“As co-founders of Muslim Advocates, alongside former executive director Farhana Khera and several other community leaders, we stepped into the interim executive director role last week because we believe in the importance and value that Muslim Advocates should continue to play in American society.
We believe deeply in transparency and accountability and are dismayed by allegations made by former employees about Muslim Advocates’ workplace culture and also Farhana’s allegations of misogyny. It’s important to note that in June 2020, a special committee of the Board of Directors responded to Farhana’s claims and engaged the law firm Kramer Levin to conduct an independent investigation of allegations of discrimination on the basis of religion and sex that she had raised. After conducting a comprehensive investigation, the investigators concluded that ‘the allegations of discrimination had no merit.’
To be clear, under Farhana’s leadership, Muslim Advocates achieved historic, extraordinary and impactful wins for the American Muslim community and the organization became a widely respected civil rights powerhouse and leader.
However, we are now obliged to also say that Farhana voluntarily resigned on May 31st after she refused repeated requests by the board for a review of workplace culture under her leadership following numerous complaints primarily from female employees.
We are working as fast as we can to conduct an independent inquiry that will include investigating reports of a hostile work environment during Farhana’s tenure as well as investigating again Farhana’s claims of gender discrimination.
This, of course, is not how we wanted to begin our tenure, but we believe it is an important part of making sure that Muslim Advocates not only serves, but also practices, its mission of serving justice.
As an organization dedicated to civil rights for all we need to ensure that our own house is in order.
This investigation will not detract from our focus of continuing the important work of Muslim Advocates and supporting its dedicated staff.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.