US lawmaker: ‘Freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress’

By Servet Gunerigok


WASHINGTON (AA): Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib defended her fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Thursday after the House Democrat leadership criticized Omar over her tweet seemingly equating the US with the Taliban.

“Freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress,” Tlaib said on Twitter.

Her tweet came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats said in a joint statement that drawing any comparison between the US and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban “foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all.”

Tlaib said the House Democratic leadership should be “ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color.”

“The benefit of the doubt doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress,” she wrote.

Omar triggered the backlash on Monday, posting a tweet after her questioning of Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” it said.

Omar later clarified her remarks in a statement, saying: “On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about…ongoing International Criminal Court investigations. To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.”

“I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,” she said.

[Archive Photo: US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar speaking with supporters of US Senator Bernie Sanders at a canvass launch at the Bernie Sanders for President southwest campaign office in Las Vegas, Nevada on 9 February 2020. Photographer: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr/ Creative Commons]

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