by Ari Lieberman
A wolf in progressive clothing.
Linda Sarsour is a dangerous demagogue who craves attention and revels in the spotlight. Ever the self-promoter, Sarsour is a master at manipulating leftist elements within the mainstream media into providing her with a platform to disseminate her odious views. The Washington Post is the latest press outlet to fall victim to her manipulations, allowing her to promote herself on their opinion page. This despite her well documented tribalism and anti-Semitism. She has made appearances on other left-wing media outlets as well where her rabid anti-Semitism has shamefully been left largely unchallenged by craven or ignorant hosts.
The most recent firestorm involving Sarsour centers on a speech she delivered to the Islamic Society of North America at their 54th annual convention. As meticulously documented by the Investigative Project of Terrorism, ISNA is a group that maintains ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The group was also named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the infamous Holy Land Foundation terror financing case. Sarsour felt at home and at ease speaking before this rancid collection of haters.
Sarsour is anything but humble and much of her 22-minute rant centered on her self-proclaimed accomplishments and egomaniacal promotion but there were elements of her screed that took on more ominous and threatening tones. Specifically, she invoked the call to “Jihad” to be waged in the name of “Allah” against the Trump administration, which she claimed was composed of “fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes.”
Sarsour knew her audience and her provocative calls for Jihad drew instant applause. Naturally, Sarsour denied any violent intent and subsequently claimed that her words were taken “out of context” – racists and xenophobes always claim to be taken out of context once they’re caught.
In another speech given at the same conference, Sarsour proudly proclaims her long-standing support for the anti-Semitic BDS movement. The speech further reveals Sarsour’s dark underside when she speaks of a “coordinated,” “Zionist” conspiracy to undermine her legitimacy. Her Zionist plotting rhetoric could have been taken straight out of David Duke’s playbook.
Given her history of demagoguery, Jew-hatred and radical extremism, Sarsour’s, inflammatory rhetoric and wild claims of Zionist conspiracies was unsurprising. We should expect no less from a person who embraces convicted murderers, claims that Zionism and feminism are incompatible, encourages violence against Israelis, promotes Sharia, supports BDS, berates a questioner because of the color of his skin, and wishes she could tear out the vaginas of women with whom she disagrees.
Sarsour also called upon her audience to refuse to assimilate. “Our number one priority,” she said, “is to protect and defend our community, it is not to assimilate and it is not to please any other people and authority…Our top priority even higher than all those priorities is to please Allah and only Allah!” That type of rancid drivel typifies the rhetoric that we are accustomed to hearing from Muslim hate preachers residing in Germany, France and the UK.
Also notable in Sarsour’s speech was what was omitted. In every forum where she is given a platform, the media savvy, intersectionalist Sarsour is always careful to note, in her litany of oppressed peoples, the LGBTQIA community. Her speech before ISNA however, highlighted the need to advocate for undocumented aliens and African Americans but somewhat curiously omitted members of the LGBT community.
Sarsour is a very deliberate person and her omission of this category of people was not an inadvertence but was in fact intentional. Sarsour was speaking before a crowd whose allegiance is to the Muslim Brotherhood, an ultra-conservative, radical Islamic sect that subscribes to the view that homosexuality is an abomination which warrants death. Sarsour did not wish to offend the religious beliefs of her audience and therefore dispensed with any mention of the group.
In fact, despite Sarsour’s public pronouncements of solidarity with the LGBT community, she has never criticized a Muslim country for its treatment of gays. In Iran, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Gaza and elsewhere in the Muslim world, Muslims are routinely murdered through state-sanctioned killings and yet Sarsour remains deafeningly mute. Some prominent LGBT activists have already noted Sarsour’s abject hypocrisy in this regard.
For Sarsour, her alliance with the LGBT community and faux sympathy with this group is strictly tactical; a way for her to broaden her coalition of hate and divisiveness. But her inherent xenophobia and religious dogma prevent her from truly embracing the LGBT community much the same way that her Islamic supremacist views prevent her from acknowledging any Jewish rights to a single centimeter of Israel.
Linda Sarsour may be many things but one thing she certainly is not, is progressive. Those who deny this unwavering fact are either willfully delusional or deliberately mendacious.
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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