Linda Sarsour is a “self-proclaimed” New Yorker well known for her political activism. She is the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.
Sarsour rose to prominence as the advocate co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March which took place a day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.
Who is Linda Sarsour?
The Palestinian-American political activist was born March 19, 1980, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York. She is the eldest of seven children, four girls and three boys, born to her Palestinian immigrant parents. His parents came from a town about 15 km north of Jerusalem, Al-Bireh, in Palestine.
His parents who were not fully educated are said to come from the lower social strata of Palestinians. Her father worked at Crown Heights at his corner store, the Linda Sarsour Hispanic American Food Center. Her mother was a stay-at-home mom and Linda helped her with babysitting and running errands. It has also been hinted that his parents’ marriage was consanguineous.
Linda received her high school education at John Jay High School located in Park Slope in Northwest Brooklyn. After dreaming of becoming an English teacher, she took classes at Kingsborough Community College and Brooklyn College.
She currently resides in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Her passion for activism actually started in high school when she started noticing the disparity between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in Sunset Park. Between college and college, she had her first son. It was also around this time, at the age of 20, that she started wearing the hijab as her choice. She claimed this helped explain her identity.
In 2001, after the September 11 terrorist attack, Linda became a volunteer for the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY). She worked closely with Basemah Atweh, her father’s cousin, and Dr. Ahmad Jaber, a local obstetrician. Ms. Atweh had just founded the Arab-American Association.
Four years later, a tragedy occurred that changed a lot for Linda. She was driving Atweh and two other passengers back from the 2005 Arab American National Museum Gala in Dearborn, Michigan. The car was hit by a tractor-trailer, killing Atweh and seriously injuring bone to bone while Linda escaped almost unharmed. In no time, she was appointed general manager at age 25. she built the association’s budget from $700,000 to $50,000.
She has since been involved in several protests for the Muslim community and the Black Lives Matter movement. While her efforts were praised by President Obama, President Donald Trump made sure to remove mention of her name from the White House website upon taking office.
Linda also identified as a feminist. She even mentioned feminism as a solution to ending Israel’s problems during her interview with The Nation in March 2017.
At the age of 17, Linda entered into a marriage with Maher Judeh ak Maher Abo Tamer. She is said to be happily married with three children. She had her first son, Tamir, at the age of 19 after leaving high school early. She also had two daughters, Sabreen and Sadija now aged 14 and 12 respectively, before the age of 25. Tamir is now 17 years old.
She managed to keep her family’s life away from the public eye, especially that of her husband. It is said that her husband alongside her family members gave her this ultimatum when she decided to fully embrace activism.
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What does it take in Sharia?
Linda Sarsour is a supporter of Sharia law. The twist comes with her also being a feminist. While on the one hand, she is in favor of women being obligatorily subordinated to men, she also fights for the liberation of women and equal rights.
In 2014, she protested Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving and acknowledges the country’s involvement in human rights abuses. However, she also reportedly tweeted several times asking misinformed people to learn more about Islamic Sharia law.
She is also of the opinion that a woman should not go out if directed by her husband as the law applies. This raises a question of confusion, feminism and sharia appearing to be two sides of a coin.