Sarsour, a Palestinian-American activist from New York City, has a growing national profile in battles against surveillance of Muslims, discrimination and Islamophobia. In recent years, her work in New York has brought her closer to African-American activists fighting stop and frisk, biased policing and mass incarceration.
Sarsour, a blunt-talking, hijab-wearing, 35-year-old Brooklynite forged in the crucible of New York City politics, has played a galvanizing role in this mutation. A veteran of nuts-and-bolts local work — for instance, to raise Muslim voter turnout and have the Eid festivals made school holidays — she is also a regular presence on cable, sparring with the likes of anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller. But as the mobilization known as Black Lives Matter has taken flight, Sarsour has thrown her effort into building its Muslim contribution.
In April she walked 250 miles in eight days from Staten Island in New York to Washington, D.C., in the March2Justice with some 70 other activists to deliver a package of criminal justice reform demands. She co-chaired the march with Tamika Mallory, a former top aide to the Rev. Al Sharpton. A month earlier, Sarsour had been in the Capitol as the guest of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for the address to a joint session of Congress by the president of Afghanistan. This time, she rallied outside with Danny Glover, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett and U.S. Reps. John Lewis, Yvette Clarke, Keith Ellison and Barbara Lee.
Source: Al Jazeera