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Rep. Rashida Tlaib blames attacks on Ilhan Omar on her race, religion: ‘She’s an easier target’
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) thinks she knows what’s really driving the backlash against fellow freshman Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN) — and it’s not her allegedly anti-Semitic comments.
On Sunday’s edition of CNN’s State of the Union, Tlaib argued that Omar has been victimized not because of her offensive remarks, but because of her race and religion.
“Because she’s Muslim and because she’s black, she’s an easier target for them to attack and target,” Tlaib said of Omar, who shares the title of first Muslim woman in Congress with Tlaib. Islamophobia “is still very present on both sides of the aisle,” Tlaib added.
But those who have criticized Omar say it isn’t her appearance or her beliefs that has them up in arms. Rather, it’s Omar’s repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes to criticize fellow politicians who support Israel.
“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar tweeted in February, invoking an offensive Jewish stereotype to insinuate that pro-Israel legislators are only in it for the money. Omar was criticized weeks later for similarly offensive comments she made suggesting that Israeli-Americans aren’t fully loyal to the U.S.
House Democrats attempted to pass a resolution condemning Omar and her statements earlier this year. But after pushback from progressive Dems, including both Tlaib and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the resolution was watered down so as to condemn all bigotry, including Islamophobia.
Loud and clear
But Tlaib maintains that attacks on Omar are the result of a double standard. Though she didn’t name any examples, Tlaib said that others have also used anti-Semitic language, but have not been targeted like Omar.
“Is it because she’s a black Muslima?” Tlaib asked. “Is it because it’s around the issue of human rights violations from the country of Israel? I don’t know.”
“But I can tell you,” the Michigan representative continued, “if it was really about anti-Semitism and condemning that, then we need to be able to say to all the members — and that’s what we ended up [doing] at the end, condemning all forms of hate — but also holding every single person accountable to the same standard. And that’s what I didn’t see.”
Tlaib went on to criticize what she perceived as inaction by President Donald Trump following a devastating terrorist attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that left at least 50 dead.
“He needs to do better by us and the country,” Tlaib said of Trump. “He needs to speak up and condemn this very loud and very clearly.”
But we could say the same to Tlaib and her fellow Dems about condemning Omar. It’s time to call out her anti-Semitism loud and clear.
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