Far-left Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) declared Thursday to her 1.4 million Twitter followers that “freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress,” after her fellow Muslim female colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) faced backlash from her own party after appearing to equate the U.S. and Israel to terrorist organizations earlier in the week.
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Tlaib, who along with Omar is a household name after numerous controversial statements and membership in House Democrats’ progressive “squad,” tweeted:
“Freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. The benefit of the doubt doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. House Democratic leadership should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color.”
Fox News noted:
Tlaib and Omar were the first Muslim women elected to Congress in 2018 and, along with other members of the progressive Squad, have been more critical of Israel, especially during the recent 11-day conflict with Hamas that left more than 250 dead, the vast majority Palestinians.
On Monday, Omar sparked outrage after telling her own 1.2 million Twitter followers, “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice.”
Omar’s remarks drew sharp condemnation from across the political spectrum, including from at least a dozen fellow House Democrats. The Minnesota representative then clarified her comments while slamming her Democratic colleagues for calling her out.
“It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for ‘clarification’ and not just call. The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”
The same day, Democratic leaders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) issued a joint statement saying “there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban,” adding that they “welcome” Omar’s clarification.
The House’s Progressive Caucus issued a statement of their own defending Omar. The message penned by Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) reads:
Rep. Omar is a deeply valued members of the Progressive Caucus. Her voice is critical and necessary, both in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Democratic Caucus as a whole.
We cannot ignore a right-wing media echo chamber that has deliberately and routinely attacked a Black, Muslim woman in Congress, distorting her views and intentions, and resulting in threats against Rep. Omar and her staff. We urge our colleagues not to abet or amplify such divisive and bad-faith tactics. Members of the Democratic Caucus owe it to each other to pause, reflect, and engage directly with each other when misunderstanding arise, and stand together against cynical attempts to divide our caucus.