Linda Sarsour’s Awkward Defensiveness Over Saudi Oppression That The Left Seems To Ignore.

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Linda’s Tweets

Linda Sarsour was the head of the Women’s March in the United States.  There is a great irony and contradiction in letting someone who deflects criticism from the misogynistic Saudi Arabia lead the Women’s March.  Let’s examine some tweets.

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She’s basically saying “women not having the right to drive in Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be a big deal because they get 10 weeks paid maternity leave.”  Do you not realize she’s talking about a place where the culture only values women as mothers and wives?  If the culture favored women as solely housewives/mothers don’t you think incentives for pregnancy would exist?

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In this tweet she attempts to deflect criticism from the headscarf and women’s covering by trivializing it as a social issue.  Say Linda, do you really think all women in Saudi Arabia somehow don’t feel hot in their clothing?  Wouldn’t they at least enjoy the OPTION to dress how they want?  This isn’t a call for women to wear less because God knows the “if no hijab then naked” card is getting old. This is for a woman to have the right to choose.  If the government is so invasive of women’s bodily expressions, wouldn’t you call that misogynistic, sexist, etc.?  As a “feminist”, how do you fail to see this?

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Of course.  She is completely dishonest about the facts.  She appeals to followers by showing women in high positions, and that somehow alleviates the problems of the average woman.  It’s similar to saying “racism doesn’t exist in the United States because Barack Obama was president.”  In some of these countries there is honor violence, and even sharia courts that punishes rape victims.  But of course, they have women leaders, therefore “no sexism.”

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She is basically defending Sharia Law in this tweet.  Does she not realize that as an apostate, I would be subject to capital punishment in Saudi Arabia and homosexuals would be punished in some way?  People would become sexually repressed because having sex can lead to capital punishment.  Women who complained about rape needed the testimony of four witnesses in Sharia court, which they could not find, making them subject to public stoning.  Of course despite all this, Linda brags about the interest free loans in Sharia and ignores who would be marginalized in that system.

After seeing these tweets you can imagine why Linda Sarsour would be criticized for leading the Women’s March if she deflects criticism from Saudi Arabia, a place very difficult for women to live.

Linda’s Response to criticism.

Of course Linda had to spin the narrative.

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She’s basically saying her haters don’t want to see her succeed because she’s Arab.  She felt offended by the criticisms against her, so she framed it as a “coordinated attack campaign.”  She then brought her children into it and said they shouldn’t be subjected to seeing these attacks, basically as an attempt to draw the readers’ sympathies.

She brilliantly makes it seem like this is not an attack on her, but her entire progressive politics community.  Through her wording she made it seem like she was under danger and the left needed to unite against these “right wingers” (just for challenging someone’s feminist convictions.)  The appeal to human’s sense of tribalism amazes me.

She even calls these “alternative facts.”

In the last paragraph she makes it seem like this is a backlash against the progress of feminism.  When, in fact, her deflecting criticism from Saudi Arabia prevents progress of feminism there.  What’s intriguing is her ability to make it look like her critics are these misogynistic/racist right wingers who plotted an attempt to attack her because they did not want to see a Palestinian woman in power.

The All Powerful Islamophobia Card

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These articles lumped all attacks on her, including this article, as “Islamophobic.”  Because this card was played, if I presented these tweets to progressives, they would just think “Islamophobia” and altogether avoid the discussions on Linda Sarsour’s deflections of criticisms against Saudi Arabia.

The cry of racism becomes a method of silencing her critics, who can’t be critical of Linda in anyway because it’s now racist.  Linda used her racial identity, motherhood and tribalism to make this an existential fight against her critics.  And of course, the left wing media and activist community followed suit. How ridiculous is that?

That being said, you gotta find some amusement in those Saudi apologist tweets.  She really sounds deluded.

 

Mark my words… The left is cannibalizing itself.

 

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41 thoughts on “Linda Sarsour’s Awkward Defensiveness Over Saudi Oppression That The Left Seems To Ignore.

  1. For someone accusing Linda Sarsour of spinning facts, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

    Just because she praised the KSA’s paid paternity leave and the existence of women in their parliament doesn’t mean she is excusing or condoning the misogyny and oppression in that country. If you believe that then you’re committing a fallacy of composition.

    If you actually looked through her twitter feed more objectively you’ll find Linda condemning the likes of the KSA as well as their behavior quite regularly. For instance she’s fierce opponent of misogyny, homophobia, etcetera that the KSA relies on.

    Not only that, she is an intersectional feminist that stands for the rights of all genders, specialities, ethnicities and religious groups.

    Moreover, her tweet on “Sharia law” is clearly sarcastic and should not be taken literally.

    Overall, your assessment is intellectually dishonest and shows severe cognitive dissonance.

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    1. Hugh, I myself have not followed Linda’s past work closely.

      Do you have an article you can point me to that gathers a sample of her tweets and other public statements condemning the KSA, and which make it very clear that her tweet on sharia law is a sarcastic outlier from her other statements on sharia law?

      I am always open to correction myself. That’s how we all learn and grow. Thanks.

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      1. Not her follower either, but I doubt she was being sarcastic. It should be noted, though, that her idea of sharia is very different than what we know about sharia.

        The bizarre thing about sharia law is everyone has their own idea. Most of them are moderates, but it is easily hijacked by the extremists.

        And, yes, many of these women who are okay with sharia law consider themselves as feminist. It’s just that their idea of sharia law is very different from what the men, who would formulate the law for them in the name of an islamic caliphate, have in mind.

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      2. I’m not particularly tech savvy but here are some examples:

        As for that tweet on sharia, I consider it sarcastic since she and most people are aware that it is impossible for “sharia” to replace laws in the US. Moreover, she has repeatedly reiterated support for intersectional feminism, which is antithetical to Saudi Wahhabism, which you can see in any of her tweets on #WomensMarch

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      3. Defending something like the hijab, and attacking Muslim women who criticize the hijab as a concept, isn’t very helpful for feminism. And dishonestly saying Islam is a feminist religion. Saying that erases the plight of millions of women who are negatively affected by Islamic values, either their family/community in the west or government in the east.

        Linda says all the right things when it comes to issues where the villain is united states based racism, sexism etc. My criticism of her isn’t in her views on American progressive politics. But on Islam apologetics. Islam apologetics is very dishonest and very dangerous. I personally know lots of women who have escaped environments where the religiosity plays a large role and their voices are erased when someone dishonestly calls hijab and Islam “feminist”

        Intersectional feminism is being used in her favor because it works in her favor as a brown Muslim woman
        I can criticize the effects being dependent on Islamic scriptures can have on society and she’ll cry Islamophobia to make it seem like I’m the oppressor against the “brown man’s religion” even though I grew up Muslim. If I were white it would work way more against me.

        I do applaud Linda’s work in many cases. But I’m critical of her blind eye to the misogynistic effects Islamic scriptures can have. Yes I get it, she feels responsible to her Muslim collective and upbringing to defend her values but that doesn’t excuse her from criticism.

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      4. That’s a well thought out response yet it doesn’t excuse the actual abusive and intellectually dishonest messages Linda Sarsour gets. Obviously not all the messages against her are Islamophobic, but most are.

        She is no friend to Saudi Arabia, as the tweets I provided before, and she had no intention of trivializing atrocities committed there.

        Moreover, contrary to what the anti-Muslim bigots think (I’m sure you’re not one), there is no reliable evidence that she is working for any terrorist organizations or seeking to overthrow the US.

        That’s enough from me. I hope you understand my criticism of your article now.

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      5. 1) Islamophobia is a troubling term
        Why? Because it means fear of Islam. Islamophobia often encompasses criticism of Islam. When a woman of Muslim faith chooses to leave her faith and criticize its misogynistic implications on her life, then has to live under hiding because of being under threat from Islamists, you’d think in terms of intersectional feminism this African born ex Muslim would get support from Linda. But because she is inconvenient to Linda narrative Linda goes on a smear campaign and pits the American left against her using charges of “Islamophobia”. While ayaan was critical of Islam she was not bigoted against Muslims. Criticizing Islam isn’t racist.

        2. Note how in your selection of tweets you’re identifying Linda’s selection of Saudi Arabia foreign/immigration policy and mine is on Linda’s defense of Saudi sharia. You don’t understand how conservative Muslims think. They romanticize Islam because of faithful bias and do what they can to defend it. Because of Linda’s connection to her Islamic faith she defends the sharia lifestyle in Saudi with mentions of paid vacations in Saudi (really an incentive for pregnancy), brings up statistics of those in office out of context (like how political access for women isn’t normalized in Saudi Arabia and the king himself chose the few women in parliament.) These aren’t her only defenses of sharia law by the way. She’s constantly defending the head scarf, etc etc etc which is all misogynistic by nature if you think critically as a feminist. (Slut shaming, victim blaming, lack of bodily autonomy for women etc). By criticizing the the Saudi sharia lifestyle as patriarchal is an inconvenience to her narrative and she’ll do whatever it takes to water down sharia. For example interest free loans: “hey non Muslim liberals you don’t know much about sharia but here’s an interesting fact. But I’ll totally skip past the other oppressive practices because that’s inconvenient for my defense of Islam in front of liberals so this ideology gets defended from outsiders in the discourse with charges of racism.”

        You can’t conflate what I’m doing with what those who call her hamas are doing. I don’t buy into that allegation one bit and I don’t mention it in my article. The problem is the minute she makes herself look like a victim BECAUSE she’s a brown woman she’s immune from criticism. The racism cry protects her from my criticism as a brown woman and fellow progressives will tune out or do what you’re doing: find ways to defend her wiggly taking the extra step to think critically of what you’re doing. All because she’s a brown woman with a scarf and due to anti Muslim climate she needs absolutely community protection from anything, bigotry or not.

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      6. 1. Correction, Islamophobia is defined as prejudice against Muslims and/or Islam (http://crg.berkeley.edu/content/islamophobia/defining-islamophobia). This does not include legitimate criticism.
        People like Ayaan Ali Hirsi and Robert Spencer are bigotssince they falsely assume there is one “proper” interpretation of Islam that is totally nihilistic. Such dishonest descriptions of a diverse religion prevents genuine criticism.

        2. The only Saudi sharia Linda defended was paid maternity leave. She did not condone or obfuscate the repression by the Saudi Wahhabis’ sharia. Hijabs aren’t misogynistic unless they’re forced onto someone. If a woman chooses to wear a hijab without duress, then that’s her choice and it should be respected.

        3. I never said Linda was or should be immune from criticism. I’m just offering my view on your analysis.

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      7. The fact that Islamophobia includes Islam in it rather than Muslim makes it hard to criticize the ideology
        Ayaan isn’t a bigot. She’s offensive sure but that’s because she criticizes a religion. She criticizes the effects being closer to ancient religious scriptures have on society. That’s not racist. The quran, hadith, and seerah are full of violence and misogyny that if you value those texts as the source of your values it’s going to be problematic when you read misogynistic texts as divinely infallible. Why not listen to ex Muslims who left the religion and are speaking out against the effects of scriptural infallibility on society?

        And hijab is misogynistic. It’s to cover a woman’s beauty to avoid provoking men’s lust. Apply feminism to it: victim blaming, slut shaming you name it. Hijabis defend hijab because they have a hard time removing it without social condemnation, therefore they make the most they can out of the hijab.

        But in reality hijab is one of the most misogynistic practices we still hold on to today.

        Linda said “paid leave is awesome and you’re all complaining about women not driving”. Think about the effects of that. And whose struggles it invalidates. She defends hijab which is LAWFULLY mandated in Saudi Arabia, Iran etc.

        You should probably try entertaining critiques of Islam. Try it. It’s not racist I promise.

        Ps: I’m against anti Muslim bigotry, I’ve faced it myself. My family is Muslim. I’m just critical of their and every other faithful Muslims, Christians etc choice of worldview. And I’m not a trump supporter

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      8. People can easily criticize religions without being bigots. Yet when Ayaan says things like the West is “at war with Islam”, that is bigotry since it is incredibly dishonest and casts Muslims in general as enemies.

        I’ve listened to some ex-Muslims. Some, like you, are reasonable. Yet I’ve encountered some and know of some others that are genuine bigots e.g. Walid Showbat.

        As for the hijab, it depends mainly on context. If a woman living in a liberal society chooses to wear the hijab, then that’s her choice. Obviously I oppose the places where clothing is forced into people.
        Moreover, the idea that the hijab is just to “cover up a woman in order to curb lust” is one interpretation. There are Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab out of religious pride.

        Women have and continue to be oppressed worldwide due to their clothing. In Western countries, some Muslim woman are assaulted for wearing the hijab. From this I can conclude that it’s misogynistic men, and not the clothing of women, that oppressed women.

        I’ve entertained and accepted critiques of Islam. I believe it just needs to be treated to the same standards of the other major religions.

        Ultimately my view of Islam, based on education and research, is that it is a complex religion that can be used by any kind of person for any kind of purposes.

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      9. Hugh, you raise some good counter examples. It’s clear than Linda has criticized the KSA in the past. With most of these tweets from late 2016, those criticisms are also recent enough. It does give credence to some tweets being perhaps in jest, satirical etc.

        Twitter can be a bit dangerously terse like that, and we can all be on the receiving end of people misunderstanding our sarcasm in the brevity constraints of a tweet.

        In Linda’s tweets that were sarcastic, I would imagine that with the fallout/reaction, Linda would have had a later tweet (perhaps in the same thread) along the lines of, “That was sarcasm people! The KSA is not friendly to women!”.

        Now I’ve not yet read all the back and forth comments since your comment with some sample tweets (again, thank you for that), I do find that Linda’s cherry picking references to shariah (i.e. banning interest) instead of the classic ‘hudood’ punishments laid out in the Qur’an for social crimes is misleading propaganda to make Islam look rosier than it is.

        As for the women’s march itself, as Ali A. Rizvi said (see: http://tinyurl.com/AliRizviOnLindaSarsour), we are grateful for Linda putting her time and effort into co-organizing. There are a lot of themes we share from that march.

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    2. Condemning KSA for other things does not make her apologetics for mandatory hijab and women not being able to drive there okay. And I’m not seeing the sarcasm in her cliched obscurantism about Shariah.

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    3. Far from it. Clearly you have ZERO facts about the nature of the extremism that she pimps and the fact that the so-called Sharia law that this shameless hypocrite puts out there is DIFFERENTLY interpreted from tribe to tribe, sect to sect. You Westerners have NO CLUE as to the depths of Linda Sarsour’s depravity and intellectual charlatanism. You just want to bloviate in her corner because she has figured out JUST how to use your emotional blindspots to coerce you to her side. We Middle Easterners who have been through HELL in our countries with Islamism, have tried to explain it to you Westerners…but most of you are so closed-minded and frothing-at-the-mouth with your misplaced rage, that the only way you’ll get it is if you end up having to live through what we experienced.

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      1. You’re just slandering Linda Sarsour. She is a brave and accomplished woman that has done more than you ever will. I know this because I look at the facts instead of just accepting propaganda from sites like Brietbart.

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    4. hughbinks – You’re Muslim and a man, so oppressing women must seem normal to you. I’ve been told that Islam allows it’s adherents to lie in order to advance Islam, so of course Linda’s going to SAY she doesn’t condone oppressing women and all that, but the truth is that women in Islamic countries DO NOT have the freedom that women have in the USA and until Linda stands up and admits that the problem is Islam and stops trying to oppress American women by slapping a hijab on them, she should NOT be leading a women’s march in the USA; that’s ludicrous!

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      1. I agree. Have you heard of a documentary called “Honor Diaries”? This film is meant to break the silence about honor based violence, female genital mutilation and the misogynistic ways that women are treated in many societies. Linda Sarsour has been an active speaker AGAINST the film. One of her tweets regarding the film says “How many times do we have to tell white women that we do not need to be saved by them? Is there a code language I need to use to get thru? ” This is coming from someone that is supposedly a women’s rights activist?? If she was so concerned about women’s rights, she would be active in speaking out and would want to promote it.

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      2. Idiot, here are the facts:

        1. I’m not Muslim and I don’t oppress women.

        2. We’re not living in Islamic countries are US women are far from an optimal position. For instance, the US is ranked 45th in Gender Equality according to the Global Gender Gap Index of 2016.

        3. Misogyny exists across all countries, so it’s not a Muslim-only problem.

        4. Linda isn’t forcing anyone to wear hijabs.

        5. The narrative that “Muslims lie to advance Islam” is a basesless conspiracy theory.

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    5. Yes, it does mean exactly that. She glosses over that women are never legally adults in Saudi Arabia – they’re under the legal guardianship and control of a male relative. Maternity leave is a means of making sure women aren’t in paid employment at all. (those few who are anyway, can have their wages taken by their guardians).

      Anyone who says that is covering for the Saudi monarchy and is not any kind of feminist. She’s a fundamentalist suckering the naive.

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    6. Hugh – for all of your attempts to cast Linda as an intersectional feminist you are failing spectacularly at intersectionality in this comments section. Consider the dynamic of a white non-muslim lecturing brown muslims and ex muslims on where ‘Criticism’ ends and ‘bigotry’ and ‘Islamophobia’ begin. Your response to people actually from the middle east who hold unfavorable views of Sarsour is to accuse them of getting their information from Breitbart.

      Humble yourself.

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    7. Hugh – for all your attempts to cast Sarsour as an intersectional feminist you are failing spectacularly at intersectionality in this comments section. Consider the dynamic of a white non-muslim from a western country lecturing brown muslim and ex muslims from the middle east and elsewhere on where ‘criticism’ ends and ‘bigotry’ and ‘Islamophobia’ begin. Your response to a self-described resident of the middle east who holds unfavorable views of Sarsour was to call them a slanderer who got their information from Breitbart.

      Humble yourself.

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      1. I’m aware of my position already and have considered yours already. I’m just providing essential analysis and counterpoints. Nothing is above criticism or counter-criticism.

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  2. That is messed up. I’d thought “What does Saudi Arabia have to do with this march, it’s not like the Saudi government is going to change its policies if a march in the US protests it”. Which is true, but not an excuse for making excuses for Saudi Arabia.

    There are basically rightists who operate within the Democratic Party and the left basically just because they wouldn’t be welcome in the white, Christian US right. Tulsi Gabbard for example. Sarsour seems like another example, and shouldn’t be welcome.

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  3. Living in a majority Muslim nation. I can say that your assessment is absolutely correct. Most of them are in denial that there is serious problem with their religion. While I’m sympathetic with their situation considering many of my friends are also Muslims, this is the problem that they need to address.

    They cannot complain that people treated them differently while at the same time demanding their religion to be treated as special. In a secular nation, there is no special treatment that protect religions from criticism. The idea of sharia law is something that is simply unacceptable in the western world and as long as they can’t separate religion and politic. I don’t think islam have a place in the western world. I only feel bad for the secular nationalist muslim because the ignorance of their fellow believers make things hard for them.

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    1. Hugh, Ayaan is an anti Muslim bigot because you think she only focuses on one interpretation of Islam? An interpretation that affects millions of Muslim women by the way…

      Also she criticises plenty of actual Islamic scripture, scripture that millions of Muslims hold dear and practice in their daily lives.

      As an ex Muslim and proud apostate I really doubt wherever you got your knowledge from…

      I find it really unsettling that an ex Muslim who went through some really traumatic experiences thanks to particular Islamic values, can be dismissed as an anti Muslim bigot…

      I doubt that you would be saying similar things about a woman who left Catholicism and then went on to raise awareness about the crappy and sexist ideas within Christianity for example…

      Also that sharia loving Muslim leader of the womans march lady was not being sarcastic in that tweet about Sharia and there is nothing that would even indicate that?

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      1. 1. Ayaan is an anti-Muslim bigot, regardless of her experiences, as she doesn’t different between moderate and radical Islam. Plus she falsely claimed that the “war on terror” was a “war on Islam”. This article, using Hirsi’s quotes, highlights her extreme rhetoric: https://newmatilda.com/2016/05/20/ayaan-hirsi-ali-the-acceptable-extremist/

        2. I would treat apostates from Catholicism to the same standards. There are plenty of decent apostates, but some are terrible people.

        3. Her tweet was clearly sarcastic, for as I explained earlier, it is in contradiction with many of her other tweets

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  4. “Islamic civilization, since the time of Prophet Muhammad (s) until now, is firmly founded on the concept of ‘rule of law.’ For that reason, the law is published and known, and citizens and courts are expected to uphold it. In addition, Muslim citizens must adhere to Islamic law – Shariah. If a Muslim citizen commits a religious violation, he is judged according to Islamic law. A non-Muslim citizen is judged in religious issues by the laws of his own faith.”
    http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/understanding-islam/legal-rulings/52-understanding-islamic-law.html
    so it is clear that it is the duty of every Muslim must apply and effort to establish the sharia worldwide.
    in the world there are approximately 1.7 billion Muslims, most of them are Sunnis, statistics show that not all Sunnis agreed to apply sharia to 100%, but in all countries where sharia is full applied (KSA, Sudan ) all Muslims and the not-Muslims are subject to the sharia. In other countries where Shariah is not full applied so exist also a “secular” jurisdiction, is condemned with different penalties the apostasy and the blasphemy, then practically is eliminated any criticism of Islam and don’t exist the freedom of expression.
    In Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, which lasted less than 20 years, neither all the population nor the majority of this were fascists and not all fascists have killed or tortured inocent people, but this minority of population he succeeded that entire population was living under a ruthless dictatorship where the law the state reflected the ideology of the single party, today no one has ever bothered to invent words like “fascistophobia” as prejudice against fashist and / or Fashism, indeed “fascist” is used to stigmatize any thought or Alt-Right behavior.
    Islam in 1400 have shown in all ways what destructive ideology is, we known how many genocides Muslims committed and now we are observing the current attacks commited by Muslims and someone has courage to talk about Islamophobia!? I agree that is not right to have prejudice about each Muslim, at least until you discover that he now is become an mujahedin of jihad, but our opinion about Islam is not a prejudice because Islam has largely proven to be one of the worst ideologies ever created.

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  5. I really don’t think accusing some of us of islamophobia is helping the situation. I have to say that in many case, islamophobia is actually justifiable.

    I’m sure Linda is a good person and I think she and I can definitely get along. However, she display certain mindset that reminds me of Islamic fundamentalist in my country. Trust me, they are good people and we are friends. But these friends want to deny me of my political right in the name of religious freedom because I’m not a muslim.

    I’m not criticizing Linda as a person. I’m criticizing her belief. People who share this belief, when they are minority, they are fine, because they understand how to be in the minority’s shoes. But when they are majority, they might not have the empathy to treat you the way they want to be treated.

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  6. Live in the Middle East….leave America ! Take a ham and cheese sandwich on board the aircraft just to help you remember America.

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  7. I think Linda’s even confused about some Islamic issues because the Zionist media is so pervasive in the US. For example her inability to distinguish between FGM and female circumcision. Female circumcision is certainly an Islamic duty. Female circumcision involves removing the skin (prepuce) around the clitoris and enhances, not curbs women’s sexuality. This procedure allows the clitoris to be exposed for greater stimulation since it does away with the prepuce which serves as an obstacle to sexual satisfaction. The clitoral prepuce also harbours germs such as the cancer-causing HPV. See: http://asiffhussein.com/2015/04/02/female-circumcision-the-hidden-truth/

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  8. The left is cannibalizing themselves! I’m not sure why they seem to ignore the Saudi oppression and you’re right, cry of racism becomes a method of silencing Linda Sarsour’s critics!

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