Muslim organization fires head of state it claims is secretly associated with anti-Muslim group

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said this week that it discovered that one of its regional leaders was working as a mole for a far-right Islamophobic organization.

In a statement, CAIR’s national communications coordinator Ismail Allison said the organization had uncovered evidence indicating it had been infiltrated by someone working for the Terrorism Investigation Project (IPT). The IPT was founded by Steve Emerson, a far-right media expert often accused of spreading Islamophobic disinformation and anti-Muslim hatred.

“Last month our forensic investigator provided his report. The report confirmed that the key evidence we received was genuine and that an employee of a local CAIR affiliate had indeed worked secretly with a hate group.” , Allison said. “This employee was Romin Iqbal from CAIR-Ohio.”

Iqbal was the executive and legal director of the Ohio chapter of CAIR.

CAIR had hired an outside law firm and forensic specialist to conduct an investigation which apparently confirmed that Iqbal had been sharing information with IPT for years. According to Allison, this information included recorded conversations, private emails and strategic plans.

When asked about the investigation’s findings, Allison said Iqbal confessed to working with IPT. Iqbal was fired on Tuesday. Iqbal never had access to CAIR data or data from other locals, he added.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Iqbal, 45, led CAIR-Ohio for three years and worked for the organization for 15 years.

Allison wrote that Iqbal had violated his “moral duty to protect the Muslim community in Ohio” and added that he would be held responsible. He said Iqbal’s conduct may have “violated numerous federal and state laws.”

“Sadly, this hate group’s attempt to spy on … mosques and Muslim organizations was not surprising,” Allison wrote. “Civil rights defenders have been targeted by infiltrators for decades. From Malcolm X and Fred Hampton to anti-apartheid activists, those who defend justice have been repeatedly targeted by those who defend injustice.

Contacted for comment by The Hill, the IPT said it “would never monitor the entire American Muslim community,” but added that it “would not hesitate to uncover and publicly expose radical Islamist activities. on American soil by groups like CAIR “.

When asked if he was communicating with Iqbal or receiving internal CAIR information from him, the IPT did not immediately respond.

Updated at 16:58

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