Republican Rebuked for Anti-Muslim Remarks in ‘Islamophobia’ Debate

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Politics|Republican Rebuked for Anti-Muslim Remarks successful ‘Islamophobia’ Debate

A blimpish Republican accused Ilhan Omar, the sponsor of a House measure to combat anti-Muslim bias, of violent sympathies.

Representative Scott Perry, Republican of Pennsylvania, is the incoming person  of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus.
Credit...Shawn Thew/EPA, via Shutterstock

Jonathan Weisman

Published Dec. 14, 2021Updated Dec. 15, 2021, 10:16 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON — A House effort to walk a measure to combat anti-Muslim bigotry became enmeshed successful charges of precisely that prejudice erstwhile a right-wing Republican from Pennsylvania accused the bill’s co-sponsor, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, of antisemitism and harboring violent sympathies.

Representative Scott Perry, the incoming person of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, assailed the measure, which would make a caller peculiar envoy presumption successful the State Department to combat “Islamophobia and Islamophobic incitement.” But his harshest words were aimed astatine Ms. Omar, 1 of 2 Muslim women successful the House and a co-author of the measure.

“American taxpayers shouldn’t beryllium forced to wage violent organizations, organizations that the shaper of this measure is affiliated with, similar the 1 that’s an unindicted co-conspirator successful the largest panic concern lawsuit successful the United States of America’s history,” Mr. Perry said.

The onslaught was a convoluted notation to a lawsuit much than a decennary agone against the Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic foundation that successful 2008 was convicted of backing Islamic militant groups. The Council connected American-Islamic Relations, a quality rights group, was 1 of astir 250 organizations and individuals named arsenic co-conspirators.

The national authorities astatine the clip said it had included the organizations connected the database to extract grounds for the trial, but the territory tribunal and a national appeals tribunal ruled that making the database nationalist was a mistake. A decennary later, the council, which is modeled connected the Anti-Defamation League, honored Ms. Omar, who gave a code to its California chapter.

None of that accusation was imparted by Mr. Perry. Representative Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan and an state of Ms. Omar, moved instantly to onslaught Mr. Perry’s words from the authoritative grounds of the debate, grinding the House level to a halt. Ultimately, Mr. Perry was barred from speaking again Tuesday night. The measure passed precocious Tuesday nighttime on enactment lines, 219 to 212.

The kerfuffle showed the gulf betwixt the 2 parties, adjacent arsenic House Democratic leaders are trying to defuse the incendiary contented of bigotry. The anti-Muslim bias measure came to the level 4 weeks aft a video surfaced of Representative Lauren Boebert, Republican of Colorado, suggesting that Ms. Omar could person been a termination bomber and calling her a subordinate of the “jihad squad.”

Several Democrats wanted their leaders to punish Ms. Boebert by stripping her of her committee assignments, but leaders opted not to. They had already done that to 2 different Republicans this year, Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said that further enactment could beryllium taken against Ms. Boebert.

Ms. Pelosi said Tuesday nighttime that she had hoped the House would “come unneurotic successful a tone of unity” connected the anti-Islamophobia bill. Instead, she said, what followed was “an onslaught connected the religion of 1 of our members.”

House Republican leaders denounced the bill, saying it would make what they called a redundant bureau wrong the State Department, and due to the fact that “Islamophobia” was not intelligibly defined, they raised the imaginable that specified a caller bureau could beryllium utilized to constabulary Israel’s efforts to antagonistic Islamist organizations similar Hamas.

Representative Andy Barr, Republican of Kentucky, called it “a wolf successful sheep’s clothing.”

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