(July 26, 2021 / JNS) Any goodwill that House Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) momentarily garnered by rebuking Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from those offended by her anti-Semitic June 7 tweet has been resoundingly undone, thanks to his latest gaffe.
More concerned with maintaining the facade of Democratic Party unity, Schneider—in the most obsequious of gestures—actually joined Omar and other progressives in issuing a letter to Secretary of State Blinken calling on the Biden administration to create the position of “Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Islamophobia.”
This was a case of Schneider’s rubbing salt in the wound, as the position whose creation he was embracing is modeled on the existing office of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, created in 2004.
Schneider—a practicing Jew, elected by Jews and from a congressional district with one of the highest concentrations of Jews in the state of Illinois—had appropriately labeled Omar’s vile comparison of the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban as “offensive and misguided.” Omar called Schneider’s proper rebuke “Islamophobic.”
In his eagerness to welcome Omar back into the tent, however, Schneider unwittingly committed the same offense for which he had lambasted her. By equating the totally fraudulent offense of Islamophobia with the very real data as it pertains to anti-Semitism, he ignored the gross imbalance that exists between the two.
The most recent FBI statistics show 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.
According to the report “Terrorism by the Numbers,” published by World101, on behalf of the Council on Foreign Relations, political Islamists acting under the dictates of Shariah law have been responsible for acts of terror that have left approximately 214,470 dead globally. This would include fatalities from the recent showering of more than 4,000 missiles at Israeli population centers in May by Islamist Iranian proxy Hamas.
A 2013 Pew survey of 11 Muslim-majority nations indicated that many citizens of those countries oppose Islamic extremism—from 75 percent on the high side to 38 percent on the low side. Given that the global Muslim population is estimated at 1.4 billion, would it be unreasonable for non-Muslims to be concerned with the percentage who, to varying degrees, support Islamist extremism?
Islamophobia is a label, insidiously designed by political Islamists to staunch the flow of dialogue related to this legitimate concern.
Omar’s plan is to create another organ of government empowered to police all conversation pointed at the anti-Western excesses of political Islam. The above staggering numbers are proof that the dialogue on political Islam needs to see more daylight, not less.
It is unfathomable for Schneider to consent to a plan that will allow Omar to handcuff him and others in the effort to provide that daylight. Censoring the right to raise uncomfortable questions is not the way to keep Americans, especially Jewish Americans, safe.
If Omar has her way and Schneider is ever again moved to call out her anti-Semitic epithets, it is she who will be placing handcuffs on him.
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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