Among the celebrities who spoke at the Women’s March on Washington was Linda Sarsour, a co-organizer of the event. She is the head of the Arab American Association of New York and a frequent spokesperson on Islam and her perception of human rights. At the January 21 rally, where Madonna, Ashley Judd, and Michael Moore spoke, Sarsour used her mic to condemn Donald Trump. She has rejected the legitimacy of Trump's presidency.

Sarsour has a brother-in-law serving time in an Israeli prison for his participation in terrorist activities carried out by Hamas. According to the New York Times, she is “deeply involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.” When a police office and an FBI agent shot and killed a Muslim named Usaama Rahim, a black man. In 2015, Rahim lunged at them with a knife when they tried to ask him questions about his suspected terrorism-related activities. Sarsour assessed the man’s death thusly: “At the end of the day, a Black man was shot on a bus stop on his way to work and we should treat this like any other case of police violence.”

In the past, Sarsour has extolled the virtues of shariah -- the religious law that rules in Muslim countries and that is taken to its extremes by the Shiite Muslim government of Iran, and the Sunni Muslim government of Saudi Arabia, as well as wherever the Islamic State holds sway. In 2011, for example, Sarsour wrote on Twitter, “Shariah law is reasonable and once you read into the details it makes a lot of sense. People just know the basics.”

Multiple churches and human rights organizations have deplored the application of shariah in countries such as the above. Shariah calls for the beheading of adulterers, hanging for homosexuals, and the dismemberment of thieves.

In addition, women are given inferior status. So too are Jews and Christians. Those who are not Jews or Christians are afforded the opportunity under shariah to convert to Islam in order to save their lives. Among her supporters is the leftist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He wrote on Twitter, “Thank you Linda Sarsour for helping to organize the march and build a progressive movement. When we stand together we win.”

She also received plaudits from celebrities, such as actress Susan Sarandon, who has long espoused progressive causes.

Following her appearance at the March, a photo circulated widely on the Internet that depicted Sarsour pointing with an index finger. Some observers noted the resemblance of her sign to that used by combatants of the deadly Islamic State.

Others have explained that it is used by Muslims merely to show devotion to their god, Allah. Following revelations of her devotion to shariah, Sarsour asked for prayers to counter the “opposition.” She wrote, “I need extra prayers sisters and brothers. The opposition cannot fathom to see a Palestinian Muslim American woman that resonates with the masses. Someone whose track record is clear and has always stood up for the most marginalized. They have a coordinated attack campaign against me and it's vicious and ugly. It's not the first time, but it's definitely more intense - the fact that my children see it is what is bothering me the most.”

Esteban Santiago, the man currently charged for the deadly terrorist shooting this month at the Tampa International Airport, made a similar sign in a selfie that he took before the incident. He is believed to have converted to Islam. The Islamic State claimed that he had acted in its name in killing six people at the airport.

At the Women's March, Sarsour played to ethnic and religious identity themes. "I stand here before you unapologetically Muslim-American. Unapologetically Palestinian-American. Unapologetically from Brooklyn, New York." 

"I will respect the presidency, but I will not respect this president of the United States of America."

On Facebook, Sarsour did not deny her devotion to shariah, which is an essential part of the Muslim faith she professes and symbolized by the hijab headscarf she wears.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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