US media is reporting that Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area, has been voted off the Women’s March board following recent tweets equating Israel to the Nazi and to ISIS. According to the report:
Zahra Billoo, one of the newly announced Women’s March board members, announced on Twitter she was kicked out of the organization following backlash to prior tweets of hers that equated Israel to the Nazis and ISIS, among others. Billoo, who serves as the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations – San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA), tweeted that she was voted off the board on Sept. 18 and blamed the criticisms of her past tweets as being part of “an Islamophobic smear campaign.” She also defended the tweets in question, saying she “told the truth as my community and I have lived it.” Billoo accused the Women’s March of caving to pressure to oust her.
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Responding to her removal from the board, Billoo tweeted:
This followed an Islamophobic smear campaign led by the usual antagonists, who have long targeted me, my colleagues, and anyone else who dares speak out in support of Palestinian human rights and the right to self-determination….During the past few years right-wingers, from the President’s son to the Anti-Defamation League and troll armies, have targeted the Women’s March, Inc. For so long, I’ve admired their resilience in speaking truth to power, in working together, and in never cowering.
In April. Israeli media reported that Billoo was pictured in a selfie alongside Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and that the two reportedly exchanged supportive tweets just a day before Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, organized by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), comprised almost entirely of US Muslim Brotherhood groups.
The website of the Women’s March describes the organization as follows:
The mission of Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change. Women’s March is a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists & organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events. Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.
The Washington Post reported in September that Linda Sarsour and two others had resigned as Co-Chairs of the Women’s March following accusations of anti-Semitism, infighting and financial mismanagement. In August 2012, GMBDW was the first to report on Linda Sarsour’s family ties to Hamas.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” CAIR was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure at that time. Documents discovered in the course of the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood and that CAIR itself is part of the US. Muslim Brotherhood. In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood acknowledged a relationship between the Egyptian Brotherhood and CAIR. In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” CAIR and its leaders have had a long history of defending individuals accused of terrorism by the US. government, often labeling such prosecutions a “war on Islam”, and have also been associated with Islamic fundamentalism and antisemitism. The organization is led by Nihad Awad, its longstanding Executive Director and one of the three original founders.