like other Ahmadi seminaries in Pakistan, India, England, Ghana, Germany, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. Other than small courses, they offer a main seven-year program known as Shahid (The Witness). The medium of the course is Urdu. They charge no fee and offer free accommodation to the students. Only Ahmadi males between 17 to 20 years and having education equal to grade 12 (Canada) with 70% marks are eligible to apply. The candidates are required to give a written undertaking of Waqf (pledge to dedicate his life for serving the Jamaat).
The admission committee sends its recommendations to the community head in the UK who gives final approval for admission. For successful completion of the program, the students are required to spend six months in the field as interns with some missionaries, ideally in some African country, and six months in the UK in the company of their community head. After completion of the program, with the approval of their community head, the successful students are awarded degrees of Shahid and title of missionary. The community head himself deputes the missionaries to different countries through Tehrik-e-Jadid. The missionaries are directly in contact with the community head and send him their monthly progress reports.
In 1985, the Ahmadiyya Community purchased a 25-acre plot of land in an area that is called Vaughan near Toronto to build their Canada mission house. Adjacent to the Jamaat property, some builders started a housing society on 50 acres.
Members of the Ahmadiyya community purchased most of the houses even before construction was completed and it was later named Peace Village. The community was able to have some input in the municipal planning of the area and managed to name several streets in the area after community leaders. The names of some roads and streets of the area are Ahmadiyya Avenue, Abdus Salam Street, Bashir Street, Tahir Street, Nasir Crescent, Noor Ud Din Court, Zafarullah Khan Crescent, Mahmood Crescent, Ahmadiyya Park, and Fazia Mehdi Park.