Rachael Dolezal 2.0? Mother of Muslim Activist Claiming to Be Woman of Color Says Her Daughter Is Really White

Rachael Dolezal 2.0? Mother of Muslim Activist Claiming to Be Woman of Color Says Her Daughter Is Really White

A Muslim activist who identifies as Latina, South Asian, and Arab is a white woman of British, German, and Italian descent, according to her own mother.

Raquel Evita Saraswati serves as the chief equity, inclusion, and culture officer for the American Friends Service Committee, a progressive activist group known for its social justice advocacy in the U.S. and abroad. But according to Saraswati’s birth mother, Carol Perone, Saraswati was born Rachel Elizabeth Seidel and isn’t the woman of color she presents as.

“I call her Rachel,” Perone told The Intercept. “I don’t know why she’s doing what she’s doing.”

Perone also shared photos of Saraswati as a child to prove her daughter is white and not biracial, as she claims.

“I’m as white as the driven snow and so is she,” Perone said.

In the photos her mother asked not to be published, Saraswati’s skin appears lighter than the bronzed look she sports today. Perone also shared her Ancestry.com results and a photo of her daughter’s deceased father.

Another family member of the Muslim activist also confirmed that Saraswati is white.

“I’m German and British, and her father was Calabrese Italian,” Perone added. “She’s chosen to live a lie, and I find that very, very sad.”

Perone says her daughter converted to Islam in high school and somehow, over time, decided she wanted to be a different ethnic identity. Oskar Pierre Castro is a human resources professional who participated in Saraswati’s hiring at the company.

He claims Saraswati presented herself as a “queer, Muslim, multiethnic woman.” The situation is similar to that of Rachel Dolezal, who presented herself as African American when securing a leadership role with the NAACP, only to be later identified as a white woman.

“In my mind, it was, ‘Great, a person of color, a queer person of color, who happens to be a Muslim, it’s a woman, all these things, and someone who seemed to get it. I definitely feel conned. … I feel deceived,” he shared.

Saraswati has yet to address the allegations, but the AFSC released a statement acknowledging the claims.

“AFSC has given Raquel the opportunity to address the allegations against her, and Raquel stands by her identity,” the statement read.

“Raquel also assures us that she remains loyal to AFSC’s mission, which we firmly believe.” The statement added that “AFSC does not require any employee to ‘prove’ their heritage as a condition of their employment, or in order to be valued as a member of our team.”