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Muslim women are speaking out on being sexually abused by sheikhs

Nouman Ali Khan became somewhat of a superstar in the Muslim world for his eloquent speech in addressing millennials and their issues, which was part of the reason why calling him out was an earthquake that shook the entire community. Khan was under fire after screenshots that allegedly show him “bribing, threatening and misbehaving” with different women surfaced online. The screenshots, which were originally posted by Rabia Chaudry and have since been deleted, revealed conversations of an inappropriate nature.

Khan reiterated that all conversations in question took place “between consenting adults” and that they have been “distorted and manipulated way out of proportion and turned into something it isn’t,” in a Facebook post on his page. “All such communications took place between consenting adults and there was nothing malicious or predatory about them. I fail to see how such interaction can render anyone a victim,” he added. 

Next came Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Swiss Islamic scholar at Oxford University who is currently awaiting trial over charges of raping multiple women who accused him at the height of the global #MeToo movement. 

Tunisian-Algerian feminist campaigner Henda Ayari filed a complaint against the professor, detailing criminal acts of rape, sexual assault, violence, and harassment. Ayari – a Salafist-turned-secular activist – alleged the details in a series of Facebook posts in 2017, in which she outed Ramadan for sexually assaulting her in 2012. 

Other prominent names include Chicago-area imam Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, who was charged with committing sexual assault and battery against minors at the Islamic school he had founded. 

Although victims received death threats and scrutiny from people online and off, many Muslims are doing everything they can to create a safe haven for those who have stories to tell but fear the repercussions that come with spilling their secrets.