In the midst of ongoing Israel- Hamas war and growing concerns about antisemitism in the USA, Maryland's Attorney General, Anthony Brown, has taken the step of temporarily suspending Zainab Chaudry from the state's hate crimes commission. This decision stems from concerns raised about the potential disruption of the commission's work and mission due to Chaudry's social media posts.
Who is Zainab Chaudhry?
Zainab Chaudhry, the longstanding executive director of the Maryland branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), found herself at the center of controversy as Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown took the step to temporarily suspend her from the state's Hate Crimes Commission.
Earlier this year, Zainab was chosen to be part of the Maryland Commission on Hate Crimes Response and Prevention. This decision followed the rules in a law that said CAIR-MD and more than 20 other groups must be on the panel.
Zainab faced suspension following her social media posts, which included claims that the 40 Israeli infants were killed in the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel are "fake."
On October 26, Zainab expressed her disbelief on her personal Facebook account, questioning the world's response to 40 "fake" Israeli babies while overlooking 3,000 Palestinian babies. She also shared a graphic insinuating a historical connection between events in 1948 and the October 7th attack. Her posts also drew comparisons between the Jewish state and Nazi Germany.
Suspension and Response from Attorney General
Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown responded to Zainab 's posts by temporarily suspending her from the Hate Crimes Commission. He emphasized the importance of the commission serving as a model for the entire state in responding to incidents of hate and bias.
Zainab defended her posts, claiming that her criticisms against Benjamin Netanyahu's government did not violate any commission standards. She asserted that there is no legal basis for suspending the participation of her civil rights organization, as mandated by state law.
Office to Develop Values Statement
In addition to the suspension, Attorney General Brown's office announced plans to develop a draft values statement concerning personal communications by hate crimes panel members. The statement emphasized the need for commission members to exercise caution in their communications and conduct, particularly regarding personal postings that could be perceived as hate speech.
Zainab is set to meet with Brown to discuss the matter further. As of now, the Maryland Attorney General's office has not made any additional remarks on the issue.