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Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks onstage at 'What is the Future for Women in Islam?' during Tina Brown's 7th Annual Women In The World Summit at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Fighting words|Fighting words|Fighting words

Ayaan Hirsi Ali says controversial Women’s March organizer is a ‘fake feminist’

By WITW Staff on February 2, 2017

Muslim reform firebrand Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke out Wednesday evening against Linda Sarsour, one of the top organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, whose record has come under increased scrutiny in the wake of the march after extremist statements she posted on Twitter years ago, and more recently, have resurfaced.

“Ms. Sarsour is hostile to me — and not because she knows me — but because she is a fake feminist,” Ali, a renowned author and activist who has appeared on the Women in the World stage, declared during an appearance on Fox News.

Ali was reacting to a recently resurfaced tweet from 2011 in which Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, equated Ali with Brigitte Gabriel, the controversial leader of Act for America, a group that lobbies lawmakers to get tougher on terrorism and that critics suggest is anti-Islam. “Brigitte Gabriel = Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away- they don’t deserve to be women,” Sarsour wrote on Twitter in 2011, in a tweet that’s now been deleted, long before she rose to prominence.

Ali, who was born a Muslim in Somalia, subjected to female genital mutilation and escaped an arranged marriage, has since become one of the leading voices criticizing Islam in recent years. Her dissident writings and speeches on the reforms she says the religion needs to make have led to some Islamic leaders to issue fatwas calling for her death.

“Ms. Sarsour is not interested in universal human rights,” Ali continued, adding, “she’s a defender of Sharia law. There’s no principle that demeans, degrades and dehumanizes women more than the principal of Sharia law.”

 Linda Sarsour speaks onstage during the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Linda Sarsour speaks onstage during the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

“I want to ask Linda Sarsour, and the women who put their trust in her, why did she not organize a march for Asia Bibi … the woman in Pakistan who is on death row,” Ali said. Bibi is facing execution in Pakistan for alleged blasphemy charges. Ali went on to cite a number of other women, including the Yazidis being enslaved by ISIS in Iraq, and questioned why Sarsour hasn’t advocated for them.

“She hates me because I expose what Sharia law is,” Ali thundered, “and what Sharia law is, is what the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is doing.”

Ali said that the women around the world are facing “real threats .. our genitals are being cut” and young girls are being forced into marriage, and Sarsour is not using her influence to advocate against those true horrors.

As to the accusations that Sarsour is a defender of Sharia law, the fact-checking website Snopes looked into the claims last week and found that Sarsour has indeed posted messages on Twitter that seem to take a defensive stance about Sharia law. Snopes’ calls to Sarsour seeking clarification have not been returned.

Watch Ali’s full Fox News interview below.

Ali, of course is no stranger to controversy, and just last year at the Women in the World New York Summit, she clashed with women’s activist and Sharia-defender Hibaaq Osman in a fiery panel on women in Islam. The panel was one of the most-talked about discussions during the three-day conference and debate about it was so passionate it spilled over into a second day, off-stage. Watch the full panel below.


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