House Passes Ilhan Omar's Anti-Islamophobia Bill

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Ilhan Omar
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota speaks during a press conference calling on Congress to cut funding for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to defund border detention facilities, outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, February 7, 2019. The congresswoman has been under fire for recent tweets that many condemned as anti-Israel, and some as even anti-semitic.

The House voted 219-212 to globally combat Islamophobia after Rep. Lauren Boebert’s, R- Colo., remarks directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar, D- Minn., insinuating the Muslim congresswoman was a terrorist and member of the "Jihad Squad."

The Omar-led bill would establish an office within the State Department, and led by a presidential appointee to monitor and report Islamophobia worldwide. “Until everyone is free to practice their religion, no one is,” Omar said on the House floor.

 

 

 

 

Rep. Michale McCaul, R- Texas., said he supports the bill “in spirit” but added the bill was “too vague and too subjective" and that Islamophobia isn’t defined in the legislation.

Omar faced more incendiary comments from Rep. Scott Perry, R- Penn., who referred to her as an anti-Semite and implied she had connections to terrorist organizations. 

"Let's face it: Aside from the attempts to placate an anti-Semitic member of this chamber, all that's really happening here is that House Democrats are deflecting from the real issue confronting the House of Representatives, and that is that the maker of this bill has no business sitting on House committees has no business in this chamber," Perry said, adding American taxpayers “shouldn’t be forced to pay terrorist organizations that the maker of this bill is affiliated with.”

Perry’s comments were later stricken from the record and he was barred from speaking on the floor for the rest of the night.

 

 

Omar was accused of anti-Semitism after she made comments condemning the lobbying influence of AIPAC over GOP leaders. Omar has signaled support for B.D.S. (Boycotts, Divestments, Sanctions) along with Rep. Rashida Talib, D- Mich., which condemns Israel and promotes equal rights for Palestinians.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R- Calif., has yet to condemn Boebert for her remarks and Omar’s fellow Democrats have drafted a bill that would remove Boebert from her committee assignments for her comments, which resulted in Omar receiving a death threat shortly after. The bill has yet to be taken to the House floor for a vote. 

The Biden administration released a statement supporting Omar’s legislation saying “Religious freedom is a fundamental human right” and that the administration “strongly believes that people of all faiths and backgrounds should be treated with equal dignity and respect around the world," the statement said.

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