KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Celebrity preacher Datuk Kazim Eliaz has last night warned his detractor against linking his tahfiz school in Ipoh, Perak and himself to allegations of sexual abuse.
Speaking at a preaching event last night, Kazim said he was not afraid of the accusations, claiming his school, called Darul Barakah, and him have the Quran “by their side”.
“If there are those who wish to slander me and my students let them be.
“We are not afraid as we are always by the Quran’s side,” Malay daily Sinar Harian quoted him as saying.
In his speech, Kazim also praised Perak for being peaceful, claiming it was the result of them practising Quranic teachings, and the formations of tahfiz schools, where students are taught to memorise Quran.
“In Perak, there is a lot of tahfiz schools being developed, and this will help bring blessings to the state,” he said.
Perak Police confirmed this week they have received reports of sexual abuse in the school, and have taken statements from 10 individuals including students, the alleged victim, and the school.
News of the matter has since reached the Perak Islamic Affairs Department, but the body said on Thursday it would leave the case for the police to investigate.
Kazim has since denied the allegations, and vowed to turn over the culprit if he is proven guilty, even if it was a member of his own family.
In addition, Kazim lodged a police report yesterday in Ipoh against former TV celebrity Wardina Safiyyah and social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi, claiming the duo’s claim was “slanderous” and “tarnished his reputation as a religious preacher”.
He told Awani he lodged the report since comments made on their Facebook accounts were “very humiliating” and he wished to clear his name and that of Darul Barakah.
The duo have since maintained that they have never named the school in question and instead it was revealed by the police themselves and subsequent media reports.