In a July speech, prominent progressive liberal social justice advocate and former executive director of the American Arab Association of New York, Linda Sarsour, called for “jihad” in the United States at the annual convention of The Islamic Society of North America.
Since the speech became public knowledge, a growing furor has erupted over social media over the outrageousness of her remarks and the lack of repudiation from her supporters. In the July 1st speech, Ms. Sarsour said:
“I hope that we, when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers, not only abroad in the Middle East or on the other side of the world, but here, in these United States of America…
Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community. It is not to assimilate and to please any other people in authority. Our obligation is to our young people, is to our women, to make sure our women are protected in our community, and our top priority, even higher than all those priorities, is to please Allah and only Allah.”
After calling for jihad in these United States of America, the activist attempted to reframe the statement as “a call to speak truth to power and to commit to the struggle for racial and economic justice” in an op-ed printed in The Washington Post. In the piece, which she entitles, “Islamaphobes are attacking me because I’m their worst nightmare”, Ms. Sarsour attempts to profile normal people who equate jihad with violence, death, and destruction as racist.
However, the same Islamic scripture that Ms. Sarsour cited in her convention speech was also used by a Muslim cleric to justify the murder of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. That man, a Muslim Imam, died in prison earlier this year after being convicted of terrorism charges in 1995. During the speech, Ms. Sarsour also thanked Imam Siraj Wahhaj as her, “favorite person in this room” and called him her “mentor, motivator and and encourager”. Imam Wahhaj was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and has made several extremist statements while in the United States against the United States and supports the creation of an Islamic State in the United States and using politics as a weapon for Islam.
While verbally embracing the radical Muslim cleric, Linda Sarsour has not bothered to distance herself or repudiate any of Imam Wahhaj’s previous comments. Or even mentioned the fact that Imam Wahhaj appeared as a character witness at the 1995 World Trade Center bombings trial.
While constantly talking about the ‘inclusivity’ of Islam, Ms. Sarsour has never failed to condemn the countless acts against women in Muslim governed countries not to mention the constant atrocities against homosexuals and the continuing practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). While the New York Times seems to want to downplay how prevalent FFM is worldwide its use in various forms is widespread throughout the world. In fact, cases of Female Genital Mutilation have now been reported in the United States.
Ms. Sarsour currently enjoys near-celebrity status among liberal progressives, being recruited to be co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March that was held the day after President Trump’s inauguration. This event was touted as an all-inclusive event but ended up excluding any woman with beliefs other than those prescribed by Linda Sarsour and the rest of the event organizers.
Picture: By Festival of Faiths from Louisville, United States – Islamophobia Discussion with Linda Sarsour, Ingrid Mattson, and Imam Zaid Shakir, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55128970