CHICAGO (Diya TV) – In response to antisemitic comments linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict, an attorney from the Illinois Comptroller’s Office, Sarah Chowdhury, has been fired. The offensive remarks were exposed by the Instagram account “Big Law Boiz,” leading to Chowdhury’s dismissal within 90 minutes of the office learning about the comments.
Chowdhury’s disturbing messages included explicit antisemitic language such as “F***ing Jew,” and “Hitler should have eradicated all of you.” The Illinois Comptroller’s Office expressed zero tolerance for antisemitism or hate speech, stating that Chowdhury admitted to at least some of the posts.
The incident unfolded when the Instagram account, typically known for lighter content, received hateful messages from Chowdhury, who was promptly identified as an attorney. The posts quickly went viral, prompting her termination and subsequent resignation from her role as President of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago.
In a statement, the SABA Chicago board said “we are deeply saddened and horrified by her words and their impact on our friends, families, and colleagues, and apologize for any harm they may have caused. Her words are not and will never be reflective of SABA Chicago. To be clear, SABA Chicago condemns such hateful rhetoric and is committed to supporting our communities and all those impacted by hate. We will not tolerate such behavior by any of our members.”
Chowdhury has expressed remorse, calling her comments “reprehensible” and apologized for the offensive content. The Illinois Comptroller’s Office said its office is committed to combating antisemitism, asserting that such behavior would not be tolerated.
This incident reflects a broader trend, with similar cases emerging globally. Cornell Law Professor Russell Rickford faced calls for termination over comments related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, while some law students at prestigious institutions faced employment offer withdrawals due to anti-Israel statements.
It should be noted the South Asian Bar Association has long been a venue where attorneys gathered to support each other in what is a challenging profession. But in recent years, the organization has had a number of their leaders take controversial stances on some of the most divisive subjects facing the diaspora, such as caste discrimination legislation and the formation of a separate Sikh nation known as Khalistan.
Editor’s Note: Diya TV has been a proud media partner of the South Asian Bar Association for a decade, but was disinvited from the most recent SABA National Conference in Boston just days before the event for the ‘capacity’ reasons.
While we are still awaiting a full explanation, we do know SABA endorsed California’s controversial SB-403 caste discrimination bill that was recently vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom. If you are reading this note, then you likely know Diya TV was on the frontlines of covering this very controversial story and showcased all viewpoints, including those that were deeply concerned South Asians would be discriminated against if the bill became law & that this would become a new point of contention for attorneys to contend over. We are likely to see versions of this type of bill show up in the months ahead and Diya TV will be there to distill it all for you, without fear or favor.