CAIR-NJ & CAIR-NY Express Concern over BlackRock #MeToo story of Muslim Women, Call on Company to Investigate Allegations
(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., 2/2/2021) – The New Jersey and New York chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ & CAIR-NY) today expressed concern over allegations of discrimination and harassment described in Essma Bengabsia’s self-published article “#MeToo At BlackRock.” In her article, Bengabsia recounts her experience while working at BlackRock relaying stories of Islamophobia and physical harassment that stood unchecked by management. CAIR-NJ and CAIR-NY call on BlackRock to investigate the allegations.
BlackRock is an American multinational investment management corporation based in New York City.
SEE: #MeToo At BlackRock by Essma Bengabsia
In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:
“Corporate America has an Islamophobia problem. The unabashed discrimination and toxic work environment experienced by Essma and other women of color at BlackRock and other financial corporations should never go unchallenged.
“Essma’s disturbing account should serve as a red flag for management of these financial firms, motivating them to act swiftly and decisively to remedy the systemic issue painfully present in their corporations. No institution can parade itself as diverse and inclusive then chase out Muslim women and people of color.
“It’s our collective responsibility to amplify the voice of marginalized minorities and bring awareness to the racism and sexism that exists in these workplaces.”
Maksut also called on BlackRock to offer Diversity & Cultural Sensitivity and Unconscious Bias trainings to combat discrimination in the workplace.
In a statement, CAIR-NY Legal Director Ahmed Mohamed said:
“CAIR-NY is incredibly thankful for Essma’s courage is speaking out about the disturbing and toxic workplace she experienced at BlackRock. Change requires brave individuals, like Essma, to expose racism and discrimination.
BlackRock claims to be a diverse and welcoming place for Muslims and people of color. Clearly, Essma’s experience shows that BlackRock is failing to meet its commitment and has allowed an Islamophobic, racist, sexist, and toxic workplace to run rampant. BlackRock must investigate these allegations, make those harmed whole, and hold all parties accountable.
CAIR-NY encourages victims at BlackRock to tell their stories, either publicly or through a confidential mechanism like contacting our office for a confidential report. We are determined to stand in solidarity with Essam and those who have been victimized at BlackRock. Everyone deserves a workplace free of harassment and discrimination.”
Mohamed noted that victims or witnesses may file an incident report at www.cair-ny.org/incident-report; by phone at 646-665-7599; or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mohamed also encouraged community members and allies to stand in solidarity with Essam and others by signing this petition to end racism and discrimination at BlackRock:
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, 862-264-9414, email@example.com; CAIR-NY Legal Director Ahmed Mohamed; 646-481-2103; firstname.lastname@example.org