Marching for women’s rights and human rights is a noble thing to do. Who wouldn’t want to stand up for women’s rights, freedom of speech and choice, helping those in need of asylum, inclusion and diversity? Women all over the world are feeling warmly connected by this new movement which solidified itself during the women’s march and continues moving. We see the connectedness people feel in banding together and standing up for something so important.
The baffling part is that people seem to not know who it is they are supporting. Regardless of what the belief is regarding what the march and subsequent movement stands for, it is important that we examine who is behind creating it so that we understand who it is that we are lifting up onto a literal pedestal.
The co-organizer of this march, the woman responsible for rallying up the crowds and support and creating and fuelling this movement, is none other than Linda Sarsour. As Ms Sarsour is an open advocate for Sharia Law (a system unimaginably oppressive, especially to women) it is more than surprising that she should be seen as some sort of a human rights warrior, the ‘Islamic sweetheart of Brooklyn’, and be supported in this way. She is a supporter of ISIS as can be noted by her online salute to the organization and vehemently threatens anyone who questions any part of Islam, not allowing any openness nor debate under any circumstances. Her threatening tweet saying she wishes she could remove the vaginas of Brigitte Gabriel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Ayaan who is the most courageous genital-mutilation survivor out there advocating against Sharia Law and for women’s rights and calling for reform within Islam) should alone make any supporter of women’s rights step back and examine with whom they stand. There is simply no way to justify Linda Sarsour and what she stands for.
The type of setting created for this march, based on the motivational space of the ones organizing it and the ‘anti-ness’ they mobilized with it, lent itself to giving other dangerous people a platform and support, one example of this would be convicted rapist and murderer Donna Hylton. It should frighten everyone that these two women are applauded by the masses as they speak, or chant really.
So how is it that so many educated, intelligent, western women, and men for that matter, (including the likes of Bernie Sanders , New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, also including Susan Sarandon and the list goes on) applaud and stand behind Linda Sarsour and believe she is a peace activist despite clear evidence to the contrary? How is it that it is so easy to get so many hundreds of thousands of people to support an advocate for Sharia Law, while simultaneously getting them to believe they are oppressed as women, homosexuals or minorities in a country which protects freedom more than most places in the world? How is it that the behaviour of this movement was such that we even saw parents together with their little girls, children, carrying signs saying “my pussy bites back”? There can only be one explanation for this and that is, of course, fear.
It is not unnatural to pander to those who are a threat. It is human nature. The energy of this march is fueled by the fear, which, if spoken out loud, would be: “please don’t hurt me! I stand with you!” We are fearful when we know somewhere inside us that there is a threat that needs to be dealt with, and so we get angry with those who shed light on the problem and #resist them with all our might, convincing ourselves that if those leaders were just ‘nice’ to Iran and co. then the flames would not be fanned, as if niceness from their enemies is what they were after.
This #resist movement we now observe being more and more violently reactive, as we saw for example in the riots at UC Berkley, gets more reactive the more uncomfortable it is. We are seeing a hysteria, sometimes bordering on grotesque and insane, like the new bloody #VaginaCake trend. Herein lies the greatest danger: reacting with explosive anger and violence in order to shut down opinions one doesn’t like in the name of anti-fascism is, in fact, fascism.
(See the video of this picture in the Mercury News article).
If we are not allowed to openly discuss, criticize, debate nor question certain belief systems and we defend some of the most heinous crimes by turning a blind eye just because is it ‘uncomfortable’ or worse, now dangerous, to speak, then we are in serious trouble. It means that those of us who are free people of a Western civilization will continue to be a freedom-and-human-rights-loving people who, instead of laying down the law against atrocities or simply against unacceptable behaviour, will embrace the very cultures advocating those atrocities and behaviours while slowly self-destructing. We shall be the easy tools used against ourselves for our own demise if we do not stand up and actually fight for real #freedom, however uncomfortable or scary that may be.
Our fear is why it is so easy to rally up feverish anger against a #MuslimBan when there actually isn’t any Muslim ban. It is so easy to rally up the self-protective anger against the #AntiAbortionBill making everyone think they can no longer have abortions while in fact they still can. It makes it easy for those with horrific intentions to march through the streets of London declaring our impending destruction and nobody, especially not those who marched in the Women’s March, bats an eyelid over it.
Those of us wanting to truly stand for women’s rights and human dignity must be willing to be vocal champions of freedom.
The time has come for us to be #brave and be actual human rights #warriors who stand behind the likes of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and all her courageous partners instead of nervously hugging the likes of Linda Sarsour. Then we shall truly be #RisingUp.