Days after video of Linda Sarsour, a co-chair of the Women's March on Washington, calling for a "jihad" against the Trump administration went viral, she took to the op-ed pages of the Washington Post in defense of her remarks.
Sarsour's self-defense consisted mostly of self-praise.
The thrust of her actual argument focused on fighting a straw man, claiming without substantiation that conservative media outlets said she had "called for a violent ‘jihad' against the president." Those outlets, of course, only reported that she had called for a jihad, not explicitly a "violent" one. Some, such as this publication, even contextualized Sarsour's statement.
Nevertheless, the thread weaved from top-to-bottom of her op-ed is Sarsour's own greatness. She's clearly convinced the only reason conservatives made an issue of her use of the word "jihad" is because they are threatened by her efficacy as an activist for progressive causes. As Sarsour sees it, conservatives smear her to hamper the movement she is advancing so successfully.
In her op-ed for the Washington Post, she referred to herself as "an effective leader for progress" and the "worst nightmare" of some of her detractors.
"I am a Palestinian American woman in a hijab who has become a familiar presence and name in American living rooms when it comes to nonviolent resistance and activism," Sarsour further asserted, betraying a strange ignorance of what most Americans discuss in their living rooms. Nonviolent resistance and activism, she may be surprised to learn, is not high on that list.
Trumpeting her own supposedly deep commitment to justice, Sarsour built to a dramatic conclusion, assuring the public that she "will not be silenced" in the face of attacks.
That, in fact, would be the greatest gift to the very people she thinks she's fighting so effectively.
The more Sarsour speaks, the less work conservatives have to put in convincing people that the progressive movement is increasingly unhinged. They may not talk about it in their living rooms, but Americans will figure it out so long as she just keeps talking.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.