Attacks Target Muslim-American Activist after DC March
By Deepti Hajela

New York: Linda Sarsour is used to slings and arrows, but not like this.
In the days since she helped organize the massive Women’s March on Washington, the Brooklyn-born, hijab-wearing activist has been targeted on the internet by false reports that she supports Islamic State militants and favors replacing the US legal system with Islamic religious law.
On social media, critics have circulated a photo of her holding up one finger, like a sports fan celebrating a championship, and claimed she’s giving “the ISIS one-fingered salute.” In fact, she is on record as calling the Islamic State a global cancer.
Other posts have falsely claimed that she supports the imposition of Islamic law on the US, citing, as evidence, a sarcastic tweet she made in 2015 that was actually intended to ridicule conspiracy theories about secret Muslim plots to take over the American legal system.
Bloggers and conservative websites also circulated a picture of her at a convention of Muslim civic leaders, standing with a group of people that included a Milwaukee activist whose brother was arrested in Israel in 1998 and convicted of giving $40,000 to a Hamas leader. The photo, they said, was proof of “ties” to Hamas.
“Ludicrous,” said Sarsour, who was out rallying again Wednesday night in her hometown of New York City, protesting executive orders on immigration and border security signed by President Donald Trump.
The online attacks, Sarsour said, were the work of “fake news purveyors” and “right-wing media outlets re-circulating false information.”
“I’m not going to be intimidated or silenced,” the-36-year-old married mother of three said.
Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, cut her teeth as an activist defending the civil rights of US Muslims after the Sept. 11 attacks and came to wider prominence in recent years protesting against police surveillance of Muslims. She’s become a regular at Black Lives Matter protests, too, and a frequent TV commentator on feminism.
The White House, during the Obama administration, honored Sarsour as a “champion of change.” - AP



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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