By renowned social media and data sciences expert Megan Squire.
April 18, 2019 Update: Since publishing this article Sarsour has acknowledged that they should have been "faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-Semitism." She has also disavowed anti-Jewish and anti-LGBTQ comments from hate preacher Farrakhan and fundraised for the Tree of Life synagogue following the antisemitic terror attack in Pittsburgh.
Controversial progressive activist Linda Sarsour is scheduled to speak at the Carry The Light convention on October 6-7.
To be clear, many of Sarsour’s critics operate in bad faith and some claims against her are based in truth but have been exaggerated – others conflate the separate but converging issues of anti-Zionism and antisemitism.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network believes Linda Sarsour’s invitation to the Carry The Light convention may cause harm to the relationship between the Jewish/LGBTQ+ and Muslim communities of Canada. Her record demonstrates why.
In 2015, Sarsour spoke at the Justice Or Else! rally organized by antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ hate preacher Louis Farrakhan. In 2017 she commented “god bless him” on Instagram.
Her co-organizers of the Women’s March have been more expressive in their support for Farrakhan. Under criticism, the Women’s March offered a denouncement of antisemitism and Farrakhan’s comments. Some were critical that it didn’t outright condemn Farrakhan and therefore say the statement didn’t go far enough.
Farrakhan preaches using classical antisemitic tropes aligning Jews with Satan, suggesting that Jews control banks, media, etc. His group, the Nation of Islam, is listed as an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. For more on Farrakhan, see: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/nation-islam.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is concerned that inviting Linda Sarsour to speak in the absence of evidence that she has distanced herself from Farrakhan's hateful rhetoric is inconsistent with the Carry The Light's goal of "inspiring Muslims to implement the true spirit of Islam in their lives," and contrary to the values consistent with promoting inclusive communities where hatred is clearly unwelcome.