Linda Sarsour blocks Wall Street Journal reporter from press brief

"Don't let her [Nomani] be one of the first ones in. Do you all hear me? Come stand here. Don't let her be one of the first ones in," Sarsour can be overheard in Arabic saying.

March 9, 2019 17:52
3 minute read.
Muslim American activist Linda Sarsour prepares to perform "Maghrib" sunset prayers

Muslim American activist Linda Sarsour prepares to perform "Maghrib" sunset prayers during an immigration rally and Iftar "breaking fast" during the month of Ramadan outside ICE's New York field office at Foley Square in Manhattan, New York. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ALFIKY)


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Controversial American political activist Linda Sarsour has been recorded on video directing associated-members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to prevent a Wall Street Journal journalist from entering the office of freshman Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib during a recent press briefing over unspecified reasons.

Sarsour, accompanied Tlaib and senior members of CAIR, were present on Capitol Hill to speak out against a government resolution condemning antisemitic comments recently made by Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

The creator of the video and known critic of CAIR, journalist Asra Nomani, was blocked entry into the office by parties associated with American-Islamic political organization. Nomani posted her encounter to her Twitter page.

"Don't let her [Nomani] be one of the first ones in. Do you all hear me? Come stand here. Don't let her be one of the first ones in," Sarsour can be overheard in Arabic saying before allowing reporters to enter the office.

While standing outside Tlaib's office, Nomani spots the gentleman who prevented her entry into the press briefing, confronts him and requests a reason for her denied entry.

"You want to be a part of the group? You're not invited. So why are you pushing people through," the man said to Nomani.

Nomani did not speculate reasoning for the occurrence.

Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill revised a resolution on Thursday condemning antisemitism to include broad condemnation of hate in all its forms.

The new legislation now condemns “antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry,” after freshman members and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) accused their leadership of unfairly targeting Ilhan Omar, a representative from Minnesota, over her recent comments accusing Israel advocates of dual loyalties.

Omar told Democratic House leadership earlier in the week that she was prepared to vote in favor of a resolution designed to condemn her own remarks on Israel, two senior congressional aides told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. But a backlash from her political allies delayed the motion and shifted the leadership calculus.

The resolution passed on Thursday, 407-23, in the US House of Representatives, with Omar's support.

Omar renewed controversy over her Israel stance last weekend when she questioned “the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country” at an event with supporters. It was the third instance in as many months in which the freshman congresswoman questioned the patriotism of Americans supportive of Israel.

Omar told those leaders she would support the resolution without condition. But ahead of the vote, scheduled for Wednesday, several other freshman and the CBC demanded a revised draft that also condemned Islamophobia and other forms of hate.

Those revisions were published on Thursday, and have led to broad criticism from more senior members of the party as well as its Jewish members.

Sarsour is a known activist for her support of antisemitism and BDS. Sarsour in the past has defended the legality of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel as well as defended Omar for supporting the BDS movement in addition to this occurence.

Sarsour helped lead the national Women's March, which lost a number of sponsors due to concerns about antisemitism from Sarsour and her colleagues.

In 2012, Sarsour wrote that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” on her Twitter page, a post which she has still not removed.

Sarsour in addition has notedly encouraged the stoning of the Israel Defense Forces and has been photographed with a former Hamas operative jailed by the Israeli authorities in the 1990s, all the while acknowledging having many male relatives in Israeli prisons.

Michael Wilner and Alon Einhorn contributed to this report.

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