by Ari Lieberman
Social media meltdown follows questions over funds raised for Jewish cemeteries.
Those of us following the news were unfortunately subjected to an unhealthy dose of Linda Sarsour this week. The self-promoting, egomaniacal, anti-Semite managed to deliberately stir a hornet’s nest with use of inflammatory rhetoric at a Muslim conference. In an address before the Islamic Society of North America, she called for a “Jihad” in the name of “Allah” against the Trump administration and encouraged her Muslim Brotherhood audience members (ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land-Hamas terror financing case) “not to assimilate and…not to please any other people and authority.”
Sasour, the crafty manipulator, then used the subsequent firestorm to insert herself into the news and the Washington Post provided her with a platform to spew her venomous propaganda. She penned an article where she claimed to have been “taken out of context,” feigned victimhood (victimizers are good at doing that) and termed those who criticized her, “Islamophobes.”
In Linda Sarsour’s world, those critical of her rancid views and actions – her support for BDS, her embrace of a convicted murderer, her tribalism and outright anti-Semitism and her desire to remove the vaginas of women with whom she finds disagreement – are branded “Islamophobes.” Sarsour then went on to give herself a gold star for being “their worst nightmare.” By “their” she meant “Islamophobes,” and by Islamophobes, she means everyone who disagrees with her, including those in the center-left camp (yes, they still exist).
The late Christopher Hitchens perceptively noted that the term “Islamophobic” is one that “was created by fascists and used by cowards to manipulate morons.” Sarsour’s banal employment of this dangerous and disingenuous term proves Hitchens’ point beyond any shadow of a doubt.
But Sarsour is a fraud. She claims to be a civil rights activist but is an anti-Semite. She preaches non-violence but encourages violence against Israelis. She claims to represent the feminist movement but advocates for Sharia which oppresses women, and bizarrely touts Saudi Arabia – a nation that forbids women drivers and punishes rape victims – as a nation that protects women’s rights. She claims to be an advocate for the LGBTQIA (she’s always careful to insert the “QIA” part) community but has yet to condemn the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Iran, Saudi Arabia or any Muslim country for their abysmal treatment of their respective LGBT communities.
Yet amazingly, Sarsour manages to find the time to relentlessly criticize Israel, the Mideast’s only democracy, and a nation that empowers women and provides statutory protections for its LGBT citizenry.
Sarsour may also be a fraud for other reasons. According to a report by the Algemeiner, in February and March, Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi, founder of the non-profit Islamic education organization Celebrate Mercy, partnered in an online campaign to raise money for vandalized or neglected Jewish cemeteries. How benevolent of Sarsour to collect money for dead Jews but at the same time, advocate violence against living ones.
The duo raised a total of raised $162,468, $50,000 of which was channeled to three cemeteries. $100,000 was pledged to a Jewish cemetery in Lakewood, Colorado that had fallen into severe disrepair but the money has yet to be delivered and the cemetery’s caretaker told the Algemeiner that his repeated calls to El-Messidi have gone unanswered. He does not believe that the promised funds will be forthcoming. That begs the question, where has the remaining $112,468 gone?
In response to the exposé, an unhinged Sarsour lashed out against the Algemeiner calling it “a right wing Zionist media outlet.” She also threatened legal action stating that those who inflicted “trauma” on her with these “propaganda campaigns” will “pay with their pockets.” Sarsour also tried to deflect responsibility and diminish her role by noting that “the money is being administered by [El-Messidi’s] Celebrate Mercy NOT me.” Finally Sarsour claimed that El-Messidi was “awaiting a proposal from the cemetery for potential costs so they can be allocated...” But that response doesn't explain why the caretaker's repeated phone calls to El-Messidi went unanswered. If El-Messidi was indeed awaiting some form of proposal, one would think he would have communicated this requirement to the designated donee.
This isn’t the first time that Sarsour has run afoul of an online crowd-funding campaign. In June, she commenced an online funding campaign for “sister Rahma,” a Somali Muslim woman who sustained injuries during a confused melee in Columbus Ohio. The rabblerousing Sarsour implied that the attack was inspired by racial and ethnic bias and made sure to identify the alleged attacker as white.
Sarsour’s account varied significantly from other witnesses at the scene who said that Rahma was part of a group of individuals who attacked a woman who was trying to intervene on behalf of an abused child. Columbus police said they could not make an arrest “due to the lack of physical evidence and conflicting stories.”
Yet Sarsour and her long-time partner in crime, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, (CAIR was also named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case) saw an opportunity to create some fake news. They had no problem with creating hoaxes and further fanning the flames of racial discord in an effort to maintain relevancy. It’s good for business.
Linda Sarsour has thrust herself into the spotlight through clever self-promotion and manipulation. But make no mistake; Sarsour is as rancid as she is dangerous. She is the David Duke of the left. But despite her odious views, the American Civil Liberties Union and other left-wing groups of similar ilk absurdly continue to stand by her. Anti-Semitism emanating from the hard-right is rightfully condemned but for some inexplicable reason, anti-Semitism emanating from the hard-left is given a free pass or largely ignored.
In February, American Conservative Union executive director Dan Schneider unequivocally condemned the so-called Alt-Right and its leaders in harsh and unambiguous terms. He accurately characterized its leaders as racist, sexist and anti-Semitic. The time has come for those on the center-left to emulate their colleagues on the center-right. They must discard their craven attitudes and issue a full-throated repudiation of Linda Sarsour and the evil that she embodies.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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