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House passes Ilhan Omar’s anti-Islamophobia bill in 219 to 212 vote.

House passes Ilhan Omar’s anti-Islamophobia bill in 219 to 212 vote.

The House of Representatives has voted to pass Rep. Ilhan Omar’s proposal establishing an anti-Muslim bias office within the State Department less than an hour before midnight on Tuesday.

  •  Less than an hour before midnight the House voted to pass the bill 219 – 212
  • The scheduled hour-long debate was derailed when Rep. Scott Perry claimed Rep. Ilhan Omar is a member of a terrorist organization
  • Democrats asked for his comments to be stricken from the official record
  • Omar’s legislation would create an office within the State Department to tackle anti-Muslim bias and Islamophobia
  • It comes after GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert joked Omar was a suicide bomber 
  • Republicans have criticized the legislation’s definition of Islamophobia as vague

It is somewhat ironic that the largest source of blatant anti-Semitism in the Capital, coming from Ilhan, wants to take the nation’s eyes off of this problem, instead claiming that any criticism of Islam should be a crime. It seems that maybe the members of the House, at least on the Democratic side, should read the constitution, then be taught that this does not only apply to them but to others as well.

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The right to criticize is the right of every American; the right to call to violence is not. No one is calling for violence against Islam; if they did, I would be the first to stand up and criticize it, but we hear none stop attacks from Muslims against gays, Jews, and Christians; this is never spoken of. Instead, they want to play the victim if anyone dares to criticize them. That is not the way of America; to silence for sure is not.

So what is in this bill?

What you have was a bill to rush to try to create a post in the State Department to fight Islamophobia in the same way Congress created a position to combat anti-Semitism. The problem with this post is that it has not yet been filled, and with good reason, Biden tried to nominate a far-left activist, Deborah Lipstadt. Her nomination has been held up by Tweets that blame everything Republican on White Supremacy; as such, she is not shown to be a nomination that would represent Jews on both sides of the aisle.

But this is not the bill, so what exactly is in the account? It turns out it is so vague, hard to know due to its vagueness what exactly it is protecting; it leaves open a host of problems if this is applied.

The bill, written by Omar, would create a special envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia and include state-sponsored anti-Muslim violence in the department’s annual human rights reports.

The measure passed by a razor-thin 219 to 212 margin immediately after the Democrat-majority chamber voted to refer Trump administration Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to the Justice Department for criminal charges over his refusal to testify before the January 6 committee.

Michael McCaul (R., Texas) said that while he concurred with the “spirit and intent” of the bill, “it’s so vague and subjective that it could be used against legitimate speech for partisan purposes.”

Representative Dan Crenshaw (R. Texas) said the bill was irrelevant to Americans at this time.

“‘Tis the season of misplaced priorities,” Crenshaw said on the House floor. “My colleagues seem to think Islamophobia is what Americans care about. Well, I’d rather talk about something Americans care about: gassing up their cars and keeping their heat on.”

GOP Rep. Scott did call much of what was wanted in the bill to question, then shocked the Democrats by saying that due to Ilhan’s ties to groups with ties to terrorism, and her past antisemitic attacks, she was not qualified to bring such a resolution forward, maybe she should focus on her hate before worrying about others.

While this came under attack, it was not unfactual; it was simply something that the Left felt should not have been saying; how dare someone call out the darling of the Left, Ilhan, for her racism.

Perry derided the ‘lack of definition’ of Islamophobia in the bill’s text and said it was purposely vague because ‘you’re either going to be persecuted or you’re not depending on who you vote for.’ 

He dismissed the legislation as ‘attempts to placate an anti-Semitic member of this chamber,’ referring to Omar.

‘During last week’s markup of this legislation in the Foreign Affairs Committee, I was assailed by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle; they told me I was Islamophobic, nasty, mean, and rude. Why? Because I offered amendments that would have prevented American tax dollars from going to organizations with ties to terrorism,’ Perry said.

Problems with the bill

While some thanked Ilhan for presenting the bill, I would caution on this; if we are going to introduce such bills, we need to know precisely what it is combatting, in other words, such a bill for the safety of the First Amendment has to be well defined. If we allow such a bill to go forward undefined, then we risk shutting down any criticism of Islam, even terrorism and harmful actions by some within the faith.

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There are noble parts of Islam we should all pay attention to, but the reality is if you look at worldwide terrorist attacks, the vast majority (over 95%) share one common theme, Muslims do them. Is this a problem? Of course, it is, so it should be called out. Instead, what we have from people like Ilhan is, “Some people did something,” this is a problem, the refusal of many Muslims to call out fellow members of their faith for their radical actions.

To silence criticism, this could bring us to the same place England, most of Europe and Canada are now; if you dare call out Islam for actions worldwide, you risk arrest for hate speech, which is not the American way.

This is why we reject this bill and call on the Senate to do the same.

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About The Author

Timothy Benton

Student of history, a journalist for the last 2 years. Specialize in Middle East History, more specifically modern history with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Also, a political commentator has been a lifetime fan of politics.

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