Laylat Al Qadr: Sins & Redemption

On Laylat Al Qadr, the holiest night in the year, one wonders what the future holds for our community and Muslim American whistleblowers who are speaking truth to power.

Coming the final days of Ramadan, Laylat Al Qadr is when the gates of heaven open and mercy is abundant and sins are forgiven. The night got me to thinking about the year ahead. The last few weeks have been so disorienting – now try to imagine how things will look a year from now.

I have been thinking a lot about Lori Saroya, a.k.a Lori Haidri. During Ramadan, she has continued to push for consequences for the sins she says CAIR committed against her – and invites her readers NOT to donate Zakah to CAIR.

Don’t donate to CAIR or their chapters. As youre considering which nonprofits to support, please be diligent. Is your money really helping to empower people in the community who have been discriminated against, or are you empowering a multi-million dollar organization that discriminates against its own community and further victimizes people who seek their help?

I am impressed by her bold refusal to be silenced and to publicly demand justice. But one reader of this blog disagrees. The anonymous reader posted this comment:

“She complains about what she deserves as a founder of the MN chapter yet fail to recognize what the national org did from scratch and the recognition they deserve. How about she goes and create her own organization with the openess she advocates and manage it her own way.”

So it was intriguing to hear a very different comment on the blog by Sarah Sheikh, who is apparently herself is former CAIR staffer:

“As a ex-cair nj member I must say that I applaud Lori and her success as the champion of civil rights. We need more women to stand up and speak the truth. It really seems like Lori did that. Sexual harassment/assault/violence against women is unacceptable and must never be tolerated. I only wish the best for her. Go Lori!

Sarah also added:

“Actually sexual harassment l/assault must never be tolerated regardless of gender. However women are often the targets.”

Lori has revealed the existence of a 35-women group of victims of harassment by CAIR male staffers.

As per Layalat Al Qadr, I wonder whether Lori and the other women in her group will get justice in the year ahead. Having Lori’s outspoken voice – with the authority of someone who worked for years within the CAIR system – is a big change. And still nothing has yet really changed for our community. Will the old-boy leadership finally be held accountable? I will be watching and bearing testimony.

May your prayers be answered, and may your sins be forgiven as the angel descend on all of us.