Shalom Life | May 03, 2015

Former Staff Member Suing Al-Jazeera for Sexism & Both anti-American, and anti-Semitic, Statements

The former employee claims his boss would exclude women, and said that “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell”

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: May 1st, 2015 in News » World

A former staff member of Al-Jazeera America is suing the network after he was fired for making a complaint that his boss was sexits in the newsroom and that he went on several “anti-American and anti-Semitic” rants about how “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell.”

According to the lawsuit charges in his Manhattan Supreme Court suit, and as reported by the New York Post, Matthew Luke is claiming that his boss, Osman Mahmud, demonstrated “overt misogynistic behavior and bias against women,” and would have them removed from projects they were working on, while excluding them from company emails. Currently he is seeking $15 million from the news station.

The suit also claims that the Qatar-owned station was attempting to remove women from power and replace them with Arab Muslim men instead, explaining his former boss’ actions.

Luke claims that during a meeting with Mahumud’s superiors, who were aware of his “offensive and discriminatory behavior,” that “they had no choice but to accept and deal” with him due to him being “so well-connected within the company.”

Luke also claims in his lawsuit that he was forced to exclude two female co-workers from an email concerning a project they were working on as Mahmud was intending to remove them from the task and replace them with a male coworker.

“The reason that Mr. Mahmud insisted on removing them from the project was that they are female,” the lawsuit states.

His former employer then went on a rant which included anti-Semitic and anti-American sentiments, while adding that “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell.”

Luke filed a complaint with the company’s human resources director, who “candidly stated [to Luke] that he had heard similar complaints from others regarding Mr. Mahmud,” but also learnt that his boss had filed a complaint about long-since resolved issues between the two of them.

Like claims he was fired, with the company claiming he, “did not fit into the company culture.”

Luke is not the only one to have been let go from Al-Jazeera America in the last little while either. Seven employees were laid off in April, and both Dawn Bridges (head of communications) and Diana Lee (head of human resources) have resigned from the station.

According to Jeffrey Kimmel, Luke’s attorney, “Mr. Luke … reported the biased and discriminatory conduct of a high-level newsroom executive, the response was to circle the wagons and fire the messenger. One would expect more from an organization whose mission statement is ‘to be recognized as the world’s leading and most trusted media network.’”

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