Lori Saroya was previously the founder and executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations’ Minnesota Chapter and from 2016 to 2018 was a board member for the national CAIR. In 2018 she resigned as a board member of CAIR and in 2021 was sued for defamation by CAIR.
ReformCAIR In her answer to the lawsuit, Saroya alleged a culture of corruption, sexual harassment, and “hush money” payments within CAIR and its affiliated chapters. CAIR dropped the lawsuit in January 2022 before it would have been obligated to reveal more information about its operations via the discovery process.
Ms. Saroya, who had founded the Minnesota chapter of CAIR before being asked by CAIR to serve on its national board in 2015, resigned from CAIR in May 2018 after the organization’s Executive Director, Nihad Award, displayed unwelcome and inappropriate conduct toward her.
She is among a growing chorus of former CAIR personnel and other Muslim-Americans around the country who have spoken out about the conduct they’ve experienced and witnessed at CAIR. CAIR also sought a Court order prohibiting Ms. Saroya from speaking out about her concerns about sexual harassment, discrimination and fundraising practices at CAIR, and alleged that she had breached the confidentiality agreement that it required her to sign when she commenced her employment with CAIR.
CAIR’s withdrawal of its lawsuit against Ms. Saroya comes while her motions for Court orders requiring the organization to turn over documents and other evidence that it had been withholding were pending before the Court. CAIR’s decision to drop its case comes before any of the sworn depositions of its officers and Board members about the subject matter of Ms. Saroya’s statements had taken place.