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.