Muslim Congressmen Should Be Held Accountable for Their Anti-Semitism

The current House of Representatives includes two female Muslim members—a first, and a cause for much celebration in the press. As of this week, both have made their anti-Semitism public. Ilhan Omar, in 2012, wrote that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” while Rashida Tlaib on Sunday declared that supporters of legislation before the Senate that would curb boycotts of Israel “forgot which country they represent.” Siraj Hashmi comments:

During the 2018 campaign, Omar was not supportive of the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). But as soon as the election ended, she announced her support to the publication MuslimGirl. BDS has long been accused of promoting an anti-Semitic agenda that would bring an end to the Jewish state. . . .

To her credit, Tlaib, [for her part], later clarified her statement by saying she was accusing senators, not Jews, of having dual loyalties. However, Tlaib’s clarification can [nevertheless] be considered anti-Semitic, since it again suggests that the state of Israel—and, by extension, Jews—is conspiring to control the world and, in particular, sitting U.S. senators. . . . .

Omar and Tlaib weren’t the only ones [whose conduct] crossed well into the territory of anti-Semitism. Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim elected to Congress and is now Minnesota’s attorney general, was repeatedly denounced by Jewish groups, particularly in the past year, for his ties to the raging anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

[W]e shouldn’t allow their ideas to give the impression to other Americans that [these individuals represent] monolithic thinking among Muslims both in the United States and around the world. It shouldn’t be difficult to be critical of the policies and actions of a government and not make sweeping generalizations that devolve into hatred for an entire group of people. The biggest challenge will be how long [these congresswomen’s] supporters let this conduct continue before they call them out on it. If the current state of politics has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t hold our breath.

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