Controversial feminist activist Linda Sarsour, who has praised the “courage” of rock-throwing Palestinians, is set to give the commencement address at CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.
Sarsour is scheduled as the keynote speaker for the June 1 graduation event at CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy. Sarsour, who was born in Brooklyn to Palestinian immigrant parents, has served as the Executive Director of the Arab Association of New York.
Sarsour, who helped organize the Women’s March on Washington after President Trump’s inauguration, has become a controversial figure for a number of inflammatory statements. Sarsour infamously mocked those who expressed concerned about women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, arguing that because they are offered 10 weeks of paid maternity leave by the government that it is not all that bad that women aren’t allowed to drive.
10 weeks of PAID maternity leave in Saudi Arabia. Yes PAID. And ur worrying about women driving. Puts us to shame. http://t.co/xZAwgg6HXL
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) November 16, 2014
In March 2011, Sarsour attacked Aayan Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch Parliamentarian, ex-Muslim, and vocal critic of Islam who was also the victim of female genital mutilation. Sarsour claimed on Twitter that she wished she could “take (Ali’s) vagina away” because of her criticisms of Islam.
Sarsour has contributed to heightened degree of political tension around the country and on college campuses. Admired by many college-aged feminists, she helped to popularize the idea that civil disagreement is impossible over certain issues.
"We can disagree & still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression & denial of my humanity and right to exist."
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) November 11, 2016
“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,” New York City Assemblyman Dov 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.”
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) October 12, 2015
In response to the backlash, CUNY administrators defended the decision to invite Sarsour. “The program has not changed,” said dean of CUNY’s School of Public Health Ayman A.E. El-Mohandes. The school cited former President Barack Obama, who named Sarsour a “champion of change” in 2011.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org