Being a “white nationalist” doesn’t mean having European ancestry in Linda Sarsour’s world. Her group, MPower Change, joined the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Philadelphia chapter in charging that Raymond Ibrahim, an American Copt of Egyptian ancestry, whose people have been severely discriminated against under Islamic rule for centuries, is a “white nationalist.”
The smear campaign is part of an effort to have the U.S. Army War College rescind a June 19 speaking invitation to Ibrahim.
“In a time of rising white nationalism, Islamophobia, and horrific violence stemming from these ideologies, the College is endorsing and fostering anti-Muslim hate within the military by inviting Ibrahim,” MPower Change wrote in a petition on its website.
To classify Ibrahim in the same category as white supremacists who hate Muslims for being non-white is to show ignorance of the severe persecution and discriminationfaced by the Coptic people under nearly 14 centuries of Islamic rule.
Copts face constant discrimination and persecution at the hands of their Muslim neighbors, a fact that colors the view of Islam held by Ibrahim and other Copts whose relatives face Jim Crow-style conditions in their homeland.
MPower Change argues that Ibrahim “advances an Orientalist and inaccurate view of Islam.” Among other things, Ibrahim denounced Muhammad as a “false prophet” and a “liar,” which is considered blasphemy under Islam. This “Orientalist” epithet stemsfrom late Columbia University scholar Edward Said’s book 1978 Orientalism, which asserts that Islam and the West belong to the same civilization and complains about the Christian rejection of Islam as a heresy.
Ibrahim’s assertion that “Muslim hostility and terrorization of the West is not an aberration but a continuation of Islamic history” promotes prejudice against Islam and Muslims, MPower Change complains.