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Linda Sarsour accuser, NY lawmaker urge others to reveal stories about 'everyone's favorite liberal

Image source: TheBlaze

Asmi Fathelbab, the woman who accused Palestinian activist and feminist Linda Sarsour of enabling sexual harassment and of body-shaming, held a news conference Thursday to call for those who reportedly had similar experiences with Sarsour to speak out.

Standing with New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Fathelbab — a former employee at the Arab American Association of New York, where Sarsour was once executive director — re-told her story of alleged harassment in 2009, recounting instances in which a volunteer at the association would grope her and press his genitals up against her body inappropriately.

What's the history?

Fathelbab, in a report published Monday by the Daily Caller, explained that she brought the issue of harassment to Sarsour but was reportedly told that things like that didn't happen to women who looked like Fathelbab.

Fathelbab noted that Sarsour allegedly smeared her professionally, which made it very difficult to find a job after she left the association.

Sarsour on Wednesday spoke to Buzzfeed, where she denied enabling sexual harassment and stated that it was Fathelbab who created a hostile environment by making false accusations against the male volunteer in question.

Sarsour told the outlet that she investigated Fathelbab’s claims and found "no substantial evidence or any testimonies from anyone about the alleged accusations." She added that she told the man — who denied Fathelbab’s claims — to stay away from his accuser.

Additionally, Sarsour was adamant that she never body-shamed Fathelbab, noting that it "never, ever" happened.

"This is character assassination,” she said. “This is where we have to draw the line. I have two daughters. This is not the type of behavior I engage in."

What did Fathelbab and Hikind say in the conference?

Before the conference, Hikind on Twitter wrote, "Asmi Fathelbab will tell her story of alleged Sex Abuse that she says her boss Linda Sarsour covered up. Regardless of political or religious affiliation, all alleged victims should have a right to justice."

Hikind, inviting Fathelbab to tell her story, said, "It's all about 'Me too.' This happened to her, she never went public. There were people that she shared this with back then, in those days, who knew what had happened to her. She was victimized. She was almost blacklisted by Linda Sarsour from getting any other job."

"It became an ordeal," he added, and noted that Fathelbab simply wanted justice.

"I, as an elected official, will be asking the New York Commission on Human Rights to get to the bottom of this," Hikind promised.  "It's all about making sure we don't have any future victims. It's all about people coming forward, if there were others who were victimized by this individual ... if other people were victimized by this person, please come forward. Share this information. Someone who violates someone's rights once has done it again."

Fathelbab explained that she simply wanted to tell her #MeToo story, and acknowledged how it turned into a "political argument."

"It turned into a political argument somehow, because I was attacking someone who claimed to be for women's rights — everyone's favorite liberal," Fathelbab said. "I'm not doing this as a political stunt; I'm not right-wing, I'm not left-wing. I was just trying to get my story out there."

Fathelbab echoed Hikind's sentiments and encouraged others who might have been victimized in this way, by the same alleged perpetrator, or reportedly targeted by Sarsour.

"If anybody had any interaction with him in the same manner that I did, if he has harassed anyone in the same manner, if she has done this to someone else, if they can step forward," Fathelbab pleaded. "This has to be stopped."

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