He was my religious teacher. I should have been able to trust him. But he made me do unspeakable things…
At seven years old, Nabila Sharma began her lessons at the mosque as every good Muslim girl does. But from the minute she looked up at her Imam, the man who held her spiritual future in his hands, she knew something was wrong.
Over the next five years Nabila’s life became unbearable. While she was behind the doors of the mosque, the most sacred of places, the Imam brutally molested her on the slightest whim. Each day he would make her perform unspeakable acts, physically and mentally torturing her into compliance, to fulfil his perverse desires.
Nothing would stop him; no plea would make him relent. But he was a respected member of the community, trusted by everyone; if Nabila cried for help she would risk the honour of her family, an unthinkable act. There was nowhere she could turn, no one she could talk to. As a young Muslim girl, Nabila was powerless.
Brutal is the shocking, revelatory and heart-rending account of one girl’s plight in a society where honour and shame are a matter of life and death. It is a tale of innocence lost and a life shattered, but above all it is a tale of survival, of a young girl who found love and hope in the darkest of places.