Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Al Jazeera Worker Claims Boss Says Pro-Israel Colleagues ‘Should Die Fiery Death in Hell’

According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court, Matthew Luke was fired in February 10 days after he complained about the behavior of his supervisor, Osman Mahmud, to human resources. Luke worked as Al Jazeera America’s supervisor of media and archive management beginning in May 2013, before the news channel had formally launched. It has been on the air for 20 months.

Luke’s attorneys are seeking $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages for the company’s alleged retaliation against Luke for complaining about Mahmud.

The lawsuit accuses Mahmud, who oversaw Broadcast Operations and Technology at the network, of making remarks deemed anti-Semitic such as “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell,” and expressing a desire to replace an Israeli cameraman with a Palestinian one, as well as excluding women from emails and meetings, the TVNewser website reported. Mahmud, the suit says, also replaced female employees with male ones and filled positions with men of Middle Eastern descent.

Mahmud, who began as a news editor at the network, rose to his supervisory position because he was well connected with Al Jazeera America’s backers, the suit claims.

Al Jazeera in response to the suit said it does not comment on pending litigation.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

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.