A panel between conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and a representative for the Council on American-Islamic Relations blew up Friday.
The discussion came on Fox News and centered around controversial comments that Shariah law advocate Linda Sarsour recently made, when she called on Americans to wage “jihad” against President Donald Trump.
Sarsour said at an event late last month:
And I hope that we, when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts us from us that as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers, not only abroad in the Middle East or on the other side of the world, but here, in these United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”
“Jihad” means a “struggle to speak truth to power,” said Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of CAIR in Florida and defended Sarsour’s comments were taken out-of-context and said that “jihad” actually means “to struggle for good.”
“She was very clear that it’s our duty as Americans and as Muslims to but forward our best effort and to struggle to speak truth to power, to help the disenfranchised, to stand for the oppressed to matter the cost is of speaking out. And she’s actually paying the price of speaking out and calling out the Trump administration’s attacks on minorities, attacks against woman,” Shibly said. “Linda is a revolutionary American-Muslim proud hijab-sporting activist and we stand with her, we’re proud of the tremendous work she’s doing.”
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Countless media outlets on the left rushed to Sarsour’s defense, allegedly claiming that conservatives took the comments out of context. In particularly they note Sarsour’s decision to cite a hadith — a documented statement by Islam’s founder Mohammed — which describes speaking truth to a tyrant as the “best form of jihad.”
Sarsour has become a rising star in the American Islamist movement. Not only did she help organize the Women’s March, she also spoke at the joint convention of the Islamic Circle of America and Muslim American Association in April. Like ISNA, both ICNA and MAS have ties to the International Muslim Brotherhood, which is the leader of the global Islamic revivalist movement.