US media is reporting that the City University of New York (CUNY) has tasked Saly Abd Alla, the former civil rights director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Minnesota chapter, to investigate allegations of anti-Semitism made by a CUNY Kingsborough Community College professor. According to an article in the NY Post:
September 19, 2022 Vernikov and SAFE CUNY – a group of students and faculty fighting against antisemitism on CUNY campuses – were referring to a report in the Daily Caller detailing CUNY’s assignment of chief diversity officer Saly Abd Alla, a former employee of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to an ongoing discrimination case tied to CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College professor Jeffrey Lax.
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Saly Abd Alla oversees discrimination investigations at CUNY, which encompasses 25 campuses and nearly 300,000 students, and is also the CUNY Chief Diversity Officer. She formerly served as civil rights director of CAIR Minnesota
Jeffrey Lax, an orthodox Jew, had filed a complaint after suspecting that anti-Zionist faculty members at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College were plotting to exclude him from appearing at a March 2018 meeting to discuss alleged discrimination against LGBT members on campus by deliberately scheduling it on a Friday night––the start of the Sabbath––so he couldn’t attend. Since 2013, there have been numerous reports of anti-Semitic incidents at CUNY, including swastikas carved into doors and a high-ranking university administrator allegedly complaining about “too many Jews” on the faculty.
CAIR describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” It was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the US Hamas infrastructure at that time. Documents discovered during the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood and that CAIR itself is part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. The organization is led by Nihad Awad, its longstanding Executive Director and one of the three founders. Recently, CAIR has been generally portrayed in the media as a Muslim civil rights group. In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood acknowledged a relationship between the Egyptian Brotherhood and CAIR. In 2009, a US federal judge ruled, “the Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” CAIR and its leaders have had a long history of defending individuals accused of terrorism by the US government, often labeling such prosecutions a “war on Islam,” and have also been associated with Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Semitism.
For more on CAIR, go here.