The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has long “enjoyed an unearned reputation as a civil-rights organization,” A.J. Caschetta writes, “in spite of its ties to Hamas, . . . the Holy Land Foundation charity [which was convicted in a federal court of supporting terrorism], and the Muslim Brotherhood.” In the past, critics of CAIR were often dismissed as anti-Muslim bigots. Recently, however, former CAIR board members, employees, and supporters have launched a coordinated effort to expose a different set of problems within the organization.
In 2008, when the FBI agents Lara Burns and Robert Miranda testified at the Holy Land Foundation trial that CAIR is a Hamas front, many anticipated an investigation that would result in criminal charges. Those charges never came. But times have changed, and men were getting away with behavior in 2008 that they wouldn’t get away with today.
Ever since January 2021, when Hasan Shibly, leader of CAIR’s Florida operations, resigned amid a scandal of spousal-abuse, polygamy, and sexual-harassment allegations, CAIR members and former members have been coming forward with accusations of gender bias and sexual harassment, and the group that bills itself as “a Muslim civil-rights and advocacy organization” is beginning to look like just another hostile workplace where the men in charge bully and harass the women who work for them with impunity.
Leila Fadal of NPR found an angle that couldn’t be dismissed as “Islamophobia” when she wrote about the sex scandal on April 15, 2021. . . . One of the women profiled in the NPR piece, Jinan Shbat, operates an Instagram account called cairvictimsforum, featuring testimonials from accusers. Another new social-media phenomenon exposing CAIR’s secrets is a group called WeCAIR. WeCAIR is a serious organization calling for reform, asking reporters to “be unafraid to investigate CAIR as you would any other major organization,” and helping CAIR’s victims air their stories.