A high-profile Muslim charity leader has been convicted of sexually abusing three young girls in the 1970s and 1980s.
Zafar Iqbal, chief executive of Southwark Muslim Women’s Association (SMWA) in South London, was found guilty of 25 counts of historic sex abuse against three women at Woolwich Crown Court last month.
All of his victims were under the age of 14 when the historic offences were committed.
Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday detail 67-year-old Iqbal’s sickening abuse of his young victims.
They describe how he forced his tongue into their mouths as he molested and groped them.
Iqbal founded the SMWA, which is part-funded by Southwark Council, in 1979.
His work there included running a creche and educational and recreational programmes.
It is believed that his wife, Abida, also worked for the SMWA.
Just five years ago, Iqbal was feted for his ‘excellence in education’ at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence.
In the course of his work he rubbed shoulders with politicians such as Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman and was introduced to the Queen in 2010 as part of The City Bridge Trust’s 800th anniversary celebration.
In 2009, Ms Harman, then Deputy Prime Minister, invited Iqbal and other members of the Association to the House of Commons where they were photographed together.
Earlier this year Ms Harman was forced to express ‘regret’ over links between a paedophile group and the National Council of Civil Liberties when she was its legal officer in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Paedophile Information Exchange was an affiliate of the NCCL while she, her husband, trade unionist Jack Dromey, and fellow Labour politician Patricia Hewitt held office there.
A Southwark Council spokesman said they had informed police after allegations of Iqbal’s abuse surfaced in 2010.
Zafar Iqbal, chief executive of Southwark Muslim Women's Association (SMWA) in South London, was found guilty of 25 counts of historic sex abuse against three women at Woolwich Crown Court (pictured) last month
He said: ‘Southwark Muslim Women’s Association is an independent organisation funded from many sources, including the council.
‘The convictions are not related to activities on the premises of the organisation.
‘We are appalled by this man’s actions and are undertaking an urgent review of SMWA and its association with the council.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said it began investigations in late 2012 after one of Iqbal’s victims came forward. Previous allegations made in 2010 were anonymous and so the force was unable to pursue them.
The SMWA was unavailable for comment.
Iqbal has been bailed until sentencing on June 9.