Linda Sarsour Compares Jews to White Supremacists

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Linda Sarsour (shown here at a rally for Syrian women) (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Linda Sarsour spewed her Jew-hating Islamism at the recent AMP conference (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In their recent 2019 annual conference, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) brought out their Jew-hating Islamist show ponies, Linda Sarsour and Zahra Billoo.

Watch Linda Sarsour at the conference, where she compares Zionists to “white supremacists” and claims that Israel is “built on the idea that Jews are supreme to everybody else.” After trotting out this anti-Semitic trope, she moves on to another one — that the Zionist movement is backed by a “wealth of resources” (read: Jewish money and power).

Sarsour and Billooo have steadfastly sought the elimination of the Jewish state, while using naive, liberal Jewish-American allies to insulate themselves against criticism.

Now,  Sarsour and Billoo just pulled the rug out from under the Jewish right to exist in interfaith spaces.

The goal of these anti-Semites was always targeting Jews themselves. Calling their grievances against Israel part of “Jewish supremacy” is the beginning of a landslide into where they will eventually go: Targeting Jews directly, beginning with Jews in Israel. And of course, there’s wiping Israel off the map altogether. We all remember this:

Painting the Monster as a Hero

What is the difference between Linda Sarsour or Zahra Billoo versus the secret Nazi chat groups on Telegram I track as part of Clarion Project’s Preventing Violent Extremism program?

The answer is that Sarsour and Billoo are openly telling you who they are.

The Islamist cause is steadfastly crafting a plot based on the “seven story archetypes,” a concept detailed by Christopher Booker in his book The 7 basic plots, which distills all of story-telling into 7 basic archetypes that make up all of storytelling throughout history. Learning how to use these archetypes is a key to marketing your narrative.

In this case, the Islamist plot is archetype #1, “Overcoming the Monster” in which Jews (or the Jewish state) need to be painted as the beast. The same message is mirrored by private neo-Nazi chat groups I follow. Here’s an image one neo-Nazi group shared this morning.

An image captured from a neo-Nazi chat group using “hero vs. beast” imagery to dehumanize Jews while glorifying Nazi ideology.

Notice the same trope of hero vs. beast.
Notice the swastika driving the sword.
Notice the dehumanization of Jews (portrayed as snakes).
Notice the language of revolution.

These are extremist fictions that use the Jungian hero myth to drive an extremist narrative. The myth of hero vs. monster offer a universality of the collective consciousness that make it easier for a large group of people to jump on. This is storytelling, but it is also part of how propaganda works. Successful propaganda is at its core a distortion that is sold as a simple story.


Islamists Are Now Painting Themselves as Social Justice Warriors

In order to better position themselves as heroes in the public eye, Islamists are shaping their identity through identifying themselves with contemporary social justice issues, such as challenging white supremacy, colonization, race-based rights and climate change.

None of these issues are seen as necessary dialogues under the banner of human rights; they’re being framed as revolutions that have to be pushed forward without negotiation or discussion.

The strategy to package the Islamist agenda as a “hero against the monster” is why you’ve seen Islamists paint Jews as colonizers.

When it’s an interfaith day, Islamists will call Jews brothers in faith, but when it’s a day to wear another mask, Jews are lumped together with “Alt-Right” white supremacists. Their strategies may shift, but the plot is always the same: The illusion that Islamists are fighting some horrible oppression, some great monster.

Among social justice warriors, today’s flavor of “monster” is climate change, which is why we are now seeing Islamists using this issue to drive attention to Palestine.

Al Jazeera has been steadily pushing climate stories, leading up to the preposterous merger of climate issues with Palestine.

Yet, sadly, even Palestine is simply the humanitarian shell used to camouflage deep-seated hatred for Jews and the Jewish state. So are the other social justice issues Islamists claim to support.


Coattailing Hate Through ‘Social Justice’

Islamists will coattail on any trending social justice issue they can to drive attention back to the shell, and use the shell (Palestine) to attack the target (Jews).

Social justice causes used by Islamists to further their agenda have included Black Lives Matter and indigenous rights. While the voices of minorities deserve to be supported in the right way, when Islamists support minorities, it’s usually more to do with being a cover for their own interests. It’s not authentic interest in the issue itself.

Take a look at Islamist support for Standing Rock, for example. Instead of showing up and supporting water protectors because it’s the right thing to do, Islamists dragged along Palestinian flags. Considering Islamists are meant to be against colonizer narratives, it’s a bit of an imperialist move to stick your flag on the sacred land of people — people who faced oppression and genocide that was often justified because a flag was stuck in the ground.

If you authentically care about an issue and support a group of people, stand with them without standing on them to uplift your own agenda. Islamists don’t hold authentic space for oppressed minorities because they don’t actually care: They’re using these people.

In truth, Islamists are ideological colonizers curb-stomping original voices and representation of communities by flagging their own issue.

This weekend at the AMP conference, Islamist-in-office Rashida Tlaib put American tax dollars to work campaigning for Palestine while attaching Palestine to another social justice issue at home:

“Every time I see … the police going after, killing innocent people, innocent, treating African American brothers and sisters like they’re disposable, I think of Philastine [Palestine] and what happens to our brothers and sisters in the occupation.”

“This othering, this dehumanization, is painful. But if we don’t speak up for each other, we give each other credibility, we grow this movement into something stronger. So when you see these things understand how interconnected it is. Because when I’m fighting for clean water in the city of Detroit and all throughout Wayne County that I ever represent, I’m fighting for clean water in Gaza, access to water there. So all of it is so interconnected.”

Beneath the primer of social justice issues, there’s a real cognitive dissociation between the claim and the fact. As Investigative Project’s Steve Emerson expands further,

“None of the AMP speakers criticized Israeli policies. Each took issue with Zionism, the ideal that calls for a state for Jewish people in their ancestral homeland. “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” is among the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of anti-Semitism, which has been adopted by 20 countries, including the United States.

Emerson also speaks to the political and demographic realities within Israel, “Where Israeli Arabs serve on courts, as military leaders and in the Knesset [the parliament] …[and where the] Joint List, a coalition of Israeli-Arab parties, won 13 Knesset seats.”

However, to be able to have a calm and rational conversation about the facts means putting down the pitchfork of revolutions. It means putting away the childish fairytale of hero and villain. It means being real leaders willing to come to the table gracefully and without hateful, anti-Semitic bias.



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Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Clarion Project's National Correspondent.

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