The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a bill on Tuesday that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi fast-tracked to appease leftist Rep. Ilhan Omar after she took offense to a stupid joke made by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert.
At a recent event, Boebert referred to Omar as being part of the “Jihad Squad.”
“I looked to my left and there she is: Ilhan Omar. And I said, ‘Well, she does not have a backpack, we should be okay,’” Boebert said.
She later apologized for offending Omar and offered to speak with her about the comments.
I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) November 26, 2021
Omar, however, was not satisfied after the pair’s later phone call and demanded action against Boebert.
“I myself have reported hundreds of threats on my life, often triggered by Republican attacks on my faith,” Omar said.
If passed, the legislation would create a U.S. State Department office led by a president-appointed envoy focused on documenting and combatting anti-Islamic bigotry worldwide. The broad and vague language employed by the Democrats who drafted the bill, some Republicans say, leaves too much room for concerns and criticisms about true Islamic extremism to be brushed off as “Islamophobic” hate speech.
As ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Michael McCaul noted in his dissent to the legislation, attacks against Muslims are real and need to be addressed, but “the bill does not condemn persecution or gross violations of internationally recognized human rights against Muslims, and Democrats voted down an amendment that would have appropriately focused the new office’s efforts of the plight of the Uyghurs and Rohingya, in particular.” The act simply offers to document it.
“Instead, H.R. 5665, creates a duplicative office and a new special envoy position in the State Department, which it charges with combating ‘Islamophobia and Islamophobic incitement,’ two deliberately vague terms that appear nowhere in federal statute and are defined nowhere in the bill,” he said.
“Republicans firmly believe that no one should ever be attacked or denied their human rights or dignity because of their religious faith, but this rushed, partisan legislation does not represent a serious legislative effort and is instead a divisive messaging bill that is unlikely to become law,” a statement from House Republican Whip Steve Scalise and other GOP leaders stated.
Despite Republicans’ concerns about the Combating International Islamophobia Act, Pelosi pushed the legislation and allowed it to rush through committee in an effort to quiet Omar’s leftist allies in the lower chamber, led by Democrat Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who demanded that the speaker strip Boebert of her committee assignments over the comments.
After publicly condemning Boebert but refusing to take action against her, Pelosi instead offered to back Omar and Democrat Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s legislation, which was introduced just two months ago, to shut up the progressives in the House. The Biden administration quickly joined in supporting the act.
“Our country’s commitment to defending freedom of religion and belief goes back centuries, and the Administration strongly believes that people of all faiths and backgrounds should be treated with equal dignity and respect around the world,” the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.
While the legislation would still have to make it through the Senate and to President Joe Biden’s desk before becoming a law, it is expected to pass the House with just Democrat support.