Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Dutch Bureaucrat May Sue After Being Suspended For Saying Zionists Founded ISIS

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A Dutch Justice Ministry employee who was suspended and threatened with termination for saying that Zionists invented the Islamic State terrorist group can sue for damages, a judge ruled.

Yasmina Haifi, a former senior cybersecurity specialist, was “too harshly punished” for making a statement that is protected by freedom of speech, according to a ruling last week by a Hague magistrate.

The decision came three years after Haifi was suspended from her National Cyber Security Center post for writing on Twitter that “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It’s part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam’s name.”

She was then readmitted as a ministry employee in a different position and warned she would be fired if she continues to express herself in a manner deemed extremist.

In a lawsuit against the ministry, Haifi said the probation made her feel “muzzled” and that she had no prospects for advancement.

The judge said a written reprimand would have sufficed, according to NRC. The ruling also stated that Haifi, who removed the message from Twitter soon after she posted it, “received much negative publicity” because “opinion shapers, media and columnists jumped on the issue.”

Last year, Haifi complained to the College for Human Rights, a government watchdog, that she was singled out for disciplinary action because of her origins, which are Muslim.

Haifi has denied accusations in the media that her remark was anti-Semitic, insisting that she merely had expressed her views on the “supporters of an ideology.”


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.