Leftist activist Linda Sarsour is openly pro-Sharia, and so it should come as no surprise that her response to recent charges that she downplayed and dismissed charges sexual assault at the Arab American Association while she was its executive director has been down the line with Sharia principles. That fact should raise eyebrows among American feminists who have elevated Sarsour to the level of a heroine of feminism, but, of course, it won’t.
BuzzFeed, true to form, has given Sarsour a platform to rebut the charges, and her response was what anyone who has been paying attention to this woman’s career of victimhood posturing would expect it to be: it’s all, she says, another right-wing conspiracy against her: “Anti-Semitic, terrorist sympathizer, supporter of female genital mutilation — every week they come up with some new stuff about me,” she whines. But she decided to respond, she said, because Donald Trump, Jr. wrote about the allegations: “But when the president’s son is tweeting about me, that’s serious stuff.”
The facts are these: Asmi Fathelbab, a former employee of Sarsour at the Arab American Association, has accused her of refusing to take seriously her claims of sexual assault and harassment, and of following through on threats to destroy Fathelbab’s attempts to get a job if she didn’t retract the charges.
According to Fathelbab, Sarsour “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.”
In response to all this, BuzzFeed says Sarsour was “dumbfounded” by the allegations, and produced an affidavit about Fathelbab’s charges, dated August 13, 2009. In it, says BuzzFeed, “Sarsour defended Seif in the statement and wrote that it was Fathelbab who was creating a hostile environment by telling coworkers stories of alleged harassment. Sarsour told ACCESS she’d looked into the claims and found ‘no substantial evidence or any testimonies from anyone about the alleged accusations.’” Nonetheless, just to be careful, she told Seif to stay away from Fathelbab. She also said, self-contradictorily, that Fathelbab’s claims in 2017 are different from her claims in 2009: “The exact words were, ‘He makes me feel uncomfortable.’ There was nothing about touching or groping. There’s no evidence, no email she can pull out where she ever gave those claims to us.” BuzzFeed also has Sarsour strongly denying that she told Fathelbab that she wasn’t the type of woman who would be sexually harassed.
BuzzFeed then goes on to quote male Arab American Association staffers who back up Sarsour’s version of events. BuzzFeed reporters Hannah Allam and Talal Ansari don’t challenge her on why she conducted an investigation into Fathelbab’s charges at all if all those charges consisted of was “he makes me feel uncomfortable.” If Fathelbab had really said “nothing about touching or groping,” why was there any need for an investigation at all? Nor does BuzzFeed, which is, of course, a reliable Leftist propaganda organ, not a news source, challenge Sarsour about Fathelbab’s claims that she made sure Fathelbab would not be able to get another job. Those allegations go unanswered.
All this is 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). So Sarsour, if her account of her investigation is to be believed, took the word of Seif and the male staffers who said nothing happened over that of Fathelbab.
So it is in Sharia states with all allegations of zina. If men are accused, 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. And if a woman accuses a man, she may end up incriminating herself, and she must be punished, as Asmi Fathelbab was by the ruining of her career.
And so BuzzFeed assures us that this entire controversy is another “Islamophobic,” “racist” conspiracy designed to bring down a proud, hijab-wearing “Palestinian” Muslima. For the Left, that is enough. For genuine seekers of justice, it should not be. But will there be any investigation of Linda Sarsour over this? Not in Bill de Blasio’s New York.
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 new book is Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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