The facts at hand presumably speak for themselves, but a trifle more vulgarly, I suspect, than facts even usually do. Asmi Fathelbab, a former employee of the Arab American Association in New York when feminist heroine Linda Sarsour was its executive director, has accused Sarsour of dismissing her claims of sexual assault and harassment, and following through on threats to destroy Fathelbab’s attempts to get a job if she didn’t retract the charges.
Sarsour, says Fathelbab, “oversaw an environment unsafe and abusive to women. Women who put [Sarsour] on a pedestal for women’s rights and empowerment deserve to know how she really treats us.” Fathelbab charges Majed Seif, a Muslim who lived in the building that also housed the Arab American Association’s offices, “would sneak up on me during times when no one was around, he would touch me, you could hear me scream at the top of my lungs. He would pin me against the wall and rub his crotch on me. It was disgusting. I ran the youth program in the building and with that comes bending down and talking to small children. You have no idea what it was like to stand up and feel that behind you. I couldn’t scream because I didn’t want to scare the child in front of me. It left me shaking.”
But Sarsour had no interest in, or patience for, Fathelbab’s allegations. “She called me a liar because ‘Something like this didn’t happen to women who looked like me. How dare I interrupt her TV news interview in the other room with my ‘lies.’…She told me he had the right to sue me for false claims…. She told me I’d never work in NYC ever again for as long as she lived. She’s kept her word. She had me fired from other jobs when she found out where I worked. She has kept me from obtaining any sort of steady employment for almost a decade.”
Fathelbab got no more sympathetic a hearing from the president of the Arab American Association’s board of directors, Ahmed Jaber. “Jaber told me my stalker was a ‘God-fearing man’ who was ‘always at the Mosque,’ so he wouldn’t do something like that. He wanted to make it loud and clear this guy was a good Muslim and I was a bad Muslim for ‘complaining.’”
Another individual who was familiar with Sarsour, Fathelbab, Seif and the entire situation said: “It’s always going to be the woman’s fault over there. And Sarsour was there to protect the men. She’s not for other women. The only women she’s for is for herself.” Another added: “Sarsour is only a feminist outwardly. Her interactions toward women in that building were atrocious. She would protect the patriarchy and in return they would promote her.”
Asmi Fathelbab’s accusations at the Arab American Association played out in full accord with Sharia. In cases of sexual misbehavior (zina), only men can testify. Women can’t testify at all, even in cases in which they were involved, and four male witnesses are required (Reliance of the Traveller, o24.9). These witnesses must have seen the act itself. Consequently, it is very difficult to convict men of zina. As long as they deny the charge and there aren’t four witnesses, they will get off scot-free, because the woman’s testimony is inadmissible. Even worse, if a woman accuses a man, she may end up incriminating herself.
And so it was with Asmi Fathelbab. Now that she has come forward, expect Sarsour to react yet again in accord with the tried-and-true Islamic supremacist practice of claiming that Fathelbab is motivated by “hatred,” and that the whole thing is another “Islamophobic,” “racist” conspiracy designed to bring down a proud, hijab-wearing “Palestinian” Muslima.
And feminists will almost certainly fall for it again, hook, line and sinker. That Linda Sarsour is lionized as a feminist heroine, instead of identified as the promoter and enabler of Sharia oppression of women that she is, is an indication of how entranced by fantasy our public discourse has become.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.