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Sarsour as Sanders surrogate: Intersectionality meets Islamist anti-Semitism

Sarsour ticks all the intersectional boxes: She's Muslim, hijab-wearing, a woman of color, and a daughter of immigrants. So am I.
Linda Sarsour listens as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks in a roundtable discussion at the First Unitarian Congregational Society, Saturday, April 16, 2016, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Linda Sarsour listens as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks in a roundtable discussion at the First Unitarian Congregational Society, Saturday, April 16, 2016, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The announcement of political activist Linda Sarsour’s appointment as Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign surrogate comes as little surprise to those who understand the enamorment of some on the political left with Islamism. The tendency for some on the left to assign the prestige of select victimhood as the pinnacle of American culture, allows them to be duped into believing Islamism is de facto Islam and not its appalling imposter.

In reality, Islamism’s right-wing supremacist totalitarian origins are only masked as a minority religion. Add to this the ill-disguised but virulent anti-Semitism that passes for anti-Zionism among some on the left, and American democracy has now mainlined Islamism into a presidential election.

The irony here is that Sarsour recently announced, “I would be so proud to win, but also to make history and elect the first Jewish American president this country has ever seen,” even as she has long endorsed an anti-Zionism consistent with Islamist sympathies.

Sarsour, the Muslim American of Palestinian origin, co-chair of the 2017 and 2019 Women’s March and former executive director of the Arab American Association, openly embodies contemporary anti-Zionist sympathies typical of an Islamist ideologue.

Her actions have long demonized Jewish Zionists and been perceived widely as anti-Semitism both in the Jewish community and beyond, including among those who work to combat contemporary anti-Semitism.

Sanders’ embrace of Sarsour means that the future of the Democrats as the progressive left envisions it will be defined through the lens of racist anti-Zionism.

The Sarsour-Sanders collaboration typifies a well described Islamo-Left alliance which has infected the British Labor Party, or Corbynism, and has taken a stronghold within the American Democratic party. But less recognized is the role of a rising radical feminism and intersectionality as an effective vector of virulent anti-Semitism

Adding this intersectionality and fourth wave radical feminism to a major campaign makes an Islamist sympathizer almost unassailable. This is why Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Sarsour have been so successful at deflecting their significant critics. Islamism’s duplicity, the false construct of Islamophobia, and today’s lionization of all victims — other than those who are Jewish — provide these firebrands with a Teflon shield from political and judicial consequences.

Islamism, masquerading as the great monotheism of Islam, is an artificial manmade 20th Century totalitarian ideology that steals the language and metaphors of Islam but holds at its core a cosmic enmity with all matters pertaining to Jewry, Judaism, Zionism and Israel.

Islamists claim to be a besieged religious minority. Claiming the freedoms afforded to religions in secular liberal democracies, Islamism is shielded from political and intellectual scrutiny.

Those lacking knowledge of Islam — and Islamism — under the prevailing climate of political correctness are unable to challenge any assertions made in the name of Islamism or by Islamist sympathizers.

Sarsour, who wears a hijab, covers all the desirable bases of an intersectional icon. She is a woman of color, daughter of immigrants, and a Muslim (which in the U.S. is a minority religion even as it is the world’s second largest faith.)

I am also a woman of color, daughter of immigrants and a Muslim. But unlike me, Sarsour is an unapologetic anti-Zionist embracing the potently anti-Semitic BDS movement.

Academics have described intersectionality as the “sum of all virtue signals” and a “quasi-religious” anthropological phenomenon. Gabriel Brahm, Director of Michigan’s Center for Academic and Intellectual Freedom, identifies intersectionality as uniquely hostile to Jews.

While intersectionality’s origins were humane and based on a narrow legal decision to protect all factory workers, today’s intersectionality as conceived by radical feminism has become a conduit for virulent anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiment.

Unsurprisingly this radical feminism has become the most valuable asset in the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement as intersectionality adopts the value of the symbolic victim narrative applied to as many groups as possible.

As the co-founder of the Women’s March in 2017, Sarsour claimed Zionism and feminism could not coexist. The Women’s March thus excluded Jewish Zionist feminists.

“It just doesn’t make any sense for someone to say, ‘Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement?’ There can’t be in feminism,” Sarsour said. “You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There’s just no way around it.”

In this era of Democrats struggling with anti-Semitism in their ranks, the Sanders’ campaign’s ill-advised choice purportedly in the spirit of inclusivity indicates that affiliation with Islamist anti-Zionism and thereby anti-Semitism has become a badge of belonging among the progressive left. In their eagerness to seem inclusive they are embracing patently Islamist anti-Semitism.

Qanta A. Ahmed, Visiting Fellow, The Independent Women’s Forum. Member USC Shoah Foundation, Member, Council on Foreign Relations. Follow her on Twitter.

About the Author
Qanta Ahmed, M.D., is Associate Professor of Medicine, State University of New York, and Honorary Professor Glasgow Caledonian University, School of Public Health. She is a Visiting Fellow at The Independent Women's Forum. Member USC Shoah Foundation, Member, Council on Foreign Relations. @MissDiagnosis
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