Much debate has been raised over a speech Palestinian-American and Islam advocate Linda Sarsour gave to the annual conference of the Islamic Society of North America after she called for a 'jihad' against the Trump administration. Sarsour said in her speech, “I hope that … when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or on the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”

Columnist and editor of The Daily Wire Ben Shapiro debated a representative for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Fox News about the use of the word. CAIR representative Hassan Shibley told Shapiro that "Jihad" means a "struggle to speak truth to power." 

Shapiro responded, "I don’t think anyone is saying she called for violence against Trump. Jihad means more than ‘internal struggle’ or ‘struggle for good.’ We all know that there are terrorists all over the world who invoke the word 'jihad' as justification for what they do, and Linda Sarsour knows that too. She knows how to make a headline. She is a radical anti-Semite who has backed terrorists in the past..." At that point, Shibly interrupted Shapiro, saying "You just don't like a vocal American Muslim woman proudly standing for justice. Shame on you," Shibley shot back.

Show host Dana Perino then asked Shibley how Sarsour could be unaware that her remarks about jihad would cause controversy. Sarsour, said Shibley, is trying to “reclaim” the word “from the extremists that have misdefined it and misrepresented it.” Perino turned to Shapiro, saying:  “The reclamation, Ben; it’s too late for that.”

When Shibley interrupted again, saying, “It isn’t too late,” Shapiro responded, “If it isn’t too late, I’d like to hear CAIR come out right now and condemn the Muslim Brotherhood. How about Hamas? Will you condemn Hamas?”

Shibley said, “Why would we condemn the Muslim Brotherhood?” Shapiro said, "You can’t reclaim jihad and Islamic extremists without condemning the Muslim Brotherhood." Shibley responded, "We don’t condemn political organizations.”

Hamas is the Sunni Muslim terrorist organization that currently controls the Gaza Strip. It has continually fired deadly missiles into Israel and conducted deadly raids into Israeli territory. It has been blamed for killing children in the beds at night. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is an unindicted conspirator in a federal case against the Holy Land Foundation, which was accused of funneling philanthropic donations to terrorists. 




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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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