Women's March Organizer Makes Troubling Video, Later Deletes After Criticism
One of the architects of the Women's March, Linda Sarsour, was reportedly the first protester who was removed Tuesday morning from the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"This is a mockery and a travesty of justice!" Sarsour shouted during the opening seconds of the hearing.
She continued shouting as police dragged her out. "This is a travesty of justice. We will not go back!" Sarsour yelled. "Cancel Brett Kavanaugh! Adjourn the hearing!"
Sarsour, who has been a polarizing figure since helping organize the march last January, also posted a video that received such a negative reaction that she later deleted it.
Her comments highlight a common criticism of the Women's March and other causes that currently claim to push women's rights, namely that they are purely political and meant to distort certain issues to frame them as only Democratic.
They are especially troubling for many because of comments and statements Sarsour has made within the past two years.
In Tuesday's video, Sarsour says to the camera, "I don’t care what you think. I don’t care if they’re not candidates that you like. I don’t need you to like them. I need you to vote Democrat."
The video was saved by contributor to the Conservative website, The Daily Caller, which has faced a lot of criticism from many Democrats and Progressives who have accused it of embracing "white nationalism".
Nonetheless, the video is there and clearly shows one of the top leaders of the Women's March telling her followers to not think for themselves and to only vote Democrat.
Since early 2017, Sarsour has increasingly become a lightning rod of controversy. She has made statements about Israel, women, and the president that has drawn condemnation from Conservatives and some Democrats who say she is intolerant of other views.
Others have defended Sarsour and her statements, saying that many of her remarks have been taken out of context. Others have said she has been targeted by "anti-Muslim groups" and show the need for a greater understanding of the religion in the United States.
This past weekend, Sarsour spoke to several audiences at the Islamic Society of North America convention in Houston.
No video or news coverage of the panels have been found, but the Jewish news site Algemeiner.com claimed that Sarsour told an audience to demand American Muslims to support Palestine, or she would question their Muslim faith. The site also claims that Sarsour told the panels that it is "not the position of the Muslim American community" to "humanize the oppressor." The Algemeiner report claims that Sarsour was directly referencing Israel.
Again, no video or transcripts appear to be available from the panels, but when contrasted to statements made publicly by Sarsour, they are important to note.
The same group did draw some attention for disinviting Islamic Journalist and Author Wajahat Ali from the Houston convention. Ali wrote in May in The Atlantic Monthly that he was disinvited mainly for "talking to Zionists."
In a one-page letter, the program committee chair wrote that “our Muslim speakers” are “expected to support broadly our values,” including “our community’s support for the Palestinian people of all faith traditions, in their struggle against occupation and dispossession.”
Ali also wrote that barring him and other Muslims who have shown an openness to talks with Israel is a, "culmination of a years-long campaign by some online activists and religious leaders to limit the range of voices at these events."
Ali also expressed concern over the group embracing only Palestine as its identifying "creed", as there are more than one and a half billion Muslims worldwide from different countries and cultures.
Sarsour and other leaders of the march have also faced other criticism during the past year and a half, including praising Louis Farrakhan, who has made public statements against Jewish people and members of the LBGTQ community. They were defended by fellow march organizer Bob Bland, who said that their critics were, "apologists for the status quo, racist ideology and the white nationalist patriarchy."
March leaders defended Farrakhan, who said in a speech earlier this year that the, “Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men. White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through."
Sarsour also called for Muslims to engage in a "jihad" against President Trump at the Islamic Society of North America's convention in 2017.
Sarsour has also received criticism for openly advocating for Sharia Law. In a series of tweets in 2014, she defended the tenets of Sharia, and lamented the challenge in her desire to, "help...fellow Liberals...[understand] Sharia Law."
Sarsour has not commented on Tuesday's video.