After tape emerged on Thursday of Leftist icon, anti-Semite, Shariah-law advocate and Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour calling for “jihad” against President Trump and his administration, the Leftist media immediately sprang into action. Sarsour, they said, was blameless in this debacle — after all, she wasn’t advocating violence. The context of her remarks had to be taken into account.
Obviously, the context of Sarsour’s remarks matters. So, let’s look at the context. For reference, here is the entire video (which, by the way, we posted in our original story on this matter):
1. The Word "Jihad" Has Several Meanings. It is, of course, correct that the word “jihad” has been used in many different ways by different people. Its most obvious use throughout the world of political discourse has been violent; terrorists routinely invoke jihad, violent war against the nonbeliever. But moderate Muslims attempt to use the word “jihad” to mean struggle, whether internally or externally.
2. Sarsour Used “Jihad” To Mean “A Word Of Truth In Front Of A Tyrant Or Leader.” Here’s what Sarsour said regarding “jihad”:
There is a man who once asked our beloved prophet … he said to him, “What is the best form of jihad or struggle?’ And our beloved prophet … said to him, “A word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler or leader, that is the best form of jihad.” I hope, that 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 the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reining in the White House.
Note that in this formulation, speaking a “word of truth” is only “a form of jihad.” It is not the only legitimate form of jihad. Sarsour isn’t calling for violence against Trump here, but she’s using the word "jihad" with full awareness of the other contexts in which jihad is used.
3. Sarsour Praised An Alleged Terror Co-Conspirator At The Outset Of Her Speech. Sarsour proclaims that her words regarding “jihad” should be taken in their least suggestive way — as a mere synonym for Leftist “resistance.” It’s hard to take them that way when she opened her speech by praising Siraj Wajjah, “her favorite person in the room.” Wajjah was listed as a possible unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, and testified on behalf of the Blind Sheikh. Wahhaj has a long history of speaking about jihad in the most traditional way: “I will never ever tell people ‘don’t be violent, that is not the Islamic way.’ The violence has to be selected.”
4. Sarsour Explicitly Rejected Assimilation To Western Values. In the “jihad” speech, Sarsour stated, “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. And our top priority … is to please Allah, and only Allah.” That’s no shock. She has a long history of advocating for shariah law and tut-tutting terrorism. That context must be taken into account when looking at the use of the word “jihad” as well. What is the end-goal here? Is it stock Leftism? Or is it something else?
5. Sarsour Knew What She Was Doing. Back in 2001, shortly after 9/11, President Bush gave a speech in which he called for a “crusade” against Islamist terrorism. The press went crazy, suggesting that this was the language of religious war. This was approximately a millennium after the actual crusades; the word crusade has been stripped of its religious meaning for centuries. Unlike the word crusade, the word “jihad” is alive and well as a mode of religious violence. Sarsour knows that, and she used the word anyway. Sarsour used the word “jihad” for a reason here: to seek attention, to link it with other “struggles” with which she identifies.