Washington State Teacher and former NEA Board Member Shares Link to Palestinian Fundraiser Organized by Islamic Preacher Who Denies 10/7 Attack Took Place


Parents Defending Education filed several FOIA requests for records in the possession of teachers who signed an “Educators for Palestinian Freedom” Statement of Support and Call to Action.

Sobia Sheikh, who identified herself on the petition as an educator at Mariner High School in the Mukilteo School District, is listed as a board member on the National Education Association’s 2022 Form 990, and also served on the NEA Task Force on Safe, Just, and Equitable Schools which released a policy report in 2022.

On October 30, 2023, a counselor in the district asked Sheikh where she might donate to Palestinians needing emergency relief; Sheikh provided a link to a fundraiser by “WaqForever,” a registered UK charity based in Cardiff and run by Ali Hammuda.

Hammuda is a controversial figure in the UK; in October 2023, Labor Party Leader Keir Starmer faced blowback after meeting with Hammuda, given the Islamic cleric’s statements that the October 7 terror attack in Israel “simply never happened… there was no massacre of 260 people, there was no mass rape that took place at all, there was not the beheading of a single child, let alone 40 of them. There is zero evidence.”

(Hammuda’s lecture in question has since been taken down from YouTube for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech.)

Sheikh’s public Instagram page and Facebook page both contain misinformation about October 7, including that “Israeli [sic] killed their own people”:

She also shared memes comparing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler and alleging that Israelis steal Palestinian organs:

Sheikh was endorsed in her leadership bid in 2020 by the Washington Education Association’s “BAT Caucus” (BAT stands for “Bad Ass Teachers”); the caucus describes itself as “giving voice to every educator who refuses to be blamed for the failure of society to erase poverty and inequality through education.”