Al Jazeera America Faces $15M Anti-Semitism, Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Matthew Luke, Al Jazeera America’s (AJA) former director of media and archive management, was fired because he complained about his boss’s constant “anti-American and anti-Semitic rants,” a new lawsuit alleges.

Luke’s former boss at Al Jazeera, Osman Mahmud, the AJA news editor, allegedly talked about how supporters of Israel “should die a fiery death in hell,” according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. Luke also alleged that Mahmud showcased “overt misogynistic behavior and bias against woman,” the New York Post reports.

The former employee of the Qatari-owned news network is seeking $15 million dollars as part of his discrimination lawsuit, which alleged that Mr. Mahmud rose up the ranks at AJA “because of his religion, nationality,” and ties to Al Jazeera officers.

Luke would eventually be fired because he “did not fit into the company culture,” according to his testimony.

The lawsuit invokes several complaints against Mr. Mahmud:

As an employee at AJAM, Mr. Mahmud’s discriminatory conduct included, but was not limited to, removing female employees from projects to which they had been previously assigned by other management level employees, excluding women from emails and meetings relevant to their assignments, and making discriminatory, anti-Semitic and anti-American remarks such as “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell.”

Luke’s attorney told the New York Post: “When 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.” He added, “One would expect more from an organization whose mission statement is ‘to be recognized as the world’s leading and most trusted media network.’”

Al Jazeera has previously been accused of having a strong bias in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terrorist group supported by the network’s host country.

In 2013, 22 members of Al Jazeera’s Egypt staff resigned after complaining that the news network reported one-sided information in favor of the Brotherhood.

Eighteen months after it first broke ground in the United States, Al Jazeera America is losing billions of dollars in trying to attract an audience. According to a recent Breitbart News report, AJA is spending $73,519 per viewer. On average, the network only pulls in about 27,000 viewers, according to reports.


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