“We need to translate the emotions and the frustrations right now, and the fear that people have right now, into massive polls numbers to win back the House of Representatives,” Sarsour said in an interview with Glamour. “One of the areas that many of us, including the Women’s March organizers, are focusing on is starting mass voter registration and voter engagement.”
She’s also turning part of her attention to speaking out against President Trump’s executive order on immigration, which temporarily suspends visa entry from seven Muslim-majority countries and bans refugees from entering the country for 120 days. She says she was heartened to see spontaneous demonstrations at airports across the country after the order was signed.
“I also want them to understand that there was a time when their Muslim sisters and brothers needed them when we were organizing under those post-9/11 policies on our own,” she said. “That said, it has been really beautiful to watch Americans organize in solidarity for the progressive movement in a way that I’ve never seen before, especially as a Muslim American who’s been doing organizing in New York City for the past 16 years.”
Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab Association of New York, knows a thing or two about activism. She successfully pushed to get New York City public schools to recognize two Muslim high holy holidays and co-chaired a 250-mile walk to deliver demands on criminal justice reforms. And she’s confident that the new movement born from the March will be successful in its aims.
“I’ve been an organizer for 16 years. I have been part of fights where we have been told, “You will not win,” and we have won,” she said. “People have been skeptical of the Women’s March on Washington. Our legitimacy only came from us proving to the rest of the world that we’re capable. Time and time again, organizers have proved that when we work together, when we organize together, that we can win.”