Activist Linda Sarsour defends her call for ‘jihad’ against Trump, calls her critics ‘Islamophobes’

Activist Linda Sarsour defends her call for ‘jihad’ against Trump, calls her critics ‘Islamophobes’
Linda Sarsour following her arrest at the Women’s March on Washington

On Sunday, The Washington Post published an op-ed by Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour. In it, she defended her use of the highly-charged term jihad in calling for Muslim resistance against President Trump and referred to her conservative critics as Islamophobes for daring to see her comments as a potential call to violence.

She wrote:

This week, conservative media outlets took a speech I gave to the largest gathering of Muslims in America out of context and alleged that I had called for a violent ‘jihad’ against the president. I did not. Sadly, this is not a new experience for me. Since the Women’s March on Washington, which I had the privilege of co-chairing with inspirational women from across the country, my family and I have received countless threats of physical violence. These ugly threats come from people who also spout anti-Muslim, xenophobic and white-supremacist beliefs. Their sole agenda is to silence and discredit me because I am an effective leader for progress, a Palestinian American and Brooklyn-born Muslim woman. In short, I am their worst nightmare.

Translation: Anyone critical of me is a bigot and a white supremacist.

According to Sarsour, her speech was  “a call to speak truth to power and to commit to the struggle for racial and economic justice.”

In the speech, which she delivered at the convention of the Islamic Society of Northern America, she said:

I hope that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad.

We are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad … but here in the United States of America where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reining in the White House.

Moreover, she encouraged Muslims not to assimilate into the great melting pot called the 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,” she said. “And our top priority … is to please Allah, and only Allah.”

So much for E Pluribus Unum.

“Most disturbing about this recent defamation campaign is how it is focused on demonizing the legitimate yet widely misunderstood Islamic term I used, ‘jihad,’ which to majority of Muslims and according to religious scholars means ‘struggle’ or ‘to strive for,’” Sarsour added. “This term has been hijacked by Muslim extremists and right-wing extremists alike, leaving ordinary Muslims to defend our faith and in some cases silenced. It sets a dangerous precedent when people of faith are policed and when practicing their religion peacefully comes with consequences.”

The op-ed was hailed by the Left as a manifesto of sorts. Sarsour admirer and Daily News columnist Chuck Modiano tweeted out:

One non-Kool-Aid drinker answered back.

Another responded to Modiano by invoking the terror attacks of 9/11:

Still another countered:

The Daily Caller had this to say:

Sarsour vowed to keep fighting in spite of the attacks from “xenophobes and conservative media” because “dissent is the highest form of patriotism, and I intend to continue to push my country to respect the rights of all its citizens. I will not be silenced.”

Despite being a Women’s March organizer, Sarsour has been particularly dismissive of certain issues affecting women. When news broke of the Michigan doctors allegedly performing female genital mutilation on girls as young as seven, Sarsour’s responded to a commenter who asked if she cried over it with “I sure do.”

She has also wished she could take away the vagina of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a female genital mutilation survivor.

This focus on herself is nothing new for Sarsour, as Daniel Pipes notes in a lengthy post here.

Sarsour’s op-ep, while bellicose, is worth reading in its entirety in that it helps true Americans to “know the enemy.”

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Joe Newby

Joe Newby

Joe Newby is an IT professional. He has written for Conservative Firing Line, Examiner, NewsBusters, and Spokane Faith and Values.


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