(July 5, 2021 / JNS) Rep. Ilan Omar (D-Minn.) should no longer be allowed to pull the “Islamophobia” fire alarm unless she is able to provide a living example of Islamophobic behavior.
The problem with her regularly resorting to the accusatory warning is that it both stifles legitimate debate and redirects it to the ever-growing black hole of critical race theory (CRT).
One might assume that the label “Islamophobic” is used to identify the re-emergence of the same strain of repugnant behavior that had at one time erected an impregnable wall of social, political and economic segregation around African Americans and Jews.
But the prevalence of those who readily identify as upwardly mobile and industrious Muslims in the world of business, media, sports and all levels of government (including Omar herself), indicates that such abhorrent conditions of discrimination are, for Muslims, thankfully non-existent.
The most recent FBI data shows that anti-Arab hate crimes in 2019 represented a mere 2.6 percent of the total. In contrast, anti-Jewish acts of hatred constituted 60 percent.
There is a gross irony about Omar’s most recent wielding of the Islamophobic “penalty call,” which came in reaction to a congressional statement authored by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and 11 of his Jewish colleagues, who appropriately had called out Omar for yet another of her vile anti-Semitic outbursts.
Omar had been put in the hot seat in 2019 for anti-Semitic remarks targeting supporters of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rather than speaking out in protest as an offended Jew, Schneider—presumably under orders from party boss and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—dutifully issued a statement designed to deflect the onslaught of rightful indignation.
“As elected leaders, we have a responsibility to speak out against intolerance in all forms, whether it be racism, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia or anti-Semitism.”
As misguided an attempt to bury the uncontrollable ugliness within the Democratic Party may have been, the more egregious sin was Schneider’s effective validation of the existence of Islamophobia as an actual defect in the American character. And by doing so, he, with his own words, actually provided Omar the stick with which to “beat him about the head and shoulders.”
The Democratic Party’s unwillingness to challenge Omar’s racist intolerance—and its refusal to invalidate the disparaging notion of Islamophobia—is evidence of the CRT that has swept its ranks. It speaks to the growing magnetism within the party of an American narrative that would replace the virtues of freedom celebrated this Fourth of July.
These are the very virtues to which the ascension of Omar testifies. Yet, she and her ilk continue to paint a portrait more befitting of the political and economic barrenness of the land (Somalia) from which she hails.
Andrew D. Lappin is a redeveloper of urban industrial properties. He is a board member of The Ember Foundation, NGO Monitor, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA), and serves on The Illinois Policy Board which monitors corporate compliance with the state’s anti-BDS statute. He is a former board member of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
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