Nouman Ali Khan, a popular conservative Islamic preacher from Texas, USA, has become embroiled in a controversy about “inappropriate behaviour” with women online.
The Pakistani-origin man, who owns a business teaching Arabic and Quran in the US, is popular among young Muslims in the country and on the internet.
The accusations emerged last week on a website, whose authors claimed to be “victims of the womanising and lying of Nouman Ali Khan,” in the form of screenshots of text messages and various messaging apps. The news immediately spread across social media.
It was picked up by Omer M Muzaffar, a Muslim Chaplain at a Texas university, who described the accusations on Facebook and claimed that he was mediating the dispute between the victims and the accused. A Canadian Muslim speaker named Navaid Aziz has also backed up his claims.
“He confessed inappropriate interactions with various women, violating agreed-upon bounds of Islamic law. He also told lies to cover up those relationships, and filed threats of litigation against multiple parties to further hide his misconduct,” Mozaffar wrote.
The 22 screenshots that have been circulating around the internet purport to show conversations between the preacher and various women.
They appear to show Nouman sending topless photos and proclaiming love to several women.
Nouman's followers have been vocal on the web in his defence, accusing Muzaffar of conspiracy and arguing that the screenshots are fabricated.
Others however, have been pointing out that the contents of the conversation do not contain anything that could be considered sexual, making mockery of the entire controversy.
In his response
on Facebook, Nouman claimed he barely knew Omer, and that he had been divorced for two years and was pursuing remarriage.
“I communicated with a few prospects with my family’s knowledge and consent and that has been used, distorted and manipulated way out of proportion and turned into something it isn’t. All such communications took place between consenting adults and there was nothing malicious or predatory about them,” he said in the post.
In a follow-up post, he called for a “theatre-free environment” to investigate the blame.