WASHINGTON - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) vowed on Wednesday to keep his promise to bar Rep. Ilham Omar (D-Minnesota) from serving on committees in the Republican-controlled House — a move that she says can be chalked up to pure Islamophobia, writes Sharon Zhang in Truthout.
Congresswoman Omar, who is Muslim, has been the target of Islamophobic hate from Republicans her entire time in Congress, and she says that this move is not an exception.
“I do not actually think that he has a reason outside of me being Muslim and thinking I should not be,” Omar told HuffPost on Wednesday. “If you look at the comments from Republicans, it’s precisely for only that reason.”
McCarthy gave no specific reason for Omar’s removal from committees in the interview, by Punchbowl News, suggesting that Omar is correct in her analysis that Republicans are targeting her solely for her religious beliefs.
McCarthy has accused Omar of antisemitism over her comments denouncing Israeli apartheid, but Jewish groups say that it is McCarthy and GOP lawmakers who perpetuate antisemitism, not Omar. “As crude and as cynical as it is for the nativist factions in our government, targeting Muslims is reliably good politics,” Sumayyah Waheed, senior policy counsel for Muslim Advocates, told HuffPost.
“By stripping Reprsentative Omar of her committees, McCarthy kills two birds with one stone: He attempts to silence an effective, principled voice on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and he stokes the ugly culture of anti-Muslim hate for cheap political points.”
Omar has faced Islamophobic attacks from all sectors of the Republican Party during her time in office, with Republican members of Congress relentlessly spewing vitriolic hatred toward her in particular.