COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Muslim advocacy group has fired its executive director for allegedly leaking information regarding the organization’s work to a known anti-Muslim hate group.
According to a press release, the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) has fired Executive and Legal Director Romin Iqbal after an independent forensic expert’s investigation found “ethical and professional violations committed over a period of years.”
The investigation allegedly found that Iqbal recorded CAIR network meetings and passed on information about CAIR’s national advocacy work to the anti-Muslim group. The press release did not name the anti-Muslim group.
The press release states that after being confronted with the evidence of misconduct, Iqbal admitted that he had been secretly working with the hate group.
In addition, the press release states that Iqbal was using a CAIR-Ohio credit card administered to him to make purchases from gun and ammunition retailers in recent weeks. On Monday, CAIR-Ohio staff allegedly found a suspicious package mailed to the CAIR-Ohio Columbus office containing parts for an AR-15 rifle.
Law enforcement is currently investigating the matter after CAIR-Ohio reported it to them.
“We were shocked and saddened to learn about this betrayal and incredible violation of trust,” said Nabeel Raazi, Columbus-Cincinnati Board Chair for CAIR-Ohio. “Our first priority is the safety and security of our community. We are now even more committed to defending and protecting Ohio Muslims from the anti-Muslim extremists who will clearly stop at nothing to try to harm us.”
The investigation showed that Iqbal, who has been with the organization since 2006, was not aided by any other CAIR members.
In a letter to the Ohio Muslim community, CAIR-Ohio encouraged mosques and community centers to “exercise vigilance and review their security protocols out of an abundance of caution.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization in the country.
“We recognize the difficulty of receiving this information and the unease it brings,” CAIR posted to its website. “We all feel betrayed by a once-trusted leader and advocate whom we relied upon. However, our mission to protect the civil rights of Ohio Muslims transcends any one individual. We want to assure the community that CAIR-Ohio’s local assets, operations, and infrastructure are safe and secure.”
CAIR announced plans to discuss the investigation Wednesday.