Chicago Imam Called the ‘Billy Graham’ of Islam Held on $1M Bond for Alleged Sexual Harassment

Elgin Police Department
Elgin Police Department

Early this year, an Islamic Imam in a western Chicago suburb, who was hailed as the Muslim “Billy Graham,” was accused of sexual assault of an employee at the Islamic institute he founded. Now the Muslim leader has reportedly been charged with another crime of sexually harassing a minor and is being held on a million-dollar bond.

This is the second major case of sexual abuse against Mohammad Abdullah Saleem, 75, and even as the previous case is still winding its way through the courts, the Imam now stands accused of the sexual abuse of a minor.

The new charges stem from the alleged abuse of a 14-year-old girl, starting back in 2001 and continuing until 2003, when the victim moved to another state to continue her schooling.

Saleem has been arrested for this latest case and is being held on a million-dollar bond. The Muslim teacher is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 29 to face these charges.

Added to these new charges are earlier charges that have still not been resolved. In February, a female worker at an Islamic school in Elgin, Illinois, accused Imam Saleem of building up a personal relationship with her for months before sexually abusing her.

The 23-year-old employee charged that Saleem spent months slowly getting her to let her guard down before trying to force her into a sexual relationship. As an employee of a Muslim school, the woman was required to wear a veil among males in the school. But the imam, she says, began his coercion by requesting that she lower her veil.

Saleem was later arrested for the abuse and also faces a civil lawsuit on the alleged assault of the 23-year-old.

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