A Bradford Imam has been removed from his position and told to delete his social media accounts after Muslim scholars deemed he had committed “gross misconduct.”

An emergency meeting of the Kanz ul Huda organisation in Birmingham relinquished Imam Asim Hussain of his position at the Al-Hikam Institute, in Fairweather Green, Bradford, because of his “serious violations of morality” and “abuses of authority”.

But the decision has been met with a backlash from Mr Hussain's supporters, who have started a petition to "stop him retreating as an Imam."

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'Last night, the petition had already been signed by 2,600 people and had attracted many comments praising Mr Hussain's work over the years.

The scholars have not revealed exact details of the allegations, but at an earlier hearing in February 2017, the Imam had been told to refrain from all forms of social media until permitted, pray his five times daily prayers, look for a spouse and refrain from contact with 'Ghayr Mahram' women.

A report outlining the findings of the emergency meeting, seen by the Telegraph & Argus, said the 28-year-old had breached those conditions "repeatedly" and had not heeded further warnings to adhere to them.

The report said: “We must be clear that the severity of the offences admitted and alleged are so abhorrent, had they been committed by a professional they would be instantly struck off and potentially treated criminally.”

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said they are making enquiries “to establish if any offences have been committed."

He added: “At this time there is no evidence of criminality and no safeguarding concerns have been reported.”

The report from the hearing said the scholars had “emphasised that the details of his misconduct and its nature must not be made public” and went on to say the matters amounted to “gross misconduct, gross mistrust and a violation of humanity.”

The document added: “The extent of his detestable actions makes it imperative to bring this in the public domain in order that people are made aware that the individual concerned is no longer considered fit to lead the Muslim community from a religious point of view.”

The report stated that, after a meeting lasting two hours and much deliberation, Mr Hussain will be “relieved from all religious duties with immediate effect.”

It went on to say that this entails:

  • Relinquishing the position of Imam/Shaykh
  • Foregoing all Islamic talks/study circles
  • Abstaining from answering questions relating to Islam
  • Terminating all personal accounts on social media

Mr Hussain, who had 197,000 followers on his Facebook page, alluded to the allegations himself on his social media, which was subsequently deleted along with his account.

He posted: “The biggest challenge I’ve found over the years is this constant battle between my personal life and public life (the Imam).

“Amongst the challenges I have been facing were; a crossfire between being a young man wanting to live the life and being an Imam. It was hard to be myself and be an Imam, I would do many things that were contradictory to my position.”

The foreword to the petition in support of Mr Hussain said he had been "in the limelight for personal and private affairs that took place a couple of years ago" and that some individuals decided to bring this matter to the public to "tarnish his reputation."

The petition said Mr Hussain had "sincerely repented from this" and pointed out that he has "helped many youngsters come off the wrong path and connect themselves to the religion of Islam. "

It concluded: "This is why this petition is made to show Imam Asim Hussain that he is still worthy of being an Imam after he has sincerely apologised, we hate the sin and not the sinner."

The former Imam spoke in front of 10,000 people at the funeral of four men killed in a car crash on Toller Lane in August.

He then delivered a well-attended lecture where he called on the city’s Muslim population to help put an end to dangerous driving and drug-related violent crime, and said the community had “failed” in tackling these issues.

Speaking ahead of his 'Message to the Youth' lecture, Mr Hussain said the Muslim community in Bradford had “been sugar-coating these issues for too long”

The Telegraph & Argus rang Asim Hussain’s mobile phone a number of times yesterday and left messages, but has not received a response. The T&A also tried to contact the Al-Hikam Institute and the Kanz ul Huda headquarters. The Council for Mosques in Bradford declined to comment.