Linda Sarsour Would Like Your Attention to Her Full Remarks

I'm sure you've heard of Ms. Sarsour, if not before today than following her speech at the Islamic Society of North America. She would like you to watch the whole thing before making up your mind about it. It's about 24 minutes long, if you're inclined to do so; follow the link above.

I've lately been revisiting my opinion of Ms. Sarsour's reputation. What I had always heard about her from right-wingers and reform-minded Muslims was that she was an American Islamist who hated Jews and Israel; and I would have gone on believing that if I hadn't lately read a profile of her from a left-wing site claiming that she is an unprincipled politician who has no grasp of Islamism (which they approve of, this group) and who loves Jews and Israel -- or at least is willing to play very nice with them in order to advance her political career in NYC.

That reminded me enough of Chesterton's approach to criticism of Jesus and Christianity -- 'Old bucks who are growing stout might consider him insufficiently filled out; old beaux who are growing thin might feel he expanded beyond the narrow lines of elegance' -- as to be inclined to give her a look and see where she really stands. This is the speech she wants to stand on, by her own remarks; see what you think of it.


Grim said...

If anyone wants to compare notes, here are mine.

Major themes:

1) Opening "I stand with Linda!" video followed by lengthy remarks on how she wants to serve as a living example of what right looks like. Arrogant, but also tone-deaf: "I am the model for your lives" rarely sounds as good to an American audience as you think it will.

2) Segue into a second lengthy segment about the importance of intersectionality. This conveys her credibility as a member of the hard left, more than it says anything about her attachment to Islam.

3) Brief remarks on Islam, all built around a single reference to a statement by Mohammed that is pretty credible. This is her moment to try to attach her real cause, which sounds like hard leftism, to Islam (which, whatever its flaws, is not lived as a hard left faith by almost anyone). This moment is the focus of all of the criticism, but it's a small part of the speech and the most honestly Islamic moment in the speech: Mohammad apparently really did say that 'the best jihad' is 'a word of truth in front of a tyrannical ruler.' Furthermore, that's a pretty acceptable form of jihad as jihad goes.

4) A shift now to an endorsement of the left's love of credentials. This part is long, and it's New Class rather than Muslim: the idea is that you can't criticize experts, but should shut up and let them run the parts of your society over which they claim expertise.

5) A very long fundraising pitch, which I think after listening to it all is probably why she really came.

Minor themes:

She opens and closes with a brief invocation of a woman in whose honor this speech is being given. She did nothing to honor the woman besides mentioning her name, though; I know nothing about her from the content of this speech except that she has a family. This is really a speech in honor of Linda Sarsour.


Her left-leaning Muslim critics are right. She is barely interested in Islam at all. She is, I conclude, a wholly self-interested aspiring politician using Islam in roughly the way that Elizabeth Warren used first Native American identity, and then anti-bank rhetoric. Her real attachment is to the fundraising, followed by the hard left concepts of intersectionality and New Class rule.

So, no friend of mine; but not really an Islamist calling for a "jihad" in the sense we normally use the word, either.

douglas said...

Yes, exactly what I got from it as well. Like most 'activists' she's a leftist first and foremost, and uses the 'identity' as a tool to open up potential allies for support, and in this case in particular, money. I've been hearing more of this than I can take around here from another quarter of the intersectional left recently, so this all sounds so familiar and predictable.

Honestly, were I Muslim, I'd want her to go away and would not want any organization I was affiliated with to invite her to come, as she probably has done more harm than good to the Muslim community in America.

At least the applause was weak and rare- that's a good sign.

Ymar Sakar said...

An Islamic Jihadist would have to declare himself impure and fast to death, if they ever picked a woman to lead them for real.

Ymar Sakar said...

The Leftist alliance is better at creating alliances than the best mortal humans still loyal to America.

Says something between the lines.