A high-profile Calgary imam appeared in federal appeal court on Tuesday morning to challenge a decision to strip him of his refugee status because of outstanding 2006 sexual assault charges in the United States.
The case has gone back and forth between the Immigration and Refugee Board and the federal appeal court. The board revoked Hersy’s protected status in Canada and he appealed.
Abdi Hersy was accused of sexually assaulting two female patients while he was working in 2006 as a respiratory therapist in Minnesota.
Raj Sharma, the lawyer for Abdi Hersy, essentially made the same arguments he’d made in previous court appearances. Sharma reiterated the allegations against Hersy are unproven and his client’s life would be at risk if he was deported back to Somalia.
The prosecution argues Hersy misrepresented himself, and did not try to deal with the charges until it became obvious that it would affect his refugee status in Canada.
Hersy lost his job and soon after his licence to practice in the U.S. once the reports surfaced. He then crossed the border into Canada, and was given protection as a Somalian refugee in 2008.
Federal Judge James Russell has not indicated when he will make his final decision. He could let the refugee board ruling stand or he could order yet another review.
As we noted in 2015, Calgary imam wanted in U.S. on multiple sex assault charges
Two female patients allege Hersy fondled them while they were recovering from medical procedures.
“I remember that they were very devastated,” said Det. Jeffrey Zerwas, who investigated the case for the Woodbury police.
He said the first woman came forward in July 2006.
“She struggled with it for a while, and the more she thought about it, she felt she had to say something ’cause she didn’t want this to happen to anybody else.”
The second woman who came forward said Hersy fondled her under her gown, telling her it was part of a medical procedure, and said he “wanted to have sex with her,” according to documents obtained from the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.
After doing its own investigation, the board pulled Hersy’s licence.
“To permanently revoke a licence is a very significant action. It does not happen often and it speaks to the nature of these allegations,” said Ruth Martinez, the medical board’s executive director.
Hersy lost his job at the Woodbury hospital where he was working. Not long after, he crossed the border into Canada. Det. Zerwas said he tried to track Hersy down.
“He knew I was looking for him after the second incident. I did receive a voicemail from Mr. Hersy saying that he now lives in Canada and that if I had anything I wanted to talk to him about, I would need to contact his lawyer.”
The Woodbury police laid criminal sexual conduct charges against Hersy in absentia and issued a warrant for his arrest. Around the same time, Hersy was in Canada applying for refugee status.
He also preaches jihad…when dawah fails, via Canadian Imam: jihad is permissible when authorities ban spreading Islam:
Abdi Hersy is an Imam at Abu Bakr Musallah in Calgary, Alberta and a prominent voice in Calgary’s Somali community.
Abdi Hersy thinks that the best course for Muslims in Canada is doing Dawah, meaning propagating and spreading Islam by spurring Muslims to practice Islam and by introducing Islam to unbelievers in an effort to convince them to convert to Islam.
“Focus on the Dawah, we are at that stage, Allah Willing, when it comes to the jihad time and we see the real opportunity and a real legitimate jihad then we all join including myself. But now, hold your horses, take it easy.”
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