Here’s what the reporting says
Linda Sarsour, self-professed women’s rights, and anti-Israel activist, is in the midst of yet another scandal. For our extensive coverage on Sarsour, see here.
According to an exclusive report in The Daily Caller, Sarsour was allegedly made aware of “groping and unwanted touching” perpetrated by male employees while serving as the executive director of the Arab American Association in 2009. Rather than act, Sarsour allegedly verbally attacked and threatened the victims.
Allegations of groping and unwanted touching were allegedly brought to Sarsour during her time as executive director of the Arab American Association. In response, Sarsour, a self-proclaimed champion of women, attacked the woman bringing the allegations, often threatening and body-shaming her, these sources alleged. The most serious allegations were dismissed, Asmi Fathelbab, the alleged victim told The Daily Caller, because the accused was a “good Muslim” who was “always at the Mosque.”
“She oversaw an environment unsafe and abusive to women,” said Fethelbab, a former employee at the Arab American Association. “Women who put [Sarsour] on a pedestal for women’s rights and empowerment deserve to know how she really treats us.”
Fathelbab is a 37-year-old New York native and was raised in a Muslim household. She was excited in 2009 to begin working at the Arab American Association of New York as a contractor. At the time, Sarsour was the executive director of the organization. Fathelbab worked for Sarsour for almost a year, according to employment documents reviewed and authenticated by TheDC.
Fathelbab claims the Arab American Association was an unsafe workplace where she was allegedly sexually assaulted, body-shamed and intimidated.
Oftentimes, Sarsour was directly involved, according to the ex-staffer’s account.
The details are unsavory and uncomfortable. I’ll leave them in the link in the event you’d like to read further, but Fathelbab claims Sarsour “threatened legal and professional damage if she went public with the sexual assault claims.”
Sarsour has a history of maligning individuals who question her actions.
Sarsour didn’t respond to DC’s request for comment but told Buzzfeed “this is character assassination.” Sarsour denied allegations she ignored claims of sexual harassment. Sarsour produced affidavits and office emails of proof, and Buzzfeed chatted with Fathelbab’s coworkers, some of whom claim Fathelbab was the instigator.
But is that enough to exonerate Sarsour? Hardly.
Siraj Hashmi explains at the WaEX:
Majid Seif did live in the building that housed the Arab American Association, and often helped Fathelbab and AAA with Arabic translation or event planning. He denies any type of sexual misconduct with Fathelbab.
In an affidavit produced on Aug. 13, 2009, Sarsour defended Seif against the accusations Fathelbab was making and said it was she who was creating a hostile work environment. And, to Sarsour, the accusations that Fathelbab brought forward weren’t as bad as what she told the Daily Caller.
“The exact words were, ‘He makes me feel uncomfortable,’” Sarsour recalled, who also denied that she ever body-shamed Fathelbab by asserting she as too fat to be the object of harassment. “There was nothing about touching or groping. There’s no evidence, no email she can pull out where she ever gave those claims to us.”
…The problem with Sarsour’s defense is that one BuzzFeed article doesn’t absolve her of any wrongdoing. It’s certainly possible that Fathelbab exaggerated her version of events or even didn’t tell the entire truth, but that doesn’t discredit the idea that she could’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted. An affidavit saying that Sarsour defended Seif actually proves Fathelbab right, in that she took his side over his accuser’s.
And email correspondence proves nothing unless it is made public for everyone to decide. Witness statements are also only so good as to whether you believe their version of events. We believed everyone in Hollywood that people like Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey weren’t total dirtbags until all of their accusers started coming forward telling their stories.
Time and again, Sarsour has been accused of manipulating tragedy and misfortune for personal gain and profit. She’s been called a ‘fraud’ publicly and never rebuts actual allegations, instead lashing out with personal attacks. Sadly, it looks like that’s role she’ll continue to play.DONATE
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