Linda Sarsour speaks onstage during the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. .
(photo credit: THEO WARGO/GETTY IMAGES/AFP)
The City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health has stirred up controversy with their booking pro-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour as their commencement speaker.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) has spoken out against this appointment, claiming that Sarsour's support of Sharia Law makes her unsuitable to speak at a school funded by taxpayers, CBS New York reported on Friday.
"She is someone who associates with radical Islamists; supports them; shows support for them. She is someone who has said, clearly, she thinks throwing rocks at cars in Israel is a good thing," Hikind said. "I mean, it's just nuts. It makes no sense. It's crazy to have this woman be the person who's going to speak to the students."
In 2015, Sarsour tweeted an image of a Palestinian boy approaching Israeli security forces with stones gripped in his hands with the caption "the definition of courage."
Linda Sarsour speaks at a New York women's rally on March 8, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)
CBS reported that CUNY School of Public Health Dean Ayman El-Mohandes stated that there are no plans to change the commencement program.
Sarsour and her views have often been the topic of debate recently. The platform for the US affiliate of the International Women’s Strike — a grassroots feminist movement that organized events around the world, which Sarsour helps lead — calls “for the decolonization of Palestine.”
Responding to critics of the Palestine plank in a platform devoted to women’s rights, Sarsour, an organizer of January’s Women’s March on Washington who also helped plan the Women’s Strike, came forth with a harsh message: feminism and Zionism simply don’t go together.
In an interview with The Nation, Sarsour said those who identify as Zionist cannot be feminist because they are ignoring the rights of Palestinian women.
“It just doesn’t make any sense for someone to say, ‘Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement?’ There can’t be in feminism. You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There’s just no way around it,” Sarsour said.
“The fact of the matter is that there are hundreds of Palestinian women organizing, but not all of them are visible. And I’ll tell you why,” Sarsour said. “You’ve probably seen that any visible Palestinian-American woman who is at the forefront of any social-justice movement is an immediate target of the right wing and right-wing Zionists. They will go to any extreme to criminalize us and to engage in alternative facts, to sew together a narrative that does not exist.”JTA contributed to this report.