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Maryland legislators push to remove CAIR leader from hate-crimes panel

Zainab Chaudry, director of the state’s Council on American-Islamic Relations chapter, praised Hamas as “Palestinian freedom fighters.”

Zainab Chaudry. Credit: Maryland Attorney General’s Office via Wikimedia Commons.

A Muslim leader in Maryland faced a barrage of questions about her anti-Israel, anti-Jewish social-media postings after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas in a move to challenge her place on the state’s hate-crimes commission.

On Tuesday, at a Maryland House Judiciary Committee hearing, delegate Lauren Arikan asked Zainab Chaudry, director of the state’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): “You stated, ‘That moment when you become what you hated the most’ in reference to Israel, comparing it to Nazi Germany. Have you retracted those statements?”

Delegate Chris Tomlinson also asked, “Have you apologized for any of this language in the last three months?”

In addition to her comparison to World War II, Chaudry had referred to Hamas as “Palestinian freedom fighters” and Oct. 7 as “the uprising in Palestine.”

Chaudry stated that she had been the target of an “onslaught of hatred,” adding that “when you work for justice, sometimes you have to navigate difficult spaces and uncomfortable conversations when we talk about what justice looks like. The intention behind the posts is not to hurt anyone.”

In December, the White House removed CAIR from the U.S. national strategy to counter antisemitism after Nihad Awad, the organization’s co-founder and executive director, said the Oct. 7 terror attack made him “happy” and that Israel “does not have that right to self-defense.”

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