Home Christian News Former RZIM Leader: Abdu Murray Interview With the McDowells ‘Not Appropriate’

Former RZIM Leader: Abdu Murray Interview With the McDowells ‘Not Appropriate’

One example of Murray’s hostility was his response to RZIM’s public relations manager Ruth Malhotra when she tried to obtain information about Lori Anne Thompson’s allegations. Malhotra has said she was “systematically marginalized, maligned, and misrepresented to others by key members of senior leadership,” including Murray, whom she said accused her of being “cynical.” 

But Murray did more than call Malhotra “cynical,” said Weitnauer. “He forced Ruth on a sabbatical, and he confiscated her computer and phone to make sure she had nothing incriminating about Ravi on her devices. And he wanted to fire her for her disloyalty. And that was humiliating and harsh and abusive treatment of Ruth. And this is happening at the same time that no one looks at Ravi’s phones. No one checks Ravi’s phone records. And the board doesn’t do anything to investigate Ravi.”

READ: The Story Behind the Ravi Zacharias Allegations (Part 2): ‘Cursory’ Investigations and More Accusations

The McDowells did not mention Ruth Malhotra, nor her claims about Murray’s treatment of her, but they did praise Murray for the errors he did acknowledge and for his humility. This praise ultimately was “a form of victim shaming” said Weitnaeur, even though he does not believe this was the McDowells’ intention.

Ruth Malhotra on What the McDowells Missed

In a response to Murray’s interview with the McDowells, Ruth Malhotra stated that the the two men failed to challenge Murray with key questions.  

“There’s nothing wrong with Sean & Josh giving their friend @AbduMurray a platform on their program,” she said. “The problem is they gave him an *unchallenged* platform. They neglected to ask Abdu necessary questions, especially given his continued role as Senior VP & General Counsel of RZIM.” She continued, “I deeply desire that @AbduMurray and @RZIMhq’s entire Senior Leadership Team be genuinely repentant. But they are still advancing a whitewashed narrative related to key aspects of the sexual abuse crisis, as sadly Abdu appeared to do on @Sean_McDowell & @josh_mcdowell’s program.”

Malhotra listed a variety of questions the McDowells could have asked Murray, which she said are “just a few of several questions many people believe deserve to be answered.” Among them are:

-Have you listened to those who initially raised objections internally? If not, why not? If so, what have you learned from them?

-How did you, Abdu, respond to @RZIMhq staff who asked the leadership to consider bringing in experts on sexual abuse at the start of the investigative process?

-You mentioned hiring a law firm & investigative firm. RZIM said they were investigating on Sept.15. @MillerMartinLaw were engaged on Oct.7. Did the 1st law firm you hired have connections to the attorneys who represented Ravi in his 2017 RICO lawsuit? Why were they retained?

-Were Ravi Zacharias’s RICO lawyers involved at any point in the investigation or aftermath? If so, are they still involved in representing RZIM at present?

Malhotra’s questions touch on something Carson Weitnauer mentioned as well: Miller & Martin was not the first law firm that RZIM engaged for its independent investigation. “The first law firm that they hired was Watson Spence,” said Weitnauer. “And my belief is they hired Watson Spence because they wanted to hire one of Ravi’s RICO lawyers to do the investigation.” 

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Jessica is a writer for ChurchLeaders.com. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past two years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.