Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, recently slammed Linda Sarsour and other progressive leaders of the anti-Trump Women’s March for honoring a convicted cop killer — Assata Shakur.
In response, Sarsour proceeded to dismiss Tapper as a member of the “alt-right.”
Of all the possible ways to describe Tapper, “alt-right” is not one. Tapper is one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal critics. And he’s Jewish. Someone should tell Sarsour that this likely disqualifies him from membership in any white supremacist group. But Sarsour’s “resume,” Tapper’s condemnation of her, and their subsequent Twitter exchange all illustrate the extent to which Sarsour — and some of her progressive Left followers — are unhinged.
Shakur is a felon, and was convicted in 1977 for murdering a New Jersey police officer, assaulting another police officer, and committing a bank robbery. In 1979, she escaped prison and fled to Cuba. She remains on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” list to this day.
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Sarsour’s idolizing of Shakur follows on the heels of her presentation at the 54th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), where she called on Muslims to commit jihad against the American government.
“I hope that we, when we stand up to those who oppress our [Muslim] communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad,” Sarsour said. “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.”
In an interview soon after with the Washington Post, Sarsour was quick to clarify that her speech at ISNA was advocating solely for peaceful, nonviolent dissent, and that her call for jihad only meant the use of words. In a later op-ed for the publication, Sarsour doubled down on her claim that she was only calling for “nonviolent” jihad.
“Yeah, and the swastika is just a Tibetan good luck charm,” as the late comedian Robin Williams so eloquently put it.
Sarsour began her ISNA presentation by thanking her “favorite person” in the room, Imam Siraj Wahaj, praising him as her “mentor, motivator and encourager.” Wahaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, has called for violent jihad, and for replacing the US government with an Islamic caliphate. Sarsour’s mentor has also denounced homosexuality as “a disease of this [American] society,” noting that the penalty for homosexuality under Islamic law is death.
But this doesn’t seem right. How can such a self-declared progressive like Sarsour have such a violent, homophobic bigot for a mentor? Maybe the history of ISNA can shed some light on this glaring contradiction.
Federal prosecutors have said that ISNA is part of the US Muslim Brotherhood network set up to funnel money to the terrorist group Hamas. ISNA conferences have long featured radical Islamists, antisemites, Holocaust-deniers and homophobes as keynote speakers.
At this year’s ISNA convention, a pro-LGBT and feminist Muslim organization was expelled from tabling. Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), whose pamphlets advocate for LGBT and women’s equality within Islam, drew the ire of an ultra-orthodox attendee, resulting in ISNA staff asking MPV to close up shop and vacate the venue.
“We’re really sick and tired of the hypocrisy of them [ISNA] claiming to be LGBT allies,” said Ani Zonneveld, the founder and president of MPV. “They’re only an ally when the camera is on.”
Strangely, Sarsour hasn’t uttered one word of protest against the group’s exclusion, despite vocally leading a national march and “movement” against what she calls President Trump’s anti-LGBT regime. But to be fair, she may have been too busy swindling Jewish cemeteries out of their money. Back in March, an organization connected to Sarsour pledged $100,000 to conduct necessary repairs at a Colorado Jewish cemetery. The money has yet to arrive.
The ever-so-peaceful, nonviolent Sarsour has also called for the genital mutilation of women who disagree with her. In 2011, this self-described progressive feminist tweeted against Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Brigitte Gabriel, an Arab Christian survivor of the Lebanese Civil War, stating that they did not deserve to be women, and that she wanted to take away their vaginas.
This is especially vile considering that Ali was a victim of female genital mutilation as a five-year-old in Somalia. When a student confronted Sarsour about the tweet, she attacked the student for being a white man.
Sarsour’s latest Twitter argument against Tapper confirms that she doesn’t really care about racial equality, LGBT rights or the rights of women. For all of her screeching at critics to “check their privilege,” a better idea would be for Sarsour to check her gigantic ego at the door.
Bradley Martin is a fellow with the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center and deputy editor for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.
A version of the article was originally published by the Federalist.
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