The Women's March movement has a big problem on its hands. So does the establishment press, which has given it fawning coverage ever since its marches in Washington and other cities in January. The press owes its readers and viewers responsible coverage of a credible charge of enabling sexual assault which has been made against the movement's most visible leader. In a lengthy item posted at the Daily Caller, reporter Benny Johnson has laid out in excruciating detail how Linda Sarsour, while she was executive director of the Arab American Association in New York City, allegedly enabled a man's repeated assaults of a contract employee, body-shamed and intimidated the victim, and even had her fired from subsequent jobs.
Sarsour served as the Association's executive director from 2005 until February of this year, when she left to "focus my energy on the national level."
The irony here is that the driving force behind the original Women's March was outrage over Donald Trump's victory and Hillary Clinton's loss in the 2016 presidential election, and near-disbelief that America had allowed a presumptive (but never proven) sexual predator to become its commander-in-chief.
Now it appears, based on the Daily Caller's relayed allegations, that Sarsour, still inexplicably a feminist icon to many, knowingly allowed a man to sexually assault an Arab American Association contractor. Sarsour not only refused to do anything about it, but she also attempted to intimidate the victim into silence, even hounding the victim after she left the organization (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Linda Sarsour Accused Of Enabling Sexual Assault Against Woman Who Worked For Her
The inspiration behind the Women’s March on DC, Linda Sarsour, has been accused of enabling the alleged sexual assault and harassment of a woman who worked for the feminist activist, according to the victim and two sources directly familiar with the matter.
Allegations of groping and unwanted touching were allegedly brought to Sarsour during her time as executive director of the Arab American Association. In response, Sarsour, a self-proclaimed champion of women, attacked the woman bringing the allegations, often threatening and body-shaming her, these sources alleged. The most serious allegations were dismissed, Asmi Fathelbab, the alleged victim told The Daily Caller, because the accused was a “good Muslim” who was “always at the Mosque.”
“She oversaw an environment unsafe and abusive to women,” said Fethelbab, a former employee at the Arab American Association. ...
Fathelbab is a 37-year-old New York native and was raised in a Muslim household. She was excited in 2009 to begin working at the Arab American Association of New York as a contractor. ... Fathelbab worked for Sarsour for almost a year ...
Fathelbab claims the Arab American Association was an unsafe workplace where she was allegedly sexually assaulted, body-shamed and intimidated.
Oftentimes, Sarsour was directly involved, according to the ex-staffer’s account.
The problems began in early 2009 when a man named Majed Seif, who lived in the same building where the Arab American Association offices are located, allegedly began stalking Fathelbab.
“He would sneak up on me during times when no one was around, he would touch me, you could hear me scream at the top of my lungs,” Asmi Fathelbab tells TheDC. “He would pin me against the wall and rub his crotch on me.”
... Fathelbab says she went to leadership at the organization to report the sexual assault. She alleges she was dismissed by Sarsour outright. “She called me a liar because ‘Something like this didn’t happen to women who looked like me,'” Asmi says.
Fathelbab told the Daily Caller that she went to the group's board president. He is the person who insisted that Seif was "a ‘God-fearing man’ who was ‘always at the Mosque,’ so he wouldn’t do something like that.”
Perhaps Johnson's most chilling paragraph relates to how determined Sarsour has been to inflict harm on Fathelbab years after the contract employee left the Arab American Association after her contract term ended:
“She told me I’d never work in NYC ever again for as long as she lived,” Asmi says. “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.”
Though the Women's March's website currently identifies Sarsour as the group's Assistant Treasurer, she was listed as one its four Co-Chairs in early July, and is the organization's most recognizable leader. She has also been its most controversial.
Sarsour is probably the main reason why the group's supposedly mainstream feminist mask has slipped so badly since that January march, to the point where many of the movement's original supporters have abandoned ship. One of them was writer Bari Weiss at the New York Times, who wrote the following about Sarsour in August:
There are comments on her Twitter feed of the anti-Zionist sort: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism,” she wrote in 2012. And, oddly, given her status as a major feminist organizer, there are more than a few that seem to make common cause with anti-feminists ... She has dismissed the anti-Islamist feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the most crude and cruel terms, insisting she is “not a real woman” and confessing that she wishes she could take away Ms. Ali’s vagina — this about a woman who suffered genital mutilation as a girl in Somalia.
... just last month, Ms. Sarsour proved that her past is prologue. On July 16, the official Twitter feed of the Women’s March offered warm wishes to Assata Shakur. “Happy birthday to the revolutionary #AssataShakur!” read the tweet, which featured a “#SignOfResistance, in Assata’s honor” — a pink and purple Pop Art-style portrait of Ms. Shakur, better known as Joanne Chesimard, a convicted killer who is on the F.B.I.’s list of most wanted terrorists.
Weiss was outraged at Women's March leaders' "embrace of hate." Now we see its most visible leader accused of having embraced sexual harassment, sexual assault, and having an apparently insatiable need for revenge.
<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>
Will the press ignore this, as it has typically done with most of the Daily Caller's outstanding investigative reporting?
Don't rule it out, even though doing so would be the height of irresponsibility and hypocrisy.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.