News & Politics

Whatever Happened to Linda Sarsour? New York Times Says Russian Trolls Got Her.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

What ever happened to Linda Sarsour? In a lengthy and weepy Sunday feature, the New York Times lamented the downfall of its golden girl: “In 2015, when she was 35, a New York Times profile anointed her — a ‘Brooklyn Homegirl in a Hijab’ — as something rare, a potential Arab American candidate for elected office.” But now, their once-rising star has fallen resoundingly, dismissed from the Women’s March for her vicious and open antisemitism and no longer the media darling she once was. The Times, in trying to polish Sarsour’s tarnished reputation on Sunday, came up with a novel explanation for her downfall: it wasn’t because her Jew hatred was too extreme even for the Left. It was because Linda Sarsour was the target of “Russian trolls.” What’s next, New York Times? Space aliens stole her brain?

The New York Times has published a lot of ridiculous articles in its day, but this is one of the most ridiculous ever. It portrays Sarsour, who has for the most part led a charmed life as a heroine of the Leftist intelligentsia, as the poor victim not just of the sinister “alt-right,” but of those sinister all-purpose bogeymen of Vladimir Putin who, in the fever dreams of the hard Left, gave us the Trump presidency.

These “Russian trolls” supposedly spread material about Sarsour that was “inflammatory and based on falsehoods.” The problem the Times’ Ellen Barry has, however, is that the things about Sarsour that Barry says are “inflammatory and based on falsehoods” are actually true.

Barry repeats some of the claims of these “Russian trolls,” and they all are far more accurate than Barry would have us believe. Is Linda Sarsour a “radical Islamist”? Well, she hasn’t flown any planes into skyscrapers, but on Sept. 22, 2011, Sarsour tweeted: “shariah law is reasonable and once u read into the details it makes a lot of sense. People just know the basics.” Her position didn’t change over time. On May 12, 2015, she tweeted: “If you are still paying interest than [sic] Sharia Law hasn’t taken over America. #justsaying.” And on April 10, 2016, Sarsour tweeted about Sharia again: “Sharia Law is misunderstood & has been pushed as some evil Muslim agenda.”

Is Sarsour a “a pro-ISIS Anti USA Jew Hating Muslim” who “was seen flashing the ISIS sign”? She has said that “nothing is creepier than Zionism” and has equated it with “racism.” She is an enthusiastic supporter of the “Palestinian” jihad against Israel and has even claimed that feminists cannot and must not support Israel. And as for ISIS, she did make the ISIS signal. She did it while claiming that it meant more than support for ISIS, but one wonders whether all the ISIS supporters who saw the photo and were encouraged by it read her explanation, which doesn’t disavow ISIS anyway, despite the fact that the whole world at this point knows that the upraised index finger is ISIS’ favored signal. Is she anti-U.S.? Well, she has called for jihad against the U.S. government.

Related: Biden’s Team of Racists and Anti-Semites: An Anti-American Coalition in the Heart of the White House

She also called for jihad against Trump, although the Times article tries to give the impression that this claim was a product of the Russian troll farm. Sure, jihad has other meanings besides violence against unbelievers, but everyone knows that jihad terrorists think of what they do as jihad, and it was the height of irresponsibility for Sarsour to use this language.

The Times also claims that Sarsour was a particular target of evil right-wingers: “When she was invited to appear as a graduation speaker at the City University of New York’s graduate school of public health, the furor began weeks in advance. It caught the attention of the far-right polemicist Milo Yiannopoulos, who traveled to New York for a protest that attracted, as a Times reporter wrote, ‘a strange mix, including right-leaning Jews and Zionists, commentators like Pamela Geller, and some members of the alt-right.’ ‘Linda Sarsour is a Shariah-loving, terrorist-embracing, Jew-hating, ticking time bomb of progressive horror,’ Mr. Yiannopoulos told the crowd.” Well, Milo, you certainly had a case.

But Linda Sarsour has the New York Times covering for her, so she has nothing to worry about. The Times dutifully reports on her febrile imaginings of a “deranged person” coming for her but of course has never said a word about very real people trying to murder Pamela Geller, one of Sarsour’s bêtes noires according to this Times article. Hey, Sarsour is on the correct side, so her imaginary death threats are much worse than real murder attempts, plots, and threats against political undesirables.

What next for Linda Sarsour? If the Times article does its intended job, she’ll be running for office after all. She couldn’t be worse than what New York is already electing.