Donations from readers like you allow us to do what we do. Please help us continue our work with a monthly or one-time donation.

Donate Today

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to receive daily or weekly MEMRI emails on the topics that most interest you.

Request a Clip

Media, government, and academia can request a MEMRI clip or other MEMRI research, or ask to consult with or interview a MEMRI expert.
Request Clip
Sep 01, 2018
Share Video:

Political Activist Linda Sarsour Calls to Vote against Ted Cruz, Questions the Faith of Muslims who Defend the Police, Says: I Don't Care What Any Black Person Did Before Getting Shot

#6808 | 04:47
Source: The Internet - "ISNA on YouTube"

Speaking during a panel titled "Unapologetically Muslim" at an event held by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), British journalist and Al-Jazeera TV host Mehdi Hasan said that complicated political issues require different strategies and that "we will need Linda [Sarsour] in the corridors of Congress, maybe being pulled out by Capitol police." Linda Sarsour said that American Muslims are complicit in the murder of Palestinian protestors and questioned the faith of Muslims who debate the issue of Palestine and try to defend or "humanize the oppressor." Speaking about police violence, Linda said: "I don't want to get into debates with Muslims about what Mike Brown did before he got shot, or what [any] young black person did before he got shot. That's not a conversation any Muslim should be having." She said that Muslims should not spend time defending police officers and questioned the faith of Muslims who "act like Donald Trump" by saying there are nice people on both sides of political issues. Sarsour added that she is motivated by anger. In addition, Sarsour urged Texan Muslims to vote against "religious, zealot, bigot" Ted Cruz in the upcoming midterm elections, and she questioned the faith of those who don't intend to vote against him. At the end of the panel, the president of ISNA stated that ISNA is a 501(c)3 religious organization that does not endorse any political parties or candidates. The event, ISNA's 55th Annual Convention, took place in Houston, TX, on August 31 through September 3, 2018. The September 1 panel also included Sheikh Zaid Shakir, filmmaker Jaime "Mujahid" Fletcher, and Egyptian-born scholar Dalia Mogahed. The video was uploaded to ISNA's YouTube channel on October 16, 2018.

Following are excerpts:


Mehdi Hasan: Sometimes, issues are complicated, they require different strategies. We will need Muslim members of Congress taking a position on legislation, and we will need Linda in the corridors of Congress maybe being pulled out by Capitol police. We need different approaches, right, there's not one way towards the promised land.




Linda Sarsour: So just to make a clarification, I think that we have different strategies on social and political issues 100 percent, but there are some fundamental issues that it's not about the strategy, it's about what we have to believe about those issues that we got to get straight in the Muslim community. Palestine is a non-negotiable issue for Muslims. I don't care what kind of Muslim you are – Latino, African American, Somali, Yemeni – and the reason why I say that about Palestine is not just because I'm a Palestinian, it's because in comparison to a lot of the oppression that happens to Muslims around the world at the hands of often times Muslim dictatorships, when it comes to Palestine, you as an American Muslim are complicit in the occupation of Palestinian, in the murder of Palestinian protestors. So when we start debating in the Muslim community about Palestine, it tells me a lot about you and about the type of faith that you have in your heart.




In my opinion on an issue like Palestine, you gotta choose the side of the oppressed. And if you're on the side of the oppressor, or you're defending the oppressor, or you're actually trying to humanize the oppressor, then that's a problem, sisters and brothers, and we got to be able to say that's not the position of the Muslim-American community. On the issue, for example, of police brutality or the killing of unarmed black and Latinos mostly, some of whom are from our community.




I don't want to get into debates with Muslims about what Mike Brown did before he got shot, what did this young black person do before he got shot. That's not a conversation any Muslim should be having. Your role as an American Muslim on social issues is to be on the side of the most marginalized, of the most oppressed, of those with the least resources, that may not be able to defend themselves.




But if you're spending your time defending police officers against those who have been losing their lives, or have been stopped and frisked, or have been feeling discriminated at the hands of law enforcement, that's a problem.




I don't debate white supremacists, I don't go on Fox television. Why? Because I got enough of those in our community that I have to debate and get straight on the issue. So, just ask yourself this question of when there is an issue, are you acting like Donald Trump? Are you saying: "There are nice people on both sides of this issue?" That's how I know who you are, what you are, and how deep your faith is.




I'm angry. Anger moves me. And I am outraged at injustice. And if you're not angry, don't ask me why I'm angry, I want to know why you're not angry.




Unapologetically Muslim means that you are a whole human being, and that you get to practice your faith freely in these United States of America, that you define Islam, that you define what shari'a is, that you define words like 'jihad' and words like 'radical' that are being used against us every single day in the Muslim-American community.




If you are not saying what you truly believe in your heart as a Muslim and you are not standing up against injustice because you are worrying about what Islamophobes have to say, or Muslim reformers have to say, or cause you care about you're going to get your picture on Fox television, or cause you're not gonna get a job out of university, or get accepted into a university, then that's your problem sisters and brothers and that's not what it means to be an unapologetic Muslim.




If you are a registered voter in the state of Texas, and you are not going to get up in November and vote against a religious, zealot, bigot who has come after our community for years, if you are not going to vote against Ted Cruz, then I'm questioning your Islam in this moment.




Azhar Azeez: As the President, I have to say this: Islamic Society of North America is a non-profit, 501[c]3, religious organization. We don't endorse any political party or any political candidate.

Share this Clip:

 Fight Extremism - Support MEMRI