Correcting Ha'aretz's falsehoods on a dossier on Linda Sarsour

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PHILADELPHIA – May 24, 2018 – Writing in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Uri Blau claims in “Spying on Linda Sarsour: Israeli Firm Compiled BDS Dossier for Adelson-funded U.S. Group Battling Her Campus Appearances,” to have outed a Sheldon Adelson-funded Israeli “spying” operation against the American Islamist Linda Sarsour.

But Blau and Ha'aretz got the story entirely wrong: The Middle East Forum (MEF), an American think-tank, compiled the Sarsour dossier.


The real story: MEF has publicly and openly tracked Linda Sarsour’s career since 2010, when she was still obscure figure. MEF’s president and founder, Daniel Pipes, has maintained a running account since then of her foibles and extremism. Using this and other information (see here, here, here, and here for examples), MEF created the Sarsour dossier in December 2017. 

There is nothing shocking or wrong about this. MEF is a research organization and has produced similar documents studying other American Islamists. For instance, see our CAIR study here, our Islamic Relief study here, and our recent report on Islamists lobbying Congress here. We’ve disseminated our research all over the world, working with moderate Muslim allies.

Further, MEF has never received funding from Sheldon Adelson; nor is MEF part of any coalition mentioned in the article; and no foreign government has been involved with financing or providing information for our research on Sarsour.

With Blau’s article established to be fake news, the Middle East Forum calls on Ha’aretz to issue a public correction and apology.

Rather than waste his own and his readers’ time investigating the research on Sarsour, Blau would do better joining us in researching Sarsour’s career, for she has a long history of vicious antagonism and radical sentiments.

Sarsour has attacked the FGM survivor, activist, and scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Referring to Hirsi Ali and Brigitte Gabriel, Sarsour said: “I wish I could take their vaginas away - they don't deserve to be women.”  Meanwhile, Sarsour praises Saudi Arabia for its treatment of women and openly promotes jihad against the U.S. government:

I hope that we when we stand up to those who oppress our communities that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad. That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or in the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House. … Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community, it is not to assimilate and please any other people and authority.

Sarsour describes one of the most extreme imams in America as her “mentor,” although Siraj Wahhaj advocates the stoning of adulterers to death, the chopping off of the hands of thieves, and lashing people who drink alcohol. In addition, he encourages Muslims to hate homosexuals and has told his congregation:  "Take not into your intimacy those outside of your race. They will not fail to corrupt you. Don't you know our children are surrounded by kafirs [non-Muslims]. I'm telling you, making the hearts of our children corrupt, dirty, foul."

The Middle East Forum promotes American interests through activist, intellectual, and philanthropic efforts.

For immediate release.

For more information, contact:
Gregg Roman, Director