New York, NY –Bend the Arc Jewish Action has raised more than $10,000 in an online crowdfunding campaign to help fund private security for Linda Sarsour, a prominent Muslim-American civil rights activist. Sarsour has been subjected to ongoing, escalating threats and harassment by far-right extremists, including from within the Jewish community, and has had to take exceptional measures to protect herself and her family.
Sarsour, who served as a co-chair of the historic Women’s March in January and the Day Without a Woman protest in March, has been a leader of the Resistance movement organized to oppose President Donald Trump’s agenda. She also helped launch a crowdfunding campaign in February to restore vandalized Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis.
Sarsour was the victim of a smear campaign, led by far-right New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind and supported by anti-Muslim extremists like Milo Yiannopoulos and Pamela Geller, that unsuccessfully sought to cancel her speech Thursday evening at the CUNY School of Public Health commencement ceremony.
“For years Linda has been a leading voice in our shared interfaith work of building a more just society.” said Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc Jewish Action. “During this unprecedented time of rising white nationalism, and amid the horrific murders in Portland and Maryland, we must keep one another safe. Rather than allowing our communities to be pitted against one another, we will respond with action based in love and solidarity.”
Cotler, along with more than 130 Jewish leaders, also signed an open letter condemning the threats against Sarsour. The letter called these threats “dangerous, disingenuous and counterproductive, undermining core Jewish values of compassion, humility and human dignity.”
Bend the Arc Jewish Action has been a leader in the American Jewish community in opposing the policies of the Trump administration targeting Muslims, immigrants, refugees and other marginalized groups. An open letter co-authored by Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc Jewish Action expressing solidarity with those threatened by the Trump administration, received more than 45,000 signatures. In addition, a joint petition with the Muslim Public Affairs Council calling for white nationalist Steve Bannon’s to resign as White House chief strategist received an additional 29,000 signatures.