Our American Hero Linda Sarsour #IMarchWithLinda
Posted on Feb 23, 2017
When a woman takes a stand on a political spectrum, on a national platform – a woman who doesn’t necessarily fit the white America the 1% envisions, what happens? What happens when this is a Muslim woman of color in a time where the Power House is telling the world that Islam is terror and that Muslim women are oppressed? The trolls come out from hiding, and they attack. They try to associate the truth with malicious lies in order to turn the tide of truth. What these trolls failed to realize was that this time, the person they were after was the real Power House, Linda Sarsour, and she is a force to be reckoned with.
Only days after the Women’s March on Washington, there was a full frontal attack on our sister Linda. People were trying to undermine the role she played in organizing a historic march as well as the Muslim face she is bringing to the 21st century social justice movement in the United States.
In response to the Islamophobic tirade, organizations such as the ACLU, Black Lives Matter and Moveon.org tweeted their support. Celebrities, politicians, political commentators, and activists came out in full support of Linda. The support came from Bernie Sanders, Russell Simmons, Van Jones, Shaun King, Susan Sarandon along with countless others. So guess what, trolls? Love trumps hate.
Warning: Major Fangirling Ahead
Linda has been at the forefront of the social justice movement since the 9/11 attacks, serving the Arab-American Association of New York City as a fierce social justice and civil rights advocate. Organizing, getting people involved, and inspiring people is not new to Linda. In 2015, she, along with Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez WALKED 250 miles from New York City to Washington, DC in a stand against police brutality. I doubt many members of Congress walk far enough to get their own coffee, let alone walk 250 miles for a cause.
Oh, and did I mention New York City public schools will be closed on Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha because of efforts of the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays and Linda Sarsour? Now, Muslim parents and their children will not have to choose between going to school or celebrating their holy days. Wait, that’s not all because I think I just received an update from MPower Change, an organization brought to you by none other than...you guessed it, LInda, briefing me on how I can get politically involved.
Thank you Linda Sarsour for the hours you spend away from your family, so that my daughter can see a beautiful, unapologetic, Palestinian-Muslim-Brooklynite represent in Washington, in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Thank you for the hours upon hours you spend pouring your heart and soul into this work to help integrate my family into this society. Thank you for carrying the hijab with grace, elegance and fierce power. Thank you for carrying our voices into spaces where we would otherwise have been silent. Thank you for leading the way, and allowing me to live your March on Washington speech the day of, and relive it with my class of Muslim-American teens. Your name is being written into the history books as an unapologetic Muslim-Palestinian-American who fought for social justice for all marginalized communities. We know there will be many more hours you spend away from your family for us. Many more hours where you put yourself in difficult situations advocating for justice. We, your community, your sisters and brothers are sending you love, support and solidarity to carry you through the inevitably difficult days to come. And there are no better words than those of the Almighty, “O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice” [4:135].
Ahlam Yassin is an educator, grad student, 24/7 on-call mom and writer. Visit her blog: www.ahlamyassin.com