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Former student of Almaty mosque denied persecution of imams 19 сентября 2013, 15:56

The former student of the Central Mosque of Almaty accusing imams of sexual harassment has been denied persecution of her religious teachers.
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©Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad ©Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad
The Kazakhstan police has refused to initiate a criminal case against religious leaders of the central mosque of Almaty because it found no evidences or witnesses confirming the statements of the former student of the mosque who accused the imams of sexual harassment, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the press service of the Interior Department of Almaty. The police checked into the mosque's activities after Zhanar Boranbayeva filed a complaint that the mosque taught perverted Islam. She said that young students were forced to become wives of the mosque's imams who later divorced with them. The police investigation confirmed that Boranbaeyva did take a six-month course in the mosque. Where as the mosque's leaders denied she ever took any of the courses and she came only for Friday prayers. Her classmates said that the girl was quiet and mostly kept to herself. Speaking about Talgat Sapanov, who was the main figure in Boranbayeva's complaint, they said that they did not notice any obscenity or indecency in his behavior. The teacher said that he had been working in the mosque since 2007, teaching students the Arabic alphabet, tajwid (sophisticated and artistic form of recitation of the Koran), the Koran, fiqh (the four major sources of Muslim jurisprudence from which law is derived), aqidah (additional creedal formulations) and syrah (Arabic term used for the various traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad). He said he was also responsible for enrollment and registration of the students’ applications. He pointed out that Boranbayeva missed most of her classes and had average academic performance. According to Sapanov, he wasn't involved in any personal relationships with her or any other students. "Boranbayeva have given us no hard evidence. Imams of the central mosque deny everything she says, so do the students," the police concluded. Zhanar Boranbayeva disagreed with the conclusion of the law enforcement authorities, but said she was not going to pursue the subject any further. The former student of the mosque said she had done all she could to stop the wrongdoing when she gave the issue some publicity by talking to the media. A special commission formed by the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Central Asia and Kazakhstan in relation to the accusations also checked the mosque and its personnel, but discovered no violations or wrongdoing. The mosque's activities are currently being investigated by the Religion Affairs Department of Almaty city. Talgat Sapanov, who was accused by Boranbayeva of sexual harassment and obscene behavior towards his students, is planing to file a lawsuit against her for groundless accusations.

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