Rep. Ilhan Omar said Sunday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Republic of California) is “a liar and a coward” defending Rep. Lauren Bobert after a Colorado Republican made fanatical comments about her.
The Minnesota Democrat has faced repeated anti-Muslim attacks from Bobert, who last month joked with the crowd, hinting that the Muslim lawmaker was a suicide bomber and called her part of a “jihad squad.” In September, a freshman deputy at another event suggested that Omar was a terrorist.
“This is shocking and unacceptable. And it is very indecent for a congressman to use such derogatory, dangerous, inflammatory language against colleagues, ”Omar told CNN’s State of the Union. “And the fact that this is happening right now in the halls of Congress is really hurting not only the Muslim community, me, but also the country we want to be.”
Tensions escalated last week when Omar took a call from Bobert and expected an apology. Instead, Bobert declined to apologize and called on the Minnesota MP to apologize for what the Republican called “anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-police rhetoric.” Omar said she hung up.
Dozens of House Democrats have demanded that the House leadership remove Beaver from her committees after a majority of Republicans refused to hold the Colorado congressman accountable for her comments. McCarthy declined to denounce Bobert last week, opting instead to attack the Democrats.
“Let me be very clear. This party is for anyone and everyone who yearns for freedom and supports freedom of religion, ”the House of Representatives minority leader told reporters on Friday. “Lauren Bobert … has apologized publicly, she has apologized in person.” He then pointed to the lack of rebuke after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) named him the leader of the “KKK faction” last week.
“McCarthy is a liar and a coward. He has no way of denouncing the fanatical Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric that a member of his conference is trafficking in, ”Omar told Jake Tupper to CNN. When asked why, Omar said, “Because they are. And we must be able to resist them. And we must make them reckon with the fact that their party is now normalizing anti-Muslim fanaticism. “
Several Republicans – Nancy Mays (South Carolina), Tom Reed (New York), Fred Upton (Michigan) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson – have denounced Bobert’s hate speech, although the cost of backlash from party members … Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia Republican), another far-right freshman, called Mace “trash” and “RINO”, which means “Republican in name only.”
“They are being attacked for condemning it, which shows that their conference justifies it,” Omar said. “And so it’s dangerous because people all over the world, not just in the United States, see it. And they are worried. “
“As you know, Islamophobia is on the rise,” she continued. “And since many people have approached me about my safety, I remind them that this is not about me. We are talking about all the young girls across the country who wear the hijab so proudly and fear for their lives. “
Omar said she is “very confident” that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California, will take “drastic action” this week against Bobert for her comments. The MP reiterated that she was constantly threatened with death in response to anti-Muslim rhetoric from the Republican Party, and more recently from Bobert, which affects not only her life, but also the lives of others.
“I think the most dangerous thing is that [Boebert] recently said that we have a problem in Congress because there is a terrorist there. And I think that once you use that language, you endanger not only my life, but also the lives of my colleagues, because we do not know who is there, ”she said. “The people who leave these voice messages that say, ‘We take weapons, we go to the Capitol to protect our country from terrorists,’ are not the people we should fire. They are not joking. “
She added: “And I think it’s important for us to say that the House of Representatives cannot put up with such language, with such hatred. And we must punish and punish Bobert by stripping her of committees, rebuking her language, doing everything in our power to send a clear and decisive signal to the American public that if Republicans are not going to grow up and condemn it, that we are going to do it. “.