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Ilhan Omar Slams Republican Islamophobia

Ilhan Omar
Phil Pasquini / Shutterstock

After House Speaker Kevin McCarthy removed the Minnesota Democrat from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Omar has said she feels targeted by right-wing Islamophobia.

Representative Ilhan Omar is calling out Republicans for being “OK with Islamophobia” after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy barred her from keeping her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, is the first Somali American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. She said via The Hill that she feels McCarthy has targeted her, especially given his history of letting Islamophobic slander slide.

“You remember Donald Trump coming into my state and saying, ‘Muslims, Somali refugees are infiltrating our country.' You remember Marjorie Taylor Greene coming to Congress after Rashida [Tlaib] and I got sworn in and saying, ‘Muslims are infiltrating Congress.’ You remember [Lauren] Boebert saying that I was a terrorist,’" Omar recalled. "What did McCarthy do? He said, ‘She apologized, and we don’t have to worry about her Islamophobia. That never happened.'"

McCarthy also removed California Democrats Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee. While McCarthy finalizes the decision to remove them, Omar's removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee requires for a vote from the entire chamber.

Omar's fellow Democratic colleagues have already rallied behind her, with several Republicans also saying they disagree with McCarthy's decision, and that they will vote in support of her. While Omar said she hopes the GOP members who claimed to support her follow through with their votes, she believes the Islamophobia within the Republican party still needs to be addressed.

“If they want to debate political differences, and that’s something that we should all have the opportunity to do so, but to smear someone and their character, their love for their country and the work that they get to do on a committee is wrong,” Omar continued. “And it is politically motivated. And, in some cases, it’s motivated by the fact that many of these members don’t believe a Muslim, a refugee, an African should even be in Congress, let alone have the opportunity to serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee.”

She added: “And so these people are OK with Islamophobia. They’re OK with trafficking in their own ways, in anti-Semitism. They are not OK with having a Muslim have a voice on that committee."

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