Pakistani-American preacher Nouman Ali Khan has urged for a "theatre-free environment" for the investigation of allegations against him of having "inappropriate interactions with various women".
"Let us get to the truth of this as I am weary of the way things have transpired," he wrote in a post on his official Facebook page on Saturday. "People knowledgeable in Islam should not be solving disputes through hearsay and a public spectacle."
Khan, a famous Muslim speaker, has been accused of "violating agreed-upon bounds of Islamic law" by Omar M. Mozaffar, who claims to be a longtime friend of the preacher.
While Khan has not denied being in contact with the women, he said that that all the conversations took place "between consenting adults" and were not "inappropriate in the least bit". In two long posts on his Facebook page, he said that the reason he was in touch with different women was because he wanted to remarry after being divorced for two years. He added that his family had knowledge of the communication between him and "a few prospects".
The communications were being "used, distorted and manipulated way out of proportion," he claimed.
On Friday, Mozaffar had posted a public status on his personal Facebook profile, claiming that Khan had "confessed inappropriate interactions with various women" and that he had been acting as mediator between the scholar and the accusers. He said that the local Muslim community of Dallas had asked him to investigate the allegations due to his "experience in similar previous cases, as well as [his] longtime relationship" with the preacher.
Mozaffar said that Khan had "agreed to stop public speeches until further notice, to get professional and religious counselling, and to cease all contact with those women." The preacher, however, had broken the agreement and was "sending threats" to him and others involved in the investigation, Mozaffar alleged.
Khan, however, denied that Mozaffar was a longtime friend. "The individual who posted these claims against me posed himself as a mediator and unfortunately, he was anything but," wrote Khan. "He claims I’ve known him for twenty years. I’ve spoken to him in friendly ways no more than a couple of dozen times in that entire span [...] I know little to nothing about his family and he knows virtually nothing about mine. To claim he’s my friend of 20 years to insinuate that he knows my personal life is really far from the truth."
Khan alleged that the post by Mozaffar was an "attempt to seek the limelight through scandal".
"There have been sincere efforts by elders in the community and neutral parties to resolve these claims in a dignified fashion and his irresponsible and grossly inaccurate post did nothing more than to try and derail that process," said the public figure.
On the same day, another status was posted by Navaid Aziz, Director of Religious Education and Social Services at the Islamic Information Society of Calgary, on his official Facebook page, backing Mozaffar's claims by claiming that the allegations against Khan were "verified".
"This case has been brought to the public sphere because NAK had agreed to several conditions and went on to breach the contract," he wrote. "As a general case people's sins should be concealed except when there is potential harm to others. Trust me no one wanted this story out there and it is only coming out for the sake of protecting our sisters and communities."
Khan expressed concern that his "whole life work will come to ruin", saying the accusers "disparaged him in the most vile of ways". "While I was in Mecca for Umrah, they held public gatherings attempting to rip my character to shreds allowing me no opportunity to even defend myself," he wrote.
The allegations became more grievous after a lawyer Rabia Chaudhry posted screenshots of alleged conversations between Khan and "different women" on her verified Facebook profile late Saturday. Khan has not addressed the authenticity of the screenshots as yet.
Khan is the the CEO, founder, and lead instructor of Bayyinah Institute, a religious studies' school, and is considered to be one of the most influential Muslim speakers.