Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Rep. Zeldin Calls on CUNY to Rescind Commencement Speaker Invite to Sarsour

May 8, 2017
Press Release

Patchogue, NY - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) released a statement today calling on the City University of New York (CUNY) to revoke its invitation to Linda Sarsour to be the commencement speaker at its School of Public Health graduation ceremony on June 1, 2017. 

Sarsour is a highly controversial individual to invite for this commencement address due to her extensive history of anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-Sharia Law, and pro-terrorist rhetoric and relationships. She has stated that the United States was built upon the values of “genocide”. Sarsour advocates for Sharia Law and calls for violence against those with whom she disagrees. In addition, she has stated that she was “honored and privileged” to share a stage with Rasmea Odeh, a convicted Islamic terrorist, and has associations with an alleged former Hamas operative as well. Sarsour has also made an outrageous and deeply offensive implication that the United States government is complicit in acts of Islamic terror. Furthermore, Sarsour has condemned Israel, America’s greatest ally and a strategic partner in the Middle East, in a number of statements, and is a stronger supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Congressman Zeldin said, “The invitation for Linda Sarsour to be the CUNY commencement speaker should be revoked immediately. From her association with known terrorists to her hateful rhetoric like calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‘a waste of a human being’ and promoting Sharia Law, this invite was in extremely poor taste and must be rescinded. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and we should always be promoting freedom of speech on college campuses. However, this is not an optional academic speech where students can easily just not attend. College graduation is a special and very hard earned day for the graduating students and their families and to force all of them to listen to someone so controversial and objectionable shows an extreme lack of concern on the part of the university. I am strongly urging CUNY to reconsider its decision to have Linda Sarsour as its commencement speaker.”