Shibly-Sidrati and CAIR Saga
This case has engulfed most Muslim community activists. People on social media are expressing their opinions and fighting over each others' comments.
Let us stay focused.
1. The wife (ex) of Hassan Shibly issued a public statement seeking funds for her and her children.
2. Shibly sent her a legal letter to modify the statement.
3. The statement is modified.
4. Shibly issued his statement denying domestic abuse charges, and proving his innocence.
5. It appears a he said and she said issue. It is now a legal matter that should be settled in a court of law.
6. Meanwhile, allegations (to be investigated) emerge that Shibly had affairs with three other women since 2016 that infuriated Shibly's ex-wife.
7. Allegations emerged that Shibly was promoting polygamy and practicing it secretly.
8. Shibly is an attorney and knows that bigamy is an offense in the country.
7. People say that CAIR leadership was aware of allegations against Shibly.
9. People also say that there were other CAIR officials charged by many who had worked in CAIR offices. Now the issue involves others in the organization.
10. Some of these people used different names to air their allegations.
11. They did so to avoid backlash because they were afraid that those accused may go to any extent.
12. Some people see in this a sinister conspiracy to bully CAIR.
Where do we go from here?
13. CAIR issued a letter saying that at least in one case it conducted an investigation and found charges unverifiable. The letter was circulated to only a few. Now a copy is available on the Web.
14. The accuser challenged the CAIR findings and called them one-sided.
What should happen now?
1. An independent counsel should investigate each and every allegation after talking with the accused and accusers.
2. The findings should be shared with people because CAIR is not a private organization,
3. if charges are genuine, CAIR should be advised to take remedial actions and the accusers should be allowed to pursue legal measures to get justice because the accusers say that they have signed NDAs.
4. If charges are false, These people should apologize in public and CAIR should have the right to pursue them in a court of law if it wants to.
5. The community should tackle this matter in a calm manner,
6. The question that all of us must ask is simple. Do our Muslim organizations have a policy adopted by their board and approved by their members on how to deal with allegations of sexual abuse or harassment in their organizations? We all know what our faith says about them. But do we have a policy? What procedure we have to handle such cases? What course of action we have to internally investigate the matter? If we do not, then we must so that we can handle these causes in a rational and procedural manner.
There will always be individuals who will misuse the vulnerabilities of people to their advantage. But we must always have protective policies for such situations.