Appearing on Fox News with host Dana Perino, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro calmly dismantled advocates for Islamic extremist and darling of the Left Linda Sarsour, who called for a “jihad” against President Trump and his administration on Sunday.
Sarsour had stated:
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.
Writing about Sarsour’s rhetoric in The Daily Wire, Shapiro stated, “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.”
Sarsour, responding to critics of her rhetoric, tweeted, “Right wing tries to demonize my leadership. Editing videos is their favorite pastime.” The Daily Wire‘s original piece contained the entire video of Sarsour’s speech.
Joining Perino and Shapiro on Fox was Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Shibly consistently and loudly interrupted both Shapiro and Perino, but in the end it made little difference as Shapiro went after him.
When Perino asked Shibly how Sarsour’s remarks had been taken out of context, Shibly replied:
Jihad means to struggle for good. She was very clear that it’s our duty as Americans and Muslims to put forward our best effort to struggle to speak truth to power to help the disenfranchised, to stand for the oppressed no matter what the cost is of speaking out. And she’s actually paying the price of speaking out and calling the Trump Administration’s attacks on minorities and attacks against women. Linda’s a revolutionary American Muslim proud hijab-sporting activist and we stand with her … to stand with all the disenfranchised minorities, to make America great by standing for justice and speaking truth to power, which is exactly what jihad is about.
Perino turned to Shapiro, asking him to tell why he thought Sarsour’s words were not taken out of context. He replied:
It clearly wasn’t taken out of context; everybody I know who posted this story posted the entire video, as well as a large portion of the transcript from what she said. I don’t think anybody is claiming that she openly called for violence against President Trump, but jihad means more than just internal struggle, or “struggle for good.” We all know that there are terrorists all over the world who use the word “jihad” as justification for what they do, and Linda Sarsour knows that too. She knows how to make headlines; she is a radical anti-Semite who has backed terrorists in the past; she is a person who said Ayaan Hirsi Ali should have her genitals removed —
Shibley interrupted, ranting that Shapiro was “smearing” Sarsour, snapping, “Don’t smear a woman who’s not here to defend herself.”
Shapiro calmly responded, “Fine, I’ll talk about CAIR instead. CAIR is an organization that was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial of 2007.”
Shibley, although he had told Shapiro not to attack Sarsour, prompting Shapiro to shift targets, started accusing Shapiro of switching subjects, then went back to defending the use of the term jihad, saying, “Let’s talk about what jihad means.”
Shapiro was ready to debate that; he said:
If you want to talk about context, let’s talk about the full context, which is who Linda Sarsour is, the fact that she began this speech praising a guy, who has, in the past, talked about how jihad includes violent jihad. She started her speech with that, so let’s not pretend that you can just — you’re the one taking this one line out of context and then suggesting that it only refers to this sort of anodyne version of jihad.
Perino turned to Shibley, asking how Sarsour could be unaware that her remarks would cause backlash.
Shibley argued that it was important for Sarsour to use jihad in order to “reclaim” the word “from the extremists that have misdefined it and misrepresented it.”
Perino accused Shibley of “whistling past the graveyard,” then turned to Shapiro, saying, “The reclamation, Ben; it’s too late for that.”
When Shibley interrupted again, saying, “It isn’t too late,” Shapiro fired back, “If it isn’t too late, I’d like to hear CAIR come out right now and condemn the Muslim Brotherhood. How about Hamas? Will you condemn Hamas?”
Shibley said, “Why would we condemn the Muslim Brotherhood?”
Shapiro: “You can’t reclaim jihad and Islamic extremists without condemning the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Shibley: “We don’t condemn political organizations. … Why don’t you condemn the KKK?”
Perino attempted to give Shapiro the last word. He said: “Okay if you want to reclaim the word ‘jihad,’ you can start by condemning organizations that promote jihad all over the world instead of associating with them, or praising them, and talking about people associated with terrorism in positive tones.”
But Shibley, ignoring the fact that Perino had given Shapiro the last word, ranted until Perino had to sign off on the segment.