Islamic groups urge victims of sex abuse to come forward

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As new allegations of sexual abuse surface against a prominent Islamic leader in the suburbs, organizations speak out against the abuse of children and women.

"We are training the frontline leaders, the imams at different mosques and principals, how to recognize and how to react when sexual abuse issues are brought to them," Mohammed Kaiseruddin, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, said.

Mohammed Abdullah Saleem is accused of sexually abusing a secretary and a student at the school he founded. Attorney Steven Denny represents the woman and the student. Denny suspects there could be more victims.

"I strongly urge any other victims male or female to come forward. Call the Elgin police. Call us. Call Nadiah's organization. Call the hotline she gave out. Please don't be silent," Denny said.

Representatives from several Muslim organizations spoke out about what's being done to protect and prevent sexual abuse at religious institutions and schools. Heart Women and Girls is an organization that is developing programs and training to help Muslim families talk about sexual abuse.

"It's time that we start having open conversations about sexual abuse, about boundaries, about consent, and about talking to our children openly," Nadiah Mojajir said. "If your personal safety is violated, it is your right to seek justice."

Denny shared a statement from the younger victim, "My innocence kept me from speaking out until one day I did."

Saleem posted bond on Wednesday. He is due in court at the end of the month.
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