Muslim wives expose dirty secrets of CAIR leaders
Housewife Imane Sadrati's claims of spousal abuse at the hands of a prominent Muslim set in motion a "Me Too"–style campaign rarely seen in the insulated Islamic community.
Sadrati is not an ordinary Muslim housewife. She is married to Hassan Shibly, who had championed himself as a "human rights" advocate in his former top executive position at CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations)-Florida. Their estranged relationship had enjoyed a measure of privacy in the insular Islamic organization.
That was before Sadrati decided to revolt against the Muslim taboo of not discussing personal scandals and turned her divorce into a high-profile media event. Her accusations of twelve years of abuse were shocking enough, but Sadrati's decision to publicly denounce her husband, a nationally recognized Muslim leader, qualified as a public relations nightmare for CAIR's management team.
Many of their fears were well founded. Sadrati alleged in a two-hour NPR broadcast that she lived in a misogynistic marriage and her husband's "physical and emotional abuse" started early in their relationship. Listeners were privy to the worst of the allegations: Sadrati claiming her husband used her as a punching bag and even initiated "violent blows" while she was pregnant.
Shibly was given an opportunity to respond on NPR, portraying himself as more of a victim than his wife. He wrote off his estranged spouse's allegations as "blatantly false" and reverted back to his prominence as an Islamic leader, claiming that nothing good would come of "tale-bearing, gossip, slander, and harming others."
Within fifteen days of Sadrati's broadcast going live, Shibly was forced to resign from his position. His resignation appeared to embolden other Muslim women to come forward — all of whom had their own ugly allegations to impart about having worked with Shibly at CAIR.
NPR interviewed six female employees, in total, and together they portrayed Shibly as a "bully" and "serial predator" who used his power to "seduce" and "sexually harass women." He was viewed as a "blatant pervert," for many years, by several CAIR female employees.
Laila Abedelaziz, who held an executive position in CAIR, claimed that the failure of CAIR male executives to adequately address Shibly's predatory behavior can be traced to the group's fear of generating more discriminatory behavior toward Muslims and attracting more anti-Islamic sentiment in the country.
Shibly's predecessor, Nezar Hamze, whom Shibly has referred to as "my brother for life," didn't fare much better at CAIR. His photo and bio were removed from the website after his association with "terror-related" groups was called into question.
Journalist Joe Kaufman pressed the former CAIR employee about his side jobs in groups with "tremendous terror-related histories," including Islamic Relief (I.R.) and the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF). From his view, Hamze says the groups are "law abiding and social service organizations," claiming that Kaufman got his information from anti-Muslim websites.
That said, Israel won't allow I.R. into its country, labeling the group a front for Hamas. And SFMF earns the same dubious reputation as an umbrella organization for radical Muslim organizations.
Nezar Hamze is now gainfully employed full-time and wears a law enforcement uniform, serving as a county sheriff in Broward County, Florida. He appears to have weathered the controversy and remains unapologetic about his association with alleged terror-related groups.
"The mainstream media likes to paint CAIR as a group interested in protecting the civil rights of the Muslim community," Joe Kaufman wrote in Front Page magazine. "The reality is that CAIR is a support network for terror with both foundational and financial links to Hamas." CAIR was named as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in a Hamas terror funding case, according to two federal cases brought by the Justice Department.
NPR, and other liberal outlets, routinely ignore the more salacious details of CAIR's association with terror groups, but the high-profile Shibly divorce fits their leftist narrative of giving voice to an abused Muslim wife.
The broadcast helped launch Sadrati's own informal "Me Too" campaign. Undoubtedly, she influenced other Muslim women to come forward. Now she's demonstrating how religious women can empower themselves — despite previous taboos. She claims that her husband cut her off financially, but she countered the move by establishing a GoFundMe page.
Perhaps CAIR can show the same mental resourcefulness by demonstrating how a self-styled "human rights" organization can clean up its "human rights" violations among its own rank and file.
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