Graduates of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy gave noted pro-sharia, anti-Semitic, and self-described “Muslim feminist” Linda Sarsour a standing ovation after her commencement address.
Sarsour’s speech was laced with her typical social justice rhetoric which tickled the ears of the CUNY graduates. She told the crowd she was celebrating the Islam holy month of Ramadan and reflecting on her role in the world. She asked everyone to “commit to never being bystanders” to injustices like “poverty, lack of jobs and health care, sexism and violence, discrimination, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and homophobia.”
Sarsour, a rabid leader in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and an Obama White House-recognized “Champion of Change,” said the only way to combat these injustices is to “organize intersectionally and wholistically.”
“We must intervene, we must protect each other,” she added. “We must stay righteously outraged until one day we are all treated with dignity and respect.”
“I look forward to working with you, class of 2017, on these streets,” Sarsour said. “You can always count on your Palestinian Muslim-American sister from Brooklyn, New York, to keep her voice loud.”
“It is we who make America great,” she ended, raising a clinched fist to thunderous applause.
The Clarion Project, which challenges radical Islam, commented on the curiosity that a university would ask Sarsour to speak to students given her background:
Sarsour’s endorsement of Sharia law and leadership in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement should have made her an unfit candidate to address graduates of any educational institution even if she weren’t a social media provocateur. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of the women whose vagina Sarsour wants to confiscate, calls her a “fake feminist.” Brigitte Gabriel, the other woman, calls Sarsour a “master manipulator” successfully swaying “the gullible women’s movement.”
Ariel Behar of IPT News wrote that Sarsour specializes in trying “to shut down those who cite her record of celebrating terrorists and advocating radical positions by calling the critics Islamophobes.” Sarsour is also a conspiracy theorist, endorsing, for instance, the bizarre view that failed “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was “a CIA agent.”
Sarsour’s defenders claim that her views stem from anger and “should come as no surprise for a Palestinian-American;” after all what she really opposes is “right-wing Zionism.” Sarsour has said that Zionists – including the vast majority of Jews – can’t be feminists. She didn’t say only “right-wing Zionists” can’t be feminists.
“Why would the CUNY want to showcase someone who, as Daniel Pipes documents, has such a ‘long record of incompetence, extremism, vulgarity, and eccentricity?’” Clarion asks. “Dov Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat in the New York Assembly, says ‘it’s just nuts. It makes no sense. It’s crazy to have this woman be the person who’s going to speak to the students.’”
CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken made “sense” of the decision in a statement about Sarsour’s invite: “Obviously, it cannot be said that CUNY endorses her view on this matter; we continue to believe BDS is anathema to the values of higher education. But the fact that Ms. Sarsour might hold views that are controversial cannot be the basis for withdrawing an invitation to speak.”
“Taking action because critics object to the content of speech would conflict with the First Amendment and the principles of academic freedom,” Milliken added.
But as Clarion notes: Sure, Sarsour has a right to free speech and to espouse any level of hate she’d like, but that doesn’t mean CUNY has “a First Amendment obligation to honor her or provide a platform for her.”
“The problem, most likely, is that Sarsour received far more faculty support than any conservative who ever made it past the first round of nominations at CUNY,” Clarion concludes. “If university administrators want to wilt under pressure and allow this kind of spectacle to take place, they should at least find the courage not to cite the First Amendment and academic freedom as the reasons.”
For more on Sarsour and her ties to terror, read her entry at Discover the Networks.