It seems that the Women’s March may have replaced bigotry with bigotry in their new board member, Zahra Billoo.
Yesterday, the Washington Post and New York Times reported that three inaugural board members of the left-wing advocacy group Women’s March resigned amidst accusations of “anti-Semitism, infighting, and financial mismanagement.” Co-Chairs Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, and Linda Sarsour had been catapulted to national prominence for, among other things, heavy-handed critiques of President Trump. However, it seems the Women’s March may have replaced bigotry with bigotry in their new board member, Zahra Billoo.
Over the past few years, Mallory and Sarsour had come under fire for supporting bigoted Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whose infamy stems from a litany of antisemitic, anti-gay, and anti-white commentary. As women running an organization supposedly predicated upon bringing people from different groups together, Mallory and Sarsour could not have chosen a more divisive and hateful figure to elevate.
Last year, Mallory attended a speech by Farrakhan, publicly heaping praise on the bigoted figure. This wasn’t the result of ignorance, for in that very speech, Farrakhan declared that “powerful Jews are my enemy” and that he had “pulled the cover off of the eyes of the Satanic Jew.” He also accused Jews of attempting to “feminize” black men through marijuana.
When confronted about her reverence for the Nation of Islam leader by “The View’s” co-hosts Meghan McCain and Sunny Hostin, Mallory stood by her support of Farrakhan, declaring, “I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric. I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities.”
Sarsour’s history represents a similar questionable patchwork. As Jonathan S. Tobin of National Review points out, Sarsour has a habit of using anti-Israel sentiment to cloak antisemitic behaviors. Not only is Sarsour a public supporter of the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement, but as Tobin asserts, “She isn’t coy about her objectives [in regards to BDS]. She opposes the existence of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn and refers to all of Israeli territory as ‘occupied.’ She has made a habit of personally attacking Jews who support Israel. And she has made it clear that pro-Israel women are not welcome in the Women’s March.”
It is under the weight of these accusations that the Women’s March opted for three new board members. One’s past comments suggest she very well may be a worse selection than those she is replacing.
In its recent article describing the resignation of Bland, Mallory, and Sarsour, the Washington Post describes Billoo as merely “a civil rights attorney and executive director of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.”But her social media activity paints a far less benign picture. Jon Levine of the New York Post posted a lengthy tweet thread compiling some of Billoo’s more shocking tweets.
Some of the more outlandish tweets include, “I’m more afraid of racists Zionists who support Apartheid Israel than of the mentally ill young people the #FBI recruits to join ISIS. #CVE;” “When the assault on Gaza ends, hold the American Muslims who work with Zionists in the slow season accountable;” “will not renounce jihad, khilafah or sharia. #MPAC 14;” and “watching Farrakhan church speech, while at the gym.” She also retweeted a tweet by @beatsNOTbombs, which stated, “No need for a holocaust museum, seeing Israel has taken it upon itself to recreate it. #Israel #Nazis.”
President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement Dr. Zuhdi Jasser spoke frankly about his disappointment in Billoo’s hiring. Jasser has followed Billoo’s work for years, and shared that she has a long history of this type of commentary.
“The Womens’ march can no longer claim these are just one-offs,” he said. “Their platform is not about civil rights of women and equality. It clearly, like the UN has allowed itself to now be run by anti-American, anti-semitic separatists. The Women’s March is the head of the spear here in the West of the ‘Red-Green Axis’ of cooperation between the most radical icons of the Socialists and Islamist movements. Its founder was right when she condemned them and withdrew her support that they have strayed far adrift.”
Jasser, a former officer in the U.S. Navy, pointed out that Billoo’s rhetoric can have lasting and disastrous consequences: “There is no quicker way to radicalize Muslims than to convince them that the democracy of Israel and its moral protection force is ‘like ISIS’. She’s repeated that as has her CAIR colleagues in LA and they have never apologized.”
Billoo has also shamed Muslim Americans who join the U.S. military, tweeting in response to the Air Force granting a beard waiver to a Muslim American, “Great news, MashaAllah. You can now rock your Sunnah beard while bombing your Muslim brothers and sisters.” Her hatred extends to the entirety of the U.S. military, asking one person on Twitter, “You think we should honor people who commit war crimes?” in response to someone’s now-deleted Memorial Day tweet.
Given the antisemitic, anti-Israel hatred that oozed from the former board members of the Women’s March, it is unsurprising that the new hire is of a similar ilk. Billoo’s hiring indicates that the Women’s March has learned virtually nothing from the fallout after hiring Sarsour and Mallory, whose bigoted views floated around the ;eftist advocacy arena for many months before some Democrats finally decided to distance themselves from the group back in January.
Only now is the Women’s March finally trying to address the wound. But, as Billoo’s hiring indicates, the attempt is a patent farce and a pathetic attempt at concern. I look forward to Billoo becoming the darling of the mainstream media and the left in much the same way that Sarsour and Mallory continued to be, long after their commentary became public. Billoo’s hiring will serve as another test revealing whether the left takes such bigotry seriously. If the past is indication, the left’s ability to confront such hatred does not look promising.
Erielle Davidson is a Staff Writer at the Federalist and a law student at Georgetown University Law Center. She currently serves as a Fellow at the Center for International Law in the Middle East (CILME) at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. She writes about Israel, the Middle East, and related issues. Find her on Twitter at @politicalelle.