Muslim Women's March Organizer Accused of Enabling Sexual Assault Against Employee
A woman who once worked for Linda Sarsour, the Muslim organizer of the Women's March, accused the activist of covering up her sexual assault claims. She said Sarsour and other leaders of her organization dismissed the claims because the man who had allegedly abused her was a "good Muslim." Furthermore, she claimed Sarsour destroyed her career.
The woman, Asmi Fathelbab, directly brought allegations of groping and unwanted touching to Sarsour. In response, the self-described champion of women attacked the alleged victim, claiming that she was not pretty enough to be assaulted.
"She oversaw an environment unsafe and abusive to women," said Fathelbab, a former employee at the Arab American Association, an organization Sarsour helped lead at the time. "Women who put [Sarsour] on a pedestal for women's rights and empowerment deserve to know how she really treats us."
"And yes, some women BELIEVE that just because you have a big butt you are no longer a woman and do not run into women issues as they do. As some men see you should be grateful that they even considered assaulting you," Fathelbab posted on Twitter.
Fathelbab, a 37-year-old New York native raised in a Muslim household, revealed these allegations in an interview with The Daily Caller on Sunday. She began working with the Arab American Association of New York in 2009 when Sarsour was executive director at the organization. She worked there for almost a year.
"I was stalked to and from work and inside the building. I complained to a supervisor that there was a strange man stalking me and was informed that he did not actually work there but lived upstairs above the office," Fathelbab said in a statement to the Daily Caller. "He would sneak up on me during times when no one was around and, depending on what floor I was on, you could hear me scream at the top of my lungs."
She continued, "I would be thrown and pinned up against the wall by him. He had a tendency of sneaking up behind me to touch me."
"While this would go on, the acting director, Linda Sarsour, would tell me each time that I was over reacting, even threatened to fire me once when she heard me screaming from the second floor because this man came out of nowhere and touched me," the woman said. "According to Sarsour, something like that did not happen to someone that looked like “me” and no one would ever believe me if I ever told them what happened. How dare I interrupt her TV news interview in the other room with my lies."
The alleged assaulter was Majed Seif. Fathelbab said, "He would pin me against the wall and rub his crotch on me." She told The Daily Caller he would often do this with a full erection.
"It was disgusting," she declared. "I ran the youth program in the building and with that comes bending down and talking to small children. You have no idea what it was like to stand up and feel that behind you. I couldn't scream because I didn't want to scare the child in front of me. It left me shaking."
The alleged victim said she told Sarsour about the assaults, and Sarsour body-shamed her, saying that no such assault would ever happen to a larger woman. This enabled Seif's assaults, Fathelbab claimed.
Even worse, Sarsour went on to threaten legal and professional damage if she went public with the assault claims. "She told me he had the right to sue me for false claims," Fathelbab said.
When the alleged victim went to the president of the board of directors, Ahmed Jaber, he also attempted to silence her. "Jaber told me my stalker was a 'God-fearing man' who was 'always at the Mosque,' so he wouldn't do something like that," Fathelbab claimed. "He wanted to make it loud and clear this guy was a good Muslim and I was a bad Muslim for 'complaining.'"
Fathelbab said her allegations led to a disciplinary action. The organization's leadership reportedly forced her to speak with a detective about the consequences of making false claims to the authorities.
When the alleged victim's contract ended, Sarsour threatened to keep her from gaining other jobs. "She told me I'd never work in NYC ever again for as long as she lived," Fathelbab recalled. "She's kept her word. She had me fired from other jobs when she found out where I worked. She has kept me from obtaining any sort of steady employment for almost a decade."
Two people who knew Fathelbab at the Arab American Association anonymously confirmed her story to The Daily Caller. They reported the woman would return "emotionally distressed and in a panic" after work.
Another New York political activist, who spoke anonymously, claimed that Sarsour was "militant against other women" even at her own organization. This activist also claimed to remember Fathelbab, and recalled witnessing her harassment.
"They made it about her weight, saying she was not attractive enough to be harassed and then swept it under the rug," the source said. "It was Linda Sarsour, Ahmad Jaber and Habib Joudeh who took care of it." Joudeh is the vice president of the association.
The anonymous activist even identified the alleged assaulter without prompting — "Majed Seif, the man who lived in the building."
The activist, a practicing Muslim, said the Arab American Association has a toxic culture that fosters harassment. "It's always going to be the woman's fault over there," the source said. "And Sarsour was there to protect the men. She's not for other women. The only women she's for is for herself."
Another New York insider told The Daily Caller that similar complaints have been brought against the association. "Sarsour is only a feminist outwardly," the source said. "Her interactions toward women in that building were atrocious. She would protect the patriarchy and in return they would promote her."
In July, Sarsour called for a "jihad" against President Donald Trump (she did insist it would be non-violent). In August, she solicited donations to a Left-wing activist group, claiming the funds would go to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
Sarsour has also praised Islamic law (Sharia) as a better system than American law, especially noting Sharia's prohibition of taking interest on loans. Many interpretations of Sharia also involve subjugating women, from honor killings to female genital mutilation.
Sarsour herself has also called for some women's vaginas to be taken away, because those women have spoken out against Islam.