Linda Sarsour is a Palestinian-American community activist who since 2005 has served as executive director of the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY), which views the U.S. as a nation awash in racism and Islamophobia. She is also a board member of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York, whose mission is to help elect as many Democrats as possible to political office.
An outspoken critic of Israel, Sarsour supports the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative that uses various forms of public protest, economic pressure, and court rulings to advance the Hamas agenda of permanently destroying Israel as a Jewish nation-state.
Vis-a-vis the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, Sarsour favors a one-state solution where an Arab majority and a Jewish minority would live together within the borders of a single country. She made clear her opposition to Israel's existence as a Jewish state when she tweeted in October 2012 that “nothing is creepier than Zionism.”
Falsely maintaining that “Palestine existed before the State of Israel,” Sarsour seeks to help “bring back a Palestinian State for the Palestinian people.” To advance this agenda, Sarsour has tweeted images of fraudulent maps claiming to depict the “Palestinian loss of land” that supposedly occurred between 1946 and 2000.
As the head of AAANY, Sarsour has played a central role in pressuring the New York Police Department to terminate its secret surveillance of Muslim mosques and organizations suspected of promoting extremism or terrorism, and to curtail its use of “stop-and-frisk” anti-crime measures. In 2011 she worked in conjuction with Communities United for Police Reform, a coalition to advance the passage of the Community Safety Act (which expanded the definition of bias-based profiling and created an independent inspector general to review police policy in New York City). Sarsour also succeeded in pressuring City Hall to close New York's public schools for the observance of the Islamic holidays Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
In May 2012 Sarsour tweeted that the so-called “underwear bomber,” an al-Qaeda operative who on Christmas Day 2009 had tried to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet with explosives hidden inside his underwear, was actually a CIA agent participating in America's “war on Islam.”
In a February 2015 appearance on Rachel Maddow's television program, Sarsour lamented that a nationwide epidemic of “Islamophobia” was responsible for “anti-sharia bills trying to ban us [Muslims] from practicing our faith,” “mosques being vandalized,” and Muslim “kids being executed” in the United States.
In August 2015 Sarsour spoke out in support of the incarcerated Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Muhammad Allan, a known recruiter of suicide bombers.
In October 2015, Sarsour posted on Twitter a photo of a young Palestinian boy clutching two stones as he stared down a group of Israeli soldiers, and labeled it “The definition of courage.” When numerous Twitter users, including Queens Councilman Rory Lancman, subsequently criticized Sarsour's controversial post, she tweeted in response: “The Zionist trolls are out to play. Bring it. You will never silence me.”
On Melissa Harris-Perry's television program on December 12, 2015, Sarsour lamented the allegedly long list of “attacks on [Muslim] individuals and on mosques” that had been perpetrated by Americans who -- by misperceiving all Muslims as potential terrorists -- were themselves “engaging in terrorism against the innocent [Muslim] community that has nothing to do with [terrorism].” Sarsour also scoffed at the notion of Muslim integration into American society: “We can't change who we are. This is how we look [with Muslim attire]. We can't integrate and assimilate.... We're gonna look like this when we walk out into the streets of our cities when we're traveling in this country.”
According to CounterJihad.com, Sarsour “has attended numerous rallies sponsored by Al-Awda, promoted and solicited donationsfor their events, and … spoken at their rallies. Sarsour has also solicited donations for the Hamas-affiliated Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.
Over the years, Sarsour's activism has extended also to racial matters within the United States. For instance, when the black, hoodie-donning Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was killed by a “white Hispanic” man in an infamous 2012 altercation, Sarsour penned an article titled “My Hijab Is My Hoodie” and declared herself “among the millions mourning the killing of Trayvon.” “Blacks in America continue to face racism on a daily basis,” she wrote, “from the workplace to interactions with law enforcement. And yet racism against African-Americans is publicly acknowledged as unacceptable.... Unfortunately, that’s not the case for Muslims in America. Bigotry against Muslims is quite acceptable.”
In the aftermath of an August 2014 incident where a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri had shot and killed a violent black criminal named Michael Brown, Sarsour co-founded Muslims for Ferguson, to draw a parallel between the respective forms of oppression allegedly suffered by black and Muslim Americans.
According to a New York Times report, Sarsour is “deeply involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.”
In October 2011, Sarsour, who holds free-market economics in low regard, expressed, on behalf of “Muslim New Yorkers,” “solidarity and support” for the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2011 as well, the Obama Administration honored Sarsour as a “champion of change.” Thus far, she has visited the Obama White House on seven different occasions.
This, then, is Linda Sarsour – a well-trained grievance monger whose very livelihood is founded upon her ability to convince large numbers of people that they are victims of an irredeemably bigoted and oppressive American society. In short, she has a great deal in common with President Obama. No wonder she's always welcome at the White House.