Former employee says pro-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour enabled sexual assault

Former employee says pro-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour enabled sexual assault
Feminist activist Linda Sarsour has been accused of enabling sexual misconduct in the workplace. (Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The New York Women's Foundation )

A former employee at the Arab American Association of New York accused pro-Palestinian, pro-Black Lives Matter feminist activist Linda Sarsour of enabling both sexual assault and misconduct in the workplace, The Daily Caller reported Sunday.

Sarsour is the former executive director at the Arab American Association of New York.

What are the details?

According to the report, Sarsour, who helped spearhead the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. earlier this year, reportedly threatened and body-shamed a former employee for bringing up allegations of sexual misconduct from within the organization.

Asmi Fathelbab, the former employee, noted that groping and unwanted touching were among the allegations broached with Sarsour.

According to Fathelbab, management at large dismissed the allegations because the alleged perpetrator — a man who lived in the building that housed the association’s offices — was a “good Muslim” who was “always at the Mosque.”

“[Sarsour] oversaw an environment unsafe and abusive to women,” Fathelbab told The Daily Caller. “Women who put [Sarsour] on a pedestal for women’s rights and empowerment deserve to know how she really treats us.”

Fathelbab added that she was “dismissed by Sarsour outright.”

“She called me a liar because ‘Something like this didn’t happen to women who looked like me,'” Fathelbab said. “How dare I interrupt her TV news interview in the other room with my ‘lies.'”

Fathelbab reported that Sarsour promised both professional and legal ramifications if she went public with the sexual misconduct allegations.

“She told me he had the right to sue me for false claims,” Fathelbab noted.

Fathelbab said that her alleged abuser would sneak up behind her while she was working and grind his crotch on her — often in the presence of small children.

“It was disgusting,” Fathelbab said. “I ran the youth program in the building and with that comes bending down and talking to small children.”

She added, “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.”

Fathelbab said that reporting the allegations resulted in a write-up, and revealed that she once had to speak with a detective from the community liaison division about consequences of making false reports.

Fathelbab told The Daily Caller that once her contract with the association was up, she was met with difficulty in finding new jobs and believed it to be the result of Sarsour’s threats of professional retaliation.

“[Sarsour] told me I’d never work in NYC ever again for as long as she lived,” Fathelbab reported. “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.”

Fathelbab concluded, “Just wait until more people start to talk. Sarsour is no champion of women. She is an abuser of them.”

Is there more?

Two sources with direct knowledge of the allegations reportedly corroborated Fathelbab’s report.

Another insider, who The Daily Caller reported worked with the Arab American Association for more than 10 years, said that Fathelbab’s complaint about Sarsour isn’t the first of its kind.

“Sarsour is only a feminist outwardly,” the insider, who remained anonymous due to their current political position, reportedly told The Daily Caller. “Her interactions toward women in that building were atrocious. She would protect the patriarchy and in return they would promote her.”