Democrat Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown has reinstated a member of the state’s hate crime task force who had previously been suspended due to her anti-Israel social media posts. Zainab Chaudry, an anti-Israel activist serving as the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Maryland office, was suspended from her role on the Maryland Commission on Hate Crimes Response and Prevention on November 21.
Chaudry’s social media posts, which included antisemitic content and conspiracy theories, came to light following the brutal October 7 Hamas attack that claimed the lives of more than 1,200 people, including children and infants, along with numerous incidents of assault and property destruction.
However, Attorney General Anthony Brown’s decision to reinstate Chaudry is based on a legal interpretation. Brown explained, “Upon further review, it was determined that the law establishing the Commission directs the Attorney General to appoint members to a 4-year fixed term but does not provide the Attorney General the authority to remove a Commissioner before the expiration of their term nor the authority to suspend a Commissioner during their term of service.” He noted that the law did not explicitly address removal or suspension of members and stated that any such authority would need to be granted by statute through legislative action.
Brown also announced that before the Commission’s next meeting on December 13, he will distribute draft operating guidelines to members, which will address personal communications and the balance between members’ freedom of speech and their responsibilities as Commissioners.
Chaudry’s controversial posts, made in the aftermath of the Hamas attack, included claims such as, “I will never be able to understand how the world summoned up rage for 40 fake Israeli babies while completely turning a blind eye to 3,000 real Palestinian babies” in a Facebook post dated October 26. She also shared images on October 17 comparing the Israeli flag on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to the Nazi flag during the 1936 Olympics, and suggested that the existence of Israel as a nation was the root cause of ongoing conflict.
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