It's Time for Muslims to Talk About Sexual Misconduct Among Our Islamic Preachers

Activist Alia Salem had just finished watching the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, detailing sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, when she received a text message from a Muslim mother asking for help. Her daughter was in an inappropriate relationship with a Muslim clergy member from whom she had sought counseling. The clergyman had used his authority over the young woman to coerce her into a sexual relationship and the mother had no idea where to turn.Salem said the young woman desperately needed an advocate to navigate the criminal act — in 17 states it is a felony for clergy members to have sex with anyone they are counseling — but couldn't find any organization within the U.S. Muslim community equipped to handle such issues."I considered it a moment of divine intervention," Salem said. "I saw patterns happening across the country, across communities. But in our Muslim community, there was no specific mechanism to call out such abuses, to investigate whether allegations were true, to prevent (the perpetrators) from going somewhere else and doing it again."  Continue reading...

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