Since Saturday’s historic Women’s March on Washington, right-wing and anti-Muslim sites have launched a vicious attack on a Muslim organizer of the protest, baselessly accusing her of supporting terrorism.
“I need extra prayers sisters and brothers,” Linda Sarsour, a prominent Muslim American activist and co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, wrote in a Facebook post Monday.
In the days since the Washington protest ― where Sarsour delivered a powerful five-minute speech to a crowd of half a million people ― The Daily Caller, FrontPageMag, The American Thinker and The Gateway Pundit, plus a slew of anti-Muslim hate sites, published disparaging articles about Sarsour.
“The opposition cannot fathom to see a Palestinian Muslim American woman that resonates with the masses,” Sarsour wrote of the articles. “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.
On Monday, the disreputable site The Gateway Pundit, which claims to have received White House press credentials from the Trump administration, published a 2015 picture of Sarsour holding up her index finger. In the Gateway Pundit’s head-scratching estimation, this photo somehow showed Sarsour “flashing the ISIS sign.”
A tweet from Sarsour. Obviously an ISIS supporter.
Other sites deployed classic Islamophobic tactics in trying to discredit Sarsour, claiming she is connected to terrorist groups, that she supports the spread of Sharia in the U.S. and by equating her criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.
Sarsour, a Palestinian-American, is the director of the Arab American Association of New York, a member of the police reform group the Justice League, and the 2012 recipient of a Champion of Change award from President Barack Obama. She was a vocal supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a Jewish senator from Vermont.
“It’s a shame that the alt-right would spend their time putting out falsehood and discrediting a proven effective activist and leader,” Sarsour told The Huffington Post in a statement Monday. “I am still unapologetically Muslim American and proud.
“I am grateful for the outpouring of support and still committed to fighting for justice for all communities and against fascism.”
After being relentlessly trolled on Twitter since the Washington march, Sarsour said her “Twitter mentions are now overpowered by love from celebrities, high-profile activists, faith leaders, and ordinary people.”
Thousands of people used the hashtag #IMarchWithLinda on Monday to show support for Sarsour, including the official Women’s March Twitter account:
Fellow Muslims came to her defense:
As did celebrities:
And one former presidential candidate:
Members of other faiths chimed in:
During her speech Saturday, Sarsour told the crowd to keep their voices loud for “black women, for native women, for undocumented women, for our LGBTQIA communities, for people with disabilities.
“You can count on me, your Palestinian Muslim sister, to keep her voice loud, keep her feet on the streets, keep my head held high, because I am not afraid,” Sarsour said. “Sisters and brothers, fear is a choice.”
UPDATE: This article has been updated to include a tweet from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in support of Sarsour.
The Huffington Post is documenting the rising wave of anti-Muslim bigotry and violence in America. Take a stand against hate.
How will Trump’s first 100 days impact you? Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get breaking updates on Trump’s presidency by messaging us here.