United States (QNN)- Women’s March has been accused of Islamophobia after voting Zahra Billoo off board. Billoo is a lawyer and executive director of the San Francisco chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Billoo has been a target of a relentless campaign led by critics who accused her of antisemitism for a series of old tweets in which she condemned Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians.
The Women’s March said in a statement on Thursday that Billoo had been removed with immediate effect after concluding that “some of her public statements [were] incompatible with the values and mission of the organisation”.
The Middle East Eye quoted Billoo saying that the decision to oust her for her criticism of Israel was a clear message that the organisation did not have space for women who challenged the status quo.
“This organisation has drawn a line. What they are saying is that you can be Muslim in our organisation but don’t be too loud. You can advocate for Palestinians but don’t dare call Israel a terrorist state, else we will censor you,” she said.
“If they can do that to me as a board member and leader within the movement, then what does it mean for other women?” she continued.
Billoo accused pro Israel activists of leading the campaign against her.
“Much of the campaign is driven by people who oppose me and my work challenging the [Israeli] occupation of Palestine, our country’s perpetuation of unjust and endless wars, and law enforcement operations targeting the American-Muslim community.”
“This action today demonstrates that this organisation’s new leadership is unable to be an ally during challenging times,” she added.
Billoo was appointed as part of a new cohort of board members after it emerged that three founders of the Women’s March, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland, had stepped down last week.
Sarsour and Mallory had also been subject to accusations of antisemitism. Though there have been reports that Sarsour and Mallory were forced out, it is a claim that the Women’s March denies.
The Women’s March is a national nonprofit group that evolved from the initial Washington march in 2017 following President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It describes itself as a federal policy platform “created by women and for all people” with a mission to enable everyone to live safely and “free from structural impediments”.