JLC policy director raises concerns about Linda Sarsour UK speaking tour
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JLC policy director raises concerns about Linda Sarsour UK speaking tour

Sarsour, a leader of the Women’s March movement, is due to speak at events in the UK this week

Linda Sarsour
Linda Sarsour

Concerns have been raised by a member of the Jewish Leadership Council about the activist Linda Sarsour who is due to speak at events in the UK this week.

“It is no surprise that an organisation like Mend have invited Linda Sarsour to speak at their event,” said Claudia Mendoza, director of policy and public affairs at the JLC.

“Both Mend and Sarsour employ divisive and illiberal rhetoric under the banner of social justice. No one should be deceived about their real agenda.”

Muslim Engagement and Development, or Mend, is hosting a dozen speakers at their Losing My Religion Conference 2019 in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff from June 21 to 24.

Sarsour, a leader of the Women’s March movement, is among them and has previously faced allegations of antisemitism.

She apologised in a statement last year for “causing harm to the movement’s Jewish members and for being too slow to show its commitment to fighting antisemitism.”

“We should have been faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting antisemitism. We regret that,” she wrote.

Last November, Sarsour was accused of suggesting that liberal American Jews have dual loyalties for prioritising their support for Israel over democracy.

“This is not only coming from the right-wing but some folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech,” she wrote on Facebook, defending congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her support of the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement.

However supporters of Sarsour have pointed to her work raising funds for victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and to repair a vandalised Jewish cemetery.

Both Mend and Linda Sarsour were approached for comment but did not immediately reply.

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