The holy Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. During the Pilgrimage. (AP/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Now the commission is being sued in federal court for discriminating against Muslims, our colleague Michelle Boorstein reported last week.

The lawsuit alleges the nine-member commission reneged on hiring a Muslim lawyer in 2009 once members learned of her faith and her work advocating for Muslim-Americans. (None of the current members was on the commission at the time.)

The lawsuit says USCIRF staff encouraged Safiya Ghori-Ahmad, who worked briefly at the commission, to call in sick on the days that particular commissioners were in the office, to “downplay her religious affiliation” and to emphasize that she is a “mainstream and ‘moderate’ Muslim” who doesn’t cover her hair.