Tajikistan: 'Magic mullah' jailed for hands-on infertility cure

A self-proclaimed cleric was jailed in Tajikistan after a video of him groping a woman who'd sought help for infertility ended up on YouTube, it's reported.

Asadullo Ibrohimov was dubbed "the magic mullah" after being filmed gyrating against his victim, pulling up her clothes and fondling her while reciting verses from the Koran. This proved his undoing, as a clip appeared on YouTube and caused such a scandal that the police pressed charges - resulting in a seven-year sentence, reports private website Avesta. Social media users in the Central Asian state accused him of besmirching Islam, while others wonder why his actions haven't caused the sort of protests that greeted Koran-burning in the US.

But it seems questions remain about the case. It's not clear who took the film or first circulated it, the Moscow-based Tajuncos Tajik news site reports, and one opposition Islamic Rebirth Party MP suggests it's a government plot to "discredit Islam". Ibrohimov, meanwhile, reportedly denies the charges. He argued the woman was trying to blackmail him into marrying her, but admitted violating Sharia, or Islamic law. The court in Dushanbe nonetheless found him guilty of sexual coercion and fraud, with the judges banning him from conducting services for five years.

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