Earlier this month a Sunday newspaper alleged imam Mohamed Kassamali, who works at the Husaini Islamic Centre in Burton Street, Peterborough, had told an undercover reporter it was possible to arrange the marriage of a 12-year-old girl and a man in his 20s.
Following the reports in The Sunday Times on September 9, Imam Kassamali agreed to step aside for an investigation to take place.
Now Cambridgeshire police have confirmed that following a voluntary interview with the imam no criminal action will be taken following the publication of the allegations, as there was no evidence of any criminal activity taking place at the mosque.
A panel, featuring religious experts and community leaders, has also been set up at the Islamic centre to investigate the claims further and it has already held its first meeting.
A spokesman for the centre said: “An independent panel of cross-community experts has held its first meeting and is now considering the case of the Husaini Islamic Centre imam, Mohamed Kassamali, following comments made about the possibility of underage marriage reported in The Sunday Times newspaper.
“The seven panellists include a former senior police officer and specialist in child protection; a high-profile Islamic scholar and interfaith specialist from the Muslim Council of Britain; an Arabic and Islamic specialist and educationalist; a former BBC head of religion; a local social worker; and a local human rights lawyer.
“They will consider all aspects surrounding the case and make their recommendations to the management committee of the Husaini Islamic Centre in the coming weeks.”
The imam has not returned to work at the mosque since the allegations were reported.
East Ward councillor Nabil Shabbir said he was pleased with the panel of experts that had been selected to conduct the enquiry.
He said: “I welcome the news a panel has been set up to investigate the claims.
“It is also very pleasing to see no criminal action is being taken.
“As far as I know, and the police appear to have confirmed this, no crime has been committed in this case.
“Imam Kassamali is a very respected member of the community and has done a lot of good work for the city. He is held in high esteem by the public, so it is important there is a proper investigation into this.
“Nothing illegal happened at the mosque.”
Following the report’s publication, police confirmed there had been no reports of forced marriages in Peterborough.