JAMAAT DENOUNCES ISLAMOPHOBIC ATTACK BY REP. LAUREN
BOEBERT ON REP. ILHAN OMAR AND CALLS ON CONGRESS TO
CONTACT: Walter Ruby 917 294-1772
Jews and Muslims and Allies Acting Together (JAMAAT), a Washington-area
grass roots interfaith organization, denounces the repugnant remarks by
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO), suggesting Muslim-American
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is a terrorist, as well as Boebert’s
subsequent refusal to apologize for her bigoted and Islamophobic
characterization of Omar.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other leaders of the Republican caucus must
denounce and disown Boebert’s vile comments. If no such condemnation by
McCarthy is forthcoming, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should consider a censure
motion against Boebert.
In public comments, Boebert told a laughing and hooting audience that she
recently encountered Omar on a Capitol elevator shortly after seeing a Capitol
policeman running down the hall, but decided that the Minnesota Democrat
was safe to ride with so long as she wasn’t wearing a backpack. Boebert also
referred to Omar as a member of the “jihad squad.” Boebert’s account of her
supposed encounter with Boebert may have been fabricated since Omar has
no memory of it.
After initially apologizing soon after the story broke “to anyone in the Muslim
community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar,” Boebert quickly
returned to defiance, refusing to personally apologize to Omar during a phone
call, but instead demanding that Omar should apologize to the American
people “for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric.”
Omar correctly pointed out the stakes in subsequent remarks, stating; “This is
not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has
mainstreamed bigotry and hatred. It is time for Republican Leader McCarthy
to actually hold his party accountable.” McCarthy has so far declined to
comment publicly on Boebert’s remarks.
For their part, Democrats have held back from demanding a congressional
censure of Boebert, over apparent concern that moving forward with a censure
motion might backfire on them politically, following censures this year of Rep.
Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) for remarks with racist and anti-Semitic
tropes endorsing violence against Democrats, and of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
for releasing a video showing a cartoon version of himself slaying Rep.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). However, choosing not to censure Boebert
in the absence of a condemnation of her remarks by McCarthy and the
Republican caucus, would send a dangerous signal that Islamophobia is
somehow more acceptable than other forms of bigotry.
Let us be clear; Boebert’s remarks and her defiant refusal to apologize with
Republican acquiescence have put Omar’s life in even greater peril from gun-
toting extremists than was the case before she spoke. Failure by Congress to
take an unambiguous stand against Boebert’s bigotry might well serve as
encouragement for those inclined to carry out hate crimes against Muslims,
mosques, and other Muslim institutions.
We call upon faith leaders of all backgrounds to denounce
Boebert’s hateful comments and to demand an end to the creeping
normalization of Islamophobia in America. For our part, Jews,
Muslims, and Allies must stand up for each other and speak out whenever
members of any faith or ethnic community come under unjust attack or are
victims of incitement.
Our mailing address is:
Jews, Muslims, and Allies Acting Together
14120 newbrook dr
Chantilly, VA 20151