She's confused, apparently, because she feels Muslims are damned if they do, damned if they don't. That is, if they try to promote moderation and bridge building they are accused by "Islamophobes" of "angling for key positions and power"; whereas if they stay silent, they are accused of not wanting to "engage with the society".
Let me try and clarify it for you, Ms Sarsour. The criticism many have of moderate Muslims, who we are constantly assured are the "vast majority", is that they do not speak out against their violent co-religionists. From my reading it has nothing to do with their alleged careerism. Indeed, it would probably be good if genuinely moderate Muslims were able to obtain "key positions and power" to influence the debate and speak out against the violence done in the name of Islam. No, the main issue we have with those who do "speak out", as you clearly see yourself as doing, is not their careerism, but that so many that do so speak out end up being apologists for Islam instead. That is, that they avoid the very key issues they are supposed to be addressing.
Take an example from Ms Mekhennet's article above, an example of your own Islamic apologetics:
You don't like the term "honour killings", for the murder of family members by, mostly, Muslims. These, you say, "should not be connected to faith". When non-Muslims kill it's a "crime", "but when it happens in a Muslim family, it's an honor killing". Why should that be, you ask.
Well, the simple answer is because "honour killings" are done specifically in the name of Islam.
The case of the Shafia killings, the murders were done specifically because the daughters had, according to their father Mohammad, impugned Islam. He said so repeatedly in phone intercepts and in court. He is enabled, if not encouraged, by the fact that Islamic Law specifically states that killing of children shall not be punishable (Umdat al-Salik, o1.2).
I ask you, Ms Sarsour: how can the issue of these killings -- at least 5,000 per year, according to the UN -- be tackled if the prime motivation and enabler for them -- "honour" and Islamic Law -- are denied by you? Denied by other "moderate Muslims", denied by many on the Left.
It's also wrong to say that "when a non-Muslim man is killing his wife or daughter, we call it a crime". We do, in fact, very often note the motivation for such crimes: whether it be jealousy, or drunken rage, or passion, or lunacy. If the Mafia kill a rival, we call it a mob-style execution.
Talking of Mafia, Italians might be rightly concerned that campaigns to arrest and shut down mobsters might tar all Italians with the same brush. But Italians do not carry out campaigns against the police to stop the fight against organised crime on the basis that to do so is "Italophobia", or might "complicate engagement efforts" of the "vast majority of moderate Italians" to get on with their lives in the US.
As for the "The Third Jihad", the doco that causes you such heartache because it "complicates" your "chosen course of speaking out about prejudice", I say this: why don't you, Ms Sarsour, speak out about the violent prejudice that the film clearly, fairly, and factually shows: the violent prejudice of Islamic radicals against all infidels? Surely that is of vastly more concern than your efforts to paint Islam in benign colours (or as some might say, whitewash)?
Please note, by the way, that the film makes it very clear at the outset that it is not about the majority of peaceable Muslims, but about violent radical Islam. Surely that is our joint enemy? And note that the film is narrated by a Muslim Dr Zuhdi Jasser; he is in truth a "moderate Muslim", for he has the courage to identify and fight the violence inherent in his faith.
If you were a true moderate, with true concern to find a comfortable place for Islam in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, tolerant democratic society, then you would be support Dr Jasser and support the clear and unambiguous identification of the enemy. And you would support the New York Police Department learning more about the enemy -- surely your enemy too, as they are the ones that defame and defile your religion.
In any case, Ms Sarsour, I wonder how really moderate and integrated in US society you really are. Tweeting on Valentine's Day, you declared it haraam. It's true, it's a dopey celebration; though it seems pretty harmless and gives pleasure to many. But haraam? Steady on!
I note that you feature in a video, Hijabi Monologues, that strikes me as neither useful nor moderate. Why blame people for asking about your religion, when you stick it in their face with your dress -- dress, by the way that is not mandated in Islam, so that your choice of it says something about your piety (and that very piety is in itself cause for concern: the more pious, the more one will know of the violence against unbelievers mandated by the Koran).
Meantime, the writer of the article, Souad Mekhennet, doesn't call you out on any of this. I wonder why. She did a series in 2007-08 on Jihad for the New York Times, some of which were pretty hard hitting. She ought to know something about the threat of Jihad herself. So why allow the slander of The Third Jihad to pass unchallenged? Link to Mekhennet's series, "Inside the Jihad" is here.
You are indeed confused, Ms Sarsour, if you think you can find a moderate form of Islam, one that will fit into a democratic society, without facing the most egregious aspects of its doctrine and without facing square on the violent supremacists profiled in The Third Jihad.