An Islamophobic scandal this week has shaken the foundations of the United States Capitol. Barely 15 days had passed since the House of Representatives took steps to censor and withdraw attributions to Paul Gosar (Republican of Arizona) for the publication of a retouched cartoon video in which he could be seen killing Democrat Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez (New York), when Congress has been shaken by the racist comments of Lauren Bobert (Republican of Colorado) about the Muslim Ilhan Omar (Minnesota).
Again, it is a confrontation between an extremist republican politician and a member of the known as The Squad, that squad that brings together the most progressive wing of the Democrats. It all started when a recording on November 20 was made public at a campaign event in Pueblo (Colorado). In the video, Boebert, 34, recounts, microphone in hand, that one day he was in one of the elevators of the capitol when he saw a running policeman arrive who tried unsuccessfully to prevent the elevator from closing its doors. What’s going on? Boebert, a staunch pro-gun activist, wondered to himself. “So I look to my left and there she is: Ilhan Omar. ‘I said to myself, well, he doesn’t have a backpack, so nothing bad should happen ”, is heard in the recording, which, how could it be otherwise, went viral. Boebert had to apologize, although his excuse didn’t sound very convincing.
Omar, a Muslim and the first Somali-American elected to Congress, wears a hijab every day. The scandal grew with a second video, this September, in which the Colorado congresswoman called her “evil” and said that she had “a black heart.” Once again, Boebert again suggested that Omar was a terrorist.
The response from the Minnesota representative was immediate. On Twitter he said that the story was pure invention. “It is a fact. This clown looks away at me and lowers her eyes when she sees me in the Capitol, this whole story is made up. It’s sad, he thinks that intolerance gives him more influence ”. He went on to assert that “anti-Muslim attitudes are not funny and should not be tolerated. Congress cannot be a place that does not condemn expressions of hatred that pose a danger to Muslims. “
Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up. Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout.
Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized. Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation. https://t.co/S1APT7RbqW
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 26, 2021
Boebert apologized “to anyone in the Muslim community” who might have been offended and said he approached Omar’s office to speak to her directly. Finally, they communicated later by phone. When Boebert refused to publicly apologize, Omar cut the call.
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The scandal was compounded by the entry of two new characters: Republican Congressmen Marjorie Taylor Greene, from Georgia, and Nancy Mace, from South Carolina. The latter condemned Boebert’s anti-Muslim comments and criticized her in an interview Sunday for suggesting that Omar was a terrorist. Without half measures, in a tweet Tuesday morning, Greene called Mace “the trash of the Republican Conference.” “Mace, you can walk away from @laurenboebert or just hang out with your true friends, the Jihad Squad.”
.@NancyMace is the trash in the GOP Conference.
Never attacked by Democrats or RINO’s (same thing) because she is not conservative, she’s pro-abort.
Mace you can back up off of @laurenboebert or just go hang with your real gal pals, the Jihad Squad.
Your out of your league.
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) November 30, 2021
Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, also a Muslim, predicted that Rep. Boebert’s “pathetic racist lies will not only endanger Omar’s life but will increase hate crimes against Muslims.” Advocacy groups for Muslim and Jewish groups filed a formal complaint and wrote to the House Ethics Committee to request an investigation into Boebert’s behavior.
Washington baptized as “the progressive squad” the group that make up Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – of Puerto Rican origin -, the African American Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents. All four belong to the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party and were constant victims of attacks by the former president, Donald Trump, whose ways seem to continue to inspire the rudest members of his party. The most notorious was when the Republican accused them of coming “from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, and the worst, the most corrupt and inept in the world” and asked them via Twitter: “Why don’t you come back and help them to fix those places, which are totally broken and infected with crimes? The House of Representatives – with a Democratic majority – condemned the president’s “racist messages”, since they are all Americans, three of them by birth.
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