Who is Mashal Sherzad? Pro-Palestine ex-DEI manager sues Minnesota University after firing over swastika photo - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Who is Mashal Sherzad? Pro-Palestine ex-DEI manager sues Minnesota University after firing over swastika photo

ByShweta Kukreti
Apr 27, 2024 04:39 PM IST

A DEI manager at the University of Minnesota was fired after she was pictured standing in front of an Israeli flag with swastikas emblazoned on it.

A diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) manager at the University of Minnesota was fired after she was pictured standing in front of an Israeli flag with swastikas emblazoned on it.

Mashal Sherzad, 29, uploaded the now-deleted pictures from a pro-Palestinian rally on social media.(afghanminx/Instagram)
Mashal Sherzad, 29, uploaded the now-deleted pictures from a pro-Palestinian rally on social media.(afghanminx/Instagram)

Mashal Sherzad, 29, uploaded the now-deleted pictures from a pro-Palestinian rally on social media.

Just two months after starting her job in October 2023, Sherzad, a Muslim who is in a relationship with a woman, travelled to Barcelona to join a pro-Palestinian demonstration.

Melinda Pettigrew, the dean of the university's School of Public Health, fired her from post in January and said she may pose a “real risk of significant disruption”, given the current climate around the Israel-Hamas war, Daily Mail reported.

‘I did nothing wrong’, says Sherzad as she files lawsuit against school

Following this, model-turned former DEI manager Sherzad has brought a lawsuit against the university, alleging discrimination and First Amendment violations.

In a statement, she said, "I did nothing wrong," claiming that they discarded a proud Queer, Muslim, Afghan and SWANA woman.

Sherzad is seeking more than $75,000 in damages in addition to the reinstatement of her employment.

Also Read: Who is Achinthya Sivalingam? Indian-origin student held in US, banned from Princeton University over anti-Israel protest

On Friday, she also held a press conference and stated the flag belonged to someone else and she is not liable “for somebody else's intellectual property”.

“I'm really, really scared for myself for many reasons. What happened to me was wrong, legally, factually, emotionally. It was horrifying for me, my family, and my loved ones,” she added while sharing how the firing has affected her,

According to her supporters, those who express solidarity with Palestinians amid the ongoing war and raise concerns over violence against them are being unfairly targeted.

All you need to know about Mashal Sherzad and her GoFundMe account

With her 4,000 Instagram followers, Sherzad keeps sharing pro-Palestinian posts. She has also posted many stunning pictures of herself, and her biography indicates that she has worked with renowned modeling agency Ford.

She has shared videos of herself raising pro-Palestine slogans at rallies.

Sherzad started a GoFundMe page to raise "financial resources" for her court battle over "wrongful firing," claiming that she has done nothing wrong.

Also Read: Columbia University Senate passes resolution to investigate the administration

She has explained on GoFundMe how she was pictured at the pro-Palestinian protest. She has received $1,300 in contributions so far.

"I was pictured in front of a Jewish man we had been chatting with who was holding a flag of Israel, with two swastikas drawn on either side of the Star Of David. It was not my property. It was not the way I would have expressed my feelings of concern and anger towards what has happened to Palestine and its People," she wrote.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, June 20, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On