Former Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos and Pamela Geller held a protest against Sharia-advocate Linda Sarsour’s speaking engagement at The City University of New York (CUNY) on Thursday.
Calling out CUNY chancellor James Milliken for making Sarsour the keynote speaker at the commencement address, Geller started by claiming, “First of all, this is not about free speech.”
“I’m a free speech activist. Linda Sarsour is free to speak on college campuses and does frequently,” she continued. “The idea of inviting her to keynote the commencement address, those invitations are bestowed upon people to enhance a college’s reputation. Why would you hold her up as a role model? As Representative Carolyn Maloney said, ‘surely CUNY can do better?’ The norming of evil and terror and Jew hatred, surely CUNY can do better?”
“She’s earned a reputation as one of this country’s most vicious anti-Israel activists, she has called Netanyahu a ‘waste of skin’. She tweeted a picture of a young Muslim child throwing a rock at Jews, calling him the definition of courage. Surely CUNY can do better?” continued Geller. “She’s the leader of the Boycott Divestment movement, which is Nazi-esque in its calls for the boycott of the Jewish state. These boycotts are illegal, and inhumane. The German’s boycotted Jewish-owned businesses, this was a direct antecedent to the Boycott Divestment movement. Surely CUNY can do better?”
Continuing her speech to applause, Geller added that Sarsour “has partnered with Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist who killed students at Hebrew University, and threatened to bomb the British consulate. Surely CUNY can do better?”
“Linda Sarsour was outraged when police and an FBI agent killed a jihadi, who was on his way to behead me. She said it was police violence. She said that at the end of the day, a black man was shot at a bus stop on his way to work. Beheading me is work for the jihadi… Surely CUNY can do better?” Sarsour declared. “She’s an open supporter of the Sharia, she says a Jew cannot be a feminist, but she says nothing about Islamic honor violence, gender apartheid, female genital mutilation, and the oppression of women under Islam. Surely CUNY can do better?”
“Sarsour said that the Al-Qaeda underwear bomber, who tried to detonate a bomb on an airplane in 2009, was a CIA plot in America’s war on Islam. Surely CUNY can do better?” concluded Geller. “She has solicited funds for Hamas. Surely CUNY can do better?… Anyone who tells you that this is Islamophobia, I want to quote Christopher Hitchens: ‘Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons,’ and the morons are to my left. Silence is affirmation, we will not be silent, resist.”
Assemblyman Dov Hikind followed Geller onstage, declaring simply that “Linda Sarsour supports terrorism.”
“Let us talk about her record, that’s all we’re interested in doing,” he proclaimed. “The fact that she’s a woman is not an issue of course. The fact that she’s a Muslim, is not the issue. That is not the issue. The fact that she is Palestinian is not the issue. That is not the issue. That’s what Linda Sarsour wants people to believe. When CUNY invites Linda Sarsour to be the commencement speaker, that is something that’s imposed upon the students… When CUNY imposes Linda Sarsour on the students, that’s outrageous. Shame on CUNY.”
Hikind continued to display a picture of the two victims of Rasmea Odeh, who was jailed for terrorist attacks in Israel, adding, “Linda Sarsour thinks Rasmea Odeh is a great hero.”
Other speakers included Nonie Darwish from Former Muslims United, who detailed her escape from Sharia law, and David Wood, who spoke about the indoctrination of young people before Milo took to the stage.
“I notice there aren’t that many Muslim protesters, but if you’ve ever tried to walk in a sodden burka, you’ll know why,” joked Milo, referencing the rain. “It’s enough to dissuade even the most determined jihadi.”
“Now we all agree on a few things, don’t we? We all agree for instance that Linda Sarsour is a Sharia-loving, terrorist-embracing, Jew-hating, ticking time-bomb of progressive horror,” he continued. “We agree on that. Now I’ll call her Linda, because her surname Sarsour, did you know this, it means cockroach in Arabic, and I do so hate to be disrespectful. So we’ll call her Linda.”
“Yes, I’m back, and just as much of a waspish c*nt as ever. This week, another Muslim loser, a friend of Linda’s probably, strapped a bomb to his chest in Manchester and murdered over 20 people, including children,” Milo stated. “Does Linda Sarsour in her dark hut approve of this atrocity? If she feels any remorse at all, maybe its for the Muslim grooming gangs and Pakistani child rapists who have 20 fewer victims this week. What Manchester has done is once again raise the stakes.”
Milo continued to declare that “It’s now more important than ever to fight Islam in America and particularly its emissaries like Linda Sarsour,” before explaining the importance of America hearing bad ideas. He made it clear that he did not want Sarsour banned from speaking but that she must be held accountable for her views:
I believe that Linda Sarsour should be allowed to speak at CUNY. In fact, if they’d asked me, I would’ve paid her fee, no matter how many goats she asked for. And the reason that I think she should be allowed to speak is that her words, odious as they are, should be broadcast far and wide. The best response to authoritarianism is not more censorship, but more speech. I want America to hear her. I want America to listen to her arguments and weigh their merits. I am a free speech fundamentalist. I believe that in an open marketplace of ideas, the best ideas prevail. In America you don’t have an open marketplace of ideas, because the massed ranks of the establishment media, academia, and the entertainment industry are set up to condemn conservative and libertarian points of view as hateful, bigoted, and oppressive. They are none of those things. And so one of the real enemies here isn’t just ordinary Muslims. It isn’t Linda Sarsour. The bigger enemy, and the enemy to American freedom has always been from within. The enemy here are the progressive elites who run the entertainment industry, academia, and the media in this country.
It is only through the open marketplace of ideas, with no more censorship of conservatives and libertarians, and no more oppressive speech codes from the left, that I believe America can realize its promise and its destiny, and that is why this country is the greatest country in the history of human civilization. That is why we are out here, in the pouring rain, because this stuff f*cking matters. And when we reach that goal, when we reach that day, when there is a full, free, frank, open exchange of ideas, when anyone can present their ideas to scrutiny, when anyone can present their system of belief, for discussion and debate, then people will see Linda Sarsour for what she is.
It’s true that her ideology is as ugly as Chelsea Clinton, it’s true that Linda wants to replace graduated women’s mortar boards with hijabs, and when that happens the burka will replace those graduation robes soon-after. Linda wants to substitute prayer rugs for diplomas, and CUNY is going right along with her. It’s true CUNY is going to see the consequences of this. They’re going to see it in enrollment, they’re going to see it in alumni donations. And the other speakers here have done a much better job than me of explaining why she is wrong about absolutely everything. So if you disagree with a Sharia-loving, Jew-hating commencement speaker, hold back on giving money to this university. Don’t enroll your kids. Teach them a lesson the American way, which is with your speech and with your wallet.