Muslim women launch gender justice campaign, call for independent investigation inside CAIR
On Tuesday, January 12, the Florida Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) Hassan Shibly resigned after nearly a decade with the organization. Shibly’s resignation comes in the midst of allegations of domestic abuse and sexual exploitation of women.
SEE: Hassan Shibly: Prominent Muslim-American Figure Accused Of Domestic Abuse (Morocco World News)
Allegations of physical, verbal, and financial abuse against the Muslim spiritual and civil rights leader emerged after Shibly’s wife posted a GoFundMe video asking for financial assistance to escape domestic abuse:
“… when I was 9 months pregnant with my firstborn; things started to change. As did I. I came to see beyond my denial and confusion for what I assumed was a perfect marriage and a system of ‘just be patient.’ What I assumed was ‘just a disagreement’ turned into ear-deafening screams. What would have been annoying remarks suddenly became violent blows. I have covered my husband’s flaws and indiscretions because I love him. Because I have to. Because he is mine. I thought and assured myself that it is my duty to stand beside this man publicly. HE IS MY HUSBAND; THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN! I saw my perfect husband hurt me mentally, emotionally, and physically behind closed doors and openly in front of my children.”
SEE: Financial Help for Imane and her 3 kids
To date, the fundraising campaign has raised over $28,000.
Muslims across the nation are calling on CAIR to launch an independent, impartial investigation after several women came forward with allegations of sexual abuse, gender discrimination, and sexual exploitation.
American Muslim comedian, storyteller, and journalist Aman Ali wrote: “I have multiple friends he’s [Shibly] tried to engage in secret marriages to (all while still being legally married to the woman accusing him of domestic violence). He’s traveled to conferences and pressured women to come into hotel rooms with him. And when he has been told no or even confronted, he gets aggressive and will try to gaslight people into thinking nothing happened”
Several efforts have emerged in recent days to bring awareness to issues of abuse inside CAIR:
- WE CAIR: Coalition for Accountability & Islah-Reform
“We are former CAIR employees, board members, and community members who have been victimized by CAIR leaders. We believe our civil rights have been violated by an organization that claims to protect those rights. We seek a culture of accountability at CAIR: 1) New Leadership; 2) End Discrimination; 3) Sexual Harassment Training; 4) No More NDAs”
- CAIR Victims Forum
“This is a forum for women who have been victimized by CAIR- whether by staff, directors, board members, etc. Misogyny, sexism, sexual harassment and assault claims are all welcomed. You can be anonymous or not, and all the reports will stay 100% confidential.”
“Muslim women against sexual abuse, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment inside the ‘nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization’”
SEE ALSO: An Open Letter to CAIR Banquet Speakers
In 2019, an employment discrimination lawsuit was filed against CAIR-California for gender discrimination. This case was settled and the CAIR-San Diego executive director is no longer employed there.
CAIR, a Muslim religious nonprofit, is accused of serious allegations of supporting and actively colluding in practices and a culture that’s allowed multiple victims to be sexually exploited.
The allegations are that not only did CAIR allow a culture of sexual harassment and gender inequality to prevail within the context of a generally toxic work environment in its own head office – but it also actively supported such practices/cultures in chapters.