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As Minority Leader McCarthy Defends Rep. Boebert, Muslim Women Leaders Denounce Boebert’s Bigotry, Call for Accountability


December 3, 2021

Contact: Christy Setzer, christy@nhc-dc.com


National, Ohio, Georgia, Florida Muslim community leaders say all people should be represented in Congress, Islamophobia “should never be normalized”

Washington, DC– Muslim women leaders denounced Islamophobic comments from Rep. Lauren Boebert toward Rep. Ilhan Omar today, calling on Congress to hold Boebert accountable. 

The women– who represent organizations in Georgia, Florida and Ohio, as well as national groups– argued that Islamophobia “should never be normalized” and that acts like Boebert’s “encourage discrimination and violence against every Muslim American.”

Their comments come as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy today defended Boebert, saying “she apologized.” 

Maggie M. Siddiqi, Senior Director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at Center for American Progress:

“All Americans should be horrified by Rep. Boebert’s religious bigotry directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar – not just because they are wrong, but because they are dangerous. Anti-Muslim attacks must be treated the same way an attack on a Christian, Jew, or elected official of any other faith would be treated. Ask any Muslim – especially any Muslim woman – in politics: we have all experienced death threats. This has to end. Congress cannot tolerate allowing one of its Members to repeatedly incite violence against another, and must hold Boebert accountable.”

Wardah Khalid, American Muslim community leader, Washington, D.C.

“As a Muslim woman, I am absolutely disgusted by the bigoted anti-Muslim rhetoric repeatedly used against Rep. Omar by her fellow Member of Congress. It is not only unacceptable and un-American, but it sends a dangerous message to people across the country: that it is okay to bully, threaten, and lie about colleagues to score political points – even if it kills them. Islam has been part of the U.S. since before its inception, and no lawmaker can change that fact. I call on every Member of Congress to speak out against this Islamophobic attack and am grateful to our interfaith allies who have stood with Rep. Omar and our Muslim community during this horrific ordeal.”

Soumaya Khalifa, founder and Executive Director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta

“We ask our elected officials to live up to our country’s highest ideals of honoring the dignity of all people regardless of race, gender or religion.  I am deeply disappointed by members of Congress who repeat offensive and dangerous insults against Representative Omar and other Muslim women like me. I am heartened by those on both sides of the aisle who have condemned the crass and immature behavior of their colleagues.  It is only by taking an active stand to denounce bigotry and advocate for a multracial, multiethnic and multi-faith democracy will our American dream become reality.”

Xan-Rhea Bilal, Lead Community Organizer of Georgia Muslim Voter Project

“Public servants in our diverse democracy should have in mind the well-being of their constituents and beyond. Muslims like Rep Omar understand they have a duty to serve others. It’s truly sad that Rep. Boebart is ignorant of this and does a disservice to Colorado by viewing her colleague as a threat.” 

Amina Barhumi, CAIR-Ohio Outreach Director

“To hear these bigoted comments from an elected leader is no surprise after years of rising Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslim Americans, but it should never be normalized. This behavior brings with it increased threats of danger against Rep. Boebert’s own colleagues and Muslims across America. In the United States of America, we are guaranteed the freedom of religion, yet this type of intimidation threatens our ability to practice our beliefs safely and places a target on every Muslim. We must condemn and demand accountability for this behavior and invite our allies to do the same.”

Whitney Siddiqi, CAIR-Ohio Community Affairs Director

“The discrimination spewed by Rep. Lauren Boebert against Muslim women includes the same Islamophobic tropes we have seen from white supremacist groups, Donald Trump and other hate-filled public figures. With each attack, our elected officials continue to not only degrade their constituents and fellow members of Congress, but they encourage discrimination and violence against every Muslim American. It is reprehensible and downright dangerous. “

Victoria Hickcox, CAIR-Ohio Outreach Coordinator

“Rep. Boebert’s comments and fabrications have real implications on the lives of Muslims. Her Anti-Muslim rhetoric furthers the idea that Muslims are ‘other’ and un-American. This contributes to Islamophobia and a rise in hate crimes against our community. Muslims are no stranger to these hateful kinds of remarks, but we should not expect to see them from our elected officials.”

Basma Alawee, Campaign Manager for We Are All America (WAAA), Jacksonville, FL

As a former refugee and a Muslim woman of color, I am appalled by the Islamophobic comments and threats against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Public officials should not be perpetuating damaging stereotypes about Muslims who constitute a significant part of this country. Unfortunately, personal acts of discrimination against Muslim leaders on this scale demonstrate how normalized prejudice is and the ongoing need to hold our elected officials accountable. We need leaders committed to inclusion and welcome to renounce injustice whenever they encounter it, including with their colleagues.


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