- Text smaller
- Text bigger
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations says it represents all Muslim Americans, but former Muslim employees say it discriminates against Shiite Muslims and female Muslims – even as it accuses critics of being “anti-Muslim bigots.”
According to internal documents uncovered in the bestseller “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” top CAIR officials discriminated against Shiite Muslim employees working out of CAIR’s national headquarters.
Its own employees who identify with that minority sect of Islam were demoted and harassed by CAIR, one internal complaint reveals.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg says CAIR was founded by leaders of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, which has established a subversive base inside America with massive funding from Saudi Arabia, a Sunni religious police state which openly discriminates against both Shiites and non-Muslims. CAIR is led by Sunni Muslims and has received millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations tied to 9/11.
“CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists,” Kromberg said in a court filing.
Former CAIR workers say the unindicted terrorist co-conspirator doesn’t really represent all Muslims, even as it sues other employers for discriminating against Muslims.
“CAIR’s constituency represents an even broader base” than Arab, South Asian or African-American Muslims, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad claims. “Many Muslims turn to it for help when facing job or religious discrimination.”
But where do CAIR employees turn when they’ve been discriminated against by CAIR? Tannaz Haddadi found out the hard way, according to “Muslim Mafia,” co-authored by former federal agent P. David Gaubatz and investigative journalist Paul Sperry.
A Shiite Muslim, Haddadi says she was “completely dishonored and mistreated” by senior CAIR managers because of her religious background while working in the membership department at CAIR’s national office in Washington, located just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
“I have been a victim of both gender and religious discrimination,” she wrote in a blistering four-page letter to Awad and then–CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmad, who recently stepped down from CAIR’s board after the Justice Department named him an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history.
“At first glance,” Haddadi added, “it may appear unusual to claim discrimination while working for a civil-rights organization. It may seem even more unusual that I am a Muslim claiming religious discrimination while working for a Muslim organization.”
But, Haddadi continued, “I have struggled for two years – along with others – with frustration and acts of discrimination.”
She says the discrimination against her started several years ago when then–CAIR operations director Khalid Iqbal tasked her to update CAIR’s internship application form by adding a section asking applicants to identify which sect of Islam they belong to.
It appeared that CAIR was devising a religious litmus test for applicants, and Haddadi told Iqbal, a Sunni Muslim, that she felt uncomfortable making such a change. That upset him, she says, and led him to quiz her about her own beliefs.
“This is where he discovered that my background is Shia,” she said, “and from that point his attitude changed towards me.”
Soon, Haddadi says she was demoted to part-time receptionist, according to the book. She spent the next couple of years answering phones.
“I have been frustrated with discrimination at CAIR for two years,” she complained to CAIR’s front office.
Haddadi says hers was not an isolated case. CAIR has engaged in a pattern of gender and religious bias against employees.
“CAIR has it’s [sic] own secret history of discrimination before Mr. Iqbal came, that has caused many employees to quit and very few to come back,” Haddadi wrote in the March 19, 2001, letter.
When she threatened to file a formal complaint of discrimination with the EEOC, she says she was told not to complain, because her mistreatment was “for the sake of Allah.”
With that, Haddadi decided to resign.
CAIR declined comment. However, at least three other office workers allegedly witnessed acts of discrimination against Haddadi, according to “Muslim Mafia.” They include CAIR’s office manager Nancy Hanaan Serag, CAIR civil-rights coordinator Joshua Salaam, and CAIR executive assistant Isra’a Abdul-Rahman. All three signed Haddadi’s letter.
Attempts to reach the witnesses for comment were unsuccessful.
CAIR’s leaders have slammed “Muslim Mafia” authors Gaubatz and Sperry as “anti-Islamic bigots” for exposing the inner workings of the Saudi-funded front group.
The FBI has cut off ties to CAIR pending the results of an “ongoing” investigation of Awad’s and Ahmad’s ties to Hamas and other terrorists.
Congress has also called for an investigation of CAIR, which has targeted sensitive homeland-security committees in a hostile-influence operations campaign, according to other documents revealed in “Muslim Mafia.”
Leaders of the Congressional Anti-Terror Caucus last week warned that CAIR and its secret plan to infiltrate Congress pose a threat to national security. Internal memos show the group has aggressively lobbied to kill the USA Patriot Act and other post–Sept. 11 terrorism-fighting measures.
After Haddadi left CAIR, she took a job as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill.
However, in 2005, Haddadi left her job as a senior aide to the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, D-Ohio, after it was reported that Haddadi made anti-Jewish remarks on a Northern Virginia mosque’s Internet message board.
Haddadi then became a lobbyist for the Center for Community Change, a liberal activist group.