Muslim employees in US Congress name for motion towards Islamophobia

Dozens of Muslim congressional employees members have denounced US Representative Lauren Boebert’s current Islamophobic feedback towards Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, saying a “heightened climate of Islamophobia” on Capitol Hill has created “a feeling of anxiety and fear”.

In an open letter to the US House of Representatives management on Wednesday, the group mentioned “hateful rhetoric by public officials directly impacts us and puts our safety at risk, both at the workplace and in our everyday lives”.

“Witnessing unchecked harassment of one of only three Muslim members of Congress – and the only visibly Muslim member – we feel that our workplace is neither safe nor welcome,” reads the letter, signed by 62 Muslim employees members within the House and the Senate and 378 allied employees.

It comes after a current video posted on Facebook confirmed Boebert, a first-term Republican congresswoman from Colorado, at an occasion describing a purported interplay with Omar, a Somali American and one of many first Muslim girls elected to Congress.

In the footage, Boebert described encountering Omar on the US Capitol and being relieved she “doesn’t have a backpack”, in an obvious reference to Omar probably carrying a bomb. “I look to my left and there she is – Ilhan Omar. And I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,’” Boebert says within the video, laughing.

Omar has mentioned the interplay – which prompted widespread condemnation and calls from Democrats for the House management to strip Boebert of her committee assignments – by no means occurred.

A political acolyte of former President Donald Trump, Boebert was elected to Congress final yr as an advocate for gun rights.

Boebert later publicly apologised for her feedback about Omar, however a telephone name between the 2 girls ended abruptly after Omar mentioned Boebert failed to indicate any private remorse.

The episode is the most recent in years of non-public assaults towards Omar and different progressive Democratic lawmakers, together with Representative Rashida Tlaib, who’s Palestinian American.

Boebert and different Republicans, together with Representative Majorie Taylor Greene, repeatedly confer with the group because the “Jihad Squad”. Omar and Tlaib have been the goal of demise threats.

Ilhan Omar, left, and Rashida Tlaib have been the primary two Muslim girls elected to the US Congress in 2018 [File: J Scott Applewhite/AP Photo]

During a information convention final week, Omar performed a racist, death-threat laden voicemail she mentioned was left for her after Boebert refused to publicly apologise for her feedback.

“We see you, you Muslim sand n***** b****,” the voicemail started. “Don’t worry, there are plenty who would love the opportunity to take you off the face of this f****** earth,” the caller continued. “You will not live much longer b****, I can almost guarantee you that.”

In their letter on Wednesday, the Muslim congressional employees members urged Congress to “categorically reject this incendiary rhetoric that endangers the physical, mental and emotional well-being of staff across both sides of the aisle”.

“This type of harmful behavior normalizes hate against an entire religious community that has already faced decades of derogatory rhetoric, hate crimes, surveillance, distrust, discrimination, demonization and violence,” the letter mentioned.

On December 5, Omar mentioned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had pledged the chamber would take motion to rebuke Boebert, though that has not occurred but.

“I have had a conversation with the speaker, and I’m very confident that she will take decisive action next week,” Omar mentioned on CNN’s State of the Union programme.

Last month, the House rebuked Republican Paul Gosar for tweeting an anime video that portrayed him killing Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat, and attacking President Joe Biden.

The House stripped Greene of her committee assignments earlier this yr for previous remarks supporting violence towards Democrats.


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