By Ben Shapiro
July 12, 2017
Muslim-American activist Linda Sarsour speaks at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in Chicago, July 2017. (Screenshot)
Last week, Women’s March organizer and leftist darling Linda Sarsour spoke before the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). There, she called for a “jihad” against President Trump, specifying that she hoped Allah would accept her “word of truth in front of a tyrant or leader” as a “form of jihad.” Sarsour was playing a double game, naturally: She used the word “jihad” because she knew it would generate headlines and because she knew that “jihad” means more than any mere mental struggle. In fact, Sarsour led off her speech by paying tribute to Siraj Wajjah, her “favorite person in the room.” Wajjah was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a witness on behalf of the Blind Sheikh terrorist, and a man who has repeatedly embraced the notion of violent jihad. Sarsour, too, explicitly rejected assimilation. Sarsour is also friends with Islamist terrorist Rasmeah Odeh, took a picture with former Hamas operative Salah Sarsour, and brags about relatives in prison in Israel.
Sarsour’s two-faced approach to “Islamophobia” demonstrates her extremism. While she complains in the pages of the Washington Post about “attacks from xenophobes and the conservative media,” she was far more explicit on Twitter about her perceived enemies: “white supremacists & right wing Zionists,” whom she said were even paying moderate Muslims who oppose Sarsour’s radicalism. “Zionist” is the ultimate insult in the Sarsour pantheon: She has stated in the past that Zionists cannot be feminists. She has also stated that anti-radical Islamic activists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a victim of Islamic female genital mutilation, should have their vaginas removed. Sarsour is a big fan, however, of Saudi Arabia’s maternity-leave policies, even if women aren’t allowed to drive.
The group before which Sarsour was speaking, ISNA, has its own issues with terrorist associations. ISNA was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members and was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terror-funding trial; ISNA actually shared an address with the Holy Land Foundation. One of the founders of the group was Sami Al-Arian, who would later be deported to Turkey thanks to his aid to terrorist groups. For years, the head of the ISNA Political Awareness Committee was led by Abdurahman Alamoudi, who would be convicted on terror charges.
Suffice it to say that neither Sarsour nor ISNA has a clean record with regard to “jihad.”
The double game being played by some supposedly Westernized Muslim institutions in the West became clear when I appeared on Fox News last Friday evening with Dana Perino and Hassan Shibly, a spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR was recently listed as a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates; like ISNA, CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, with significant links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
During the interview, I stated some of the facts about Sarsour; Shibly quickly complained that I was attacking Sarsour in her absence. At that point, I asked Shibly about CAIR’s own associations with terrorism — and Shibly then accused me of shifting topics.
He could not escape answering one critical question, however: Would he condemn the Muslim Brotherhood? Shibly declined to do so, claiming that CAIR did not condemn “political organizations,” stating that I would not denounce the KKK — which, to his surprise, I promptly did. He then refused to answer whether CAIR would even denounce Hamas. In reality, CAIR has never denounced Hamas, and a CAIR rally in 2013 featured participants shouting, “We are Hamas!” Yet Shibly had the gall to claim that “jihad” meant only “struggle for good.”
Despite all of this, the Democratic party continues to revere Sarsour, ISNA, CAIR, and other faux moderates in the Muslim community. As long as radical Muslims are willing to make common cause with other Democratic identity groups — LGBT, black, female, Hispanic — then Democrats are willing to overlook their more dangerous aspects. In fact, the Democratic party has decided that it is a high priority to ensure the presence of radical Muslims in their coalition — Trump, after all, has targeted radical Islam, and the grand Axis of Victimhood would be bereft without representatives of that group, too. Thus, the Chicago Dyke March banned Jews from flying a flag with a Jewish star on it lest it offend the anti-Semites in the crowd.
The Democratic party’s celebration of Sarsour — both Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama have praised her to the skies — exposes the poison that intersectionality injects into the body politic. Sarsour may just be an activist, but Representative Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), who shares her views, nearly became head of the Democratic National Committee last year.
Pandering to radicals of all stripes is only possible if Democrats castigate President Trump and Republicans as a frightening “other” — how else would they be able to justify jumping into bed with such nefarious actors? Bound together by the glue of hatred, Sarsour and Sanders and Obama and Ellison fight next to one another on behalf of the cause. Never mind that Sarsour’s utopia looks nothing like Sanders’s. As long as they have a common enemy, they’ll make alliances of convenience.
— Ben Shapiro is the editor in chief of the Daily Wire.