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Activists petition NY Supreme Court to block antisemitic CUNY Law grad from working as an attorney

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By WorldIsraelNews.com Staff

A New York-based human rights group is petitioning the New York State Supreme Court to bar a law school graduate with a history of making anti-Zionist and antisemitic public statements from practicing law.

On Wednesday, The Lawfare Project urged the Character and Fitness Committees of the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division to reject any future application by Fatimah Mousa Mohammed — a recent graduate of the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law — to practice law in the state.

In order to enter the legal profession, in addition to graduating from law school and passing the bar examination, the state bar requires certification of a candidate’s good moral character and fitness. According to The Lawfare Project’s petition, Mohammed’s actions – including her anti-Jewish rhetoric – make clear that she does not meet these requirements.

On May 12, 2023, at the CUNY Law School graduation ceremony, Mohammed delivered an inflammatory speech in which she used her platform to repeatedly vilified “Zionists,” “Zionism,” and the State of Israel. Expressions of hatred and prejudice towards “Zionists” are widely understood as being directed towards Jews.

Mohammed has previously published highly anti-Jewish remarks on social media and reportedly spoke at a rally held in New York City by Within Our Lifetime (WOL), an anti-Jewish hate group, during which a WOL member violently assaulted a Jewish bystander (and client of The Lawfare Project) and is currently serving an 18-month federal prison sentence. Rally participants were instructed by WOL to refer to targets as “Zionists” rather than “Jews” — just as Mohammed did during her graduation speech.

In its letter to the Character and Fitness Committees, The Lawfare Project wrote: “The legal profession plays a pivotal role in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of all individuals, irrespective of their religious or ethnic background.

“Lawyers must maintain impartiality and treat all clients, colleagues, and members of the public with dignity and respect. Indeed, the Application for Admission to Practice as an Attorney and Counselor-at-Law in the State of New York specifically asks applicants if they have engaged in behavior that would call into question their ability to practice law in a competent, ethical, and professional manner. Ms. Mohammed’s expression of hostile and discriminatory views leaves no doubt that she is incapable of adhering to these tenets and fulfilling her responsibilities as a legal professional.”

Benjamin Ryberg, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Research at The Lawfare Project, said Mohammed “has a history of publicly expressing prejudiced and discriminatory views, specifically demonstrating a profound animosity towards the Jewish community. These views are fundamentally incompatible with the ethical obligations and principles upheld by the legal profession and leave no question that Ms. Mohammed lacks the character and fitness to practice law.”

Anti-Israel propaganda was not the most alarming part of Mohammed’s speech, which included “rage” against American institutions and values and encouraged “revolution.”

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