A blogger has aimed to raise awareness of sexual abuse within the community by  ‘religious figures’.

In a wide-ranging post on social media Ruqaiya (@ruqaiya_h) said there was real hesitancy due to victims being then being criticised by the followers of the perpetrator. In some cases the religious figure may also have a strong social media following.

Writing on Twitter she posted:

Why do survivors of abuse by religious figures seek accountability within the Muslim community rather than the criminal justice system?

Hiring a lawyer and pressing charges can be expensive and draining - legal counsel may advise you not to bother because...

Sexual assault can be notoriously hard to prove in court. Victims are spread across different police jurisdictions. Without extensive physical evidence (bodily fluids/DNA) the case may be thrown out and most are too traumatised to immediately get a body examination after rape.

An examination may include having your genitals being swabbed and probed, photographs taken of your naked body, and hours of interviews. A young Muslim girl might not feel capable of doing that, immediately after being raped. As days pass, the evidence begins to disappear.



Fear of being accused of lying. One only has to look at some responses from the community, to see why people are scared to come forward about abuse. Taking someone to court - especially a powerful celebrity, is frightening. They have access to resources you don't.

And their fans will attack you. Their team will ensure they create a counter-narrative that their legal defence is going to use and attempt to assassinate your character. For rape victims, it feels as though they are on trial and they have to relive the horror for months.

A simple slap on the wrist, being arrested and released or even a couple of months in jail isn't necessarily going to stop a Muslim celebrity figure from travelling to different cities, and having access to more young women. There will always be people who praise and admire them.

The community are the ones who propped up the abuser, and facilitated the abuse by allowing them to continue to attend events. Survivors may have lost hope in the idea their abuser will be punished in this life. But at the very least they want to warn others and de-platform them.

Many young Muslims have grown up seeing their loved ones mistreated by the police. Stopped at airports. Investigated under bogus terror charges. Subjected to surveillance. Many will understand this distrust as institutional failure, until it's time for women to report rape.

As such, there may be an inherent fear when it comes to reporting a Muslim for abuse/violence. There is a sense of guilt about using a system biased against Muslim/men of colour to seek justice.

People might be reluctant to do so, for a combination of all these reasons.

Some Muslims will feel more comfortable approaching Muslim organisations for help and support, than expecting kuffar to understand the complexities of spiritual abuse. Because spiritual abuse is complex & can be tied to certain interpretations, practices, and cultural norms.

Muslims are better equipped (in theory) to understand why our young sisters were frozen in shock and fear when they were sexually assaulted by someone world-famous who presents as a religious figure. How they struggled to understand why. And how that can impact their deen forever.