A Palestinian American Speaks with Linda Sarsour

It’s axiomatic that anything dealing with Palestine is deemed controversial. And if it is Palestinian American women speaking out even more so. Look at the vitriol and death threats directed at Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. She is Palestinian American and is speaking out as is Maryam Alwan, a Palestinian American student at Columbia. She is a Students for Justice in Palestine organizer in alliance with Jewish Voice for Peace. There is pushback. Asna Tabassum, an American Muslim, was chosen to give the commencement speech at USC until she was canceled after being targeted by pro-Israel groups. The sheer scale of death and destruction in Gaza and the ongoing expansion of illegal colonies and violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has shifted the narrative. In communities and campuses across the U.S., Palestinian American women are breaking down Orientalist cliches about being meek and submissive and are actively taking the lead.

Linda Sarsour is a community organizer and racial justice activist. She is one of the most widely known Palestinian American women for her advocacy on behalf of Palestinians. She has been called every Islamophobe’s worst nightmare. Her activism spans a range of interests from immigration, mass incarceration, stop-and-frisk and the New York City Police Department’s spying operations on Muslims. She has helped organize major women’s marches and Black Lives Matter protests. She has been hailed as “shattering stereotypes of Muslim women.” And she has told her critics “Stop telling me to go back to my country. I’m from Brooklyn.”

Share This Episode