ATT: Kate Kehler, Executive Director, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
Yasmin Ali, President, Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute
The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute are being urged to remove Linda Sarsour as a guest panelist from the upcoming event “Sorry Not Sorry.”
As organizations that claim to support equity, empowerment and inclusiveness, opening the stage to Sarsour means supporting her views – including those that are antisemitic.
Sarsour has openly discussed her support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. BDS – which can be compared to Nazi efforts to boycott Jewish businesses prior to the Second World War – is inherently antisemitic and unfairly targets the state of Israel, the only democratic country in the Middle East. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently defended his condemnation of the BDS movement, raising the issue of Jewish students fearing attending campus events because of their religion.
While a board member of the Women’s March, which claims to be inclusive for all women, Sarsour has been quoted saying that there is no room in feminism for women who support Israel and are Zionists. She has also falsely accused so-called “right-wing Zionists” of targeting Palestinian women engaged in social justice movements.
In 2017, Sarsour reportedly embraced Rasmea Yousef Odeh – a Palestinian terrorist convicted for her role in a 1969 bombing in Jerusalem that left two Israeli students dead – gushing about feeling “honoured to be on this stage with Rasmea.”
According to reports, she has also shown her support for Louis Farrakhan – who has a long history of antisemitic rhetoric, including calling Jewish people termites and Satanic – including speaking at a rally of his in 2015.
Through her words and actions, Sarsour has created an unwelcoming environment for Jewish and pro-Israel women in the Women's March movement.
We commend Seven Oaks School Division for their decision to pull the Performing Arts Centre from the event and urge you to also take a stand against hate by removing Linda Sarsour from your event’s lineup of speakers.
Send a message that antisemitism and hate are not welcome in Canada.