Tlaib Blames Backlash over Anti-Semitic Comments on Widespread Islamophobia

‘I think Islamophobia is very much among the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party…’

Likely First Muslim Woman in Congress to Be from Michigan

Rashida Tlaib (screen shot: CNN/Youtube)

(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said America is struggling with Islamophobia, and that explains why her colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has come under fire for her repeated anti-Semitic comments.

The two freshman Democrats, elected last November, are the first Muslim women to occupy seats in Congress. But with less than three months on the job, both have frequently drawn negative attention for their inflammatory and offensive remarks.

Tlaib has defended Omar for, among other things, saying that “Israel has hypnotized the world” to carry out evil; that American Jews have a secret loyalty to Israel; and that President Trump—whose daughter Ivanka and grandchildren are Jewish—is not human.

But on Showtime’s “The Circus,” Tlaib suggested that the entire uproar is due to Islamophobia—and not just within the Republican Party.

“So you’re saying that Democrats have some Islamophobia and that’s at the root of some of this controversy,” asked host Alex Wagner, a former MSNBC contributor.

“I think our country is struggling with it,” Tlaib said.

The episode was taped and promoted to air on March 10, several days before a massacre at a New Zealand mosque drew even more specious claims of Islamophobia to deflect criticism.

When asked why Tlaib’s own Democratic Party reacted so strongly against Omar’s repeated comments, Tlaib said it’s because Congress is Islamophobic.

Her proof? That there are only four Muslim members of Congress.

“You know, I’m trying to figure it out. It’s just this past week, I feel, and I know this would be somewhat shocking for some, but I think Islamophobia is very much among the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party,” Tlaib said.

“I know it’s hard for people to hear but there’s only four members of Congress that are of the Muslim faith. Three are currently serving in the institution. More of us need to get elected, but more of us need to understand that as we come into this institution that I have a lot of work to do with my colleagues,” she said.

On “Fox and Friends,” Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor emeritus and lifelong Democrat, said such accusations of Islamophobia are “designed to stifle debate” and act as a “new justification for anti-Semitism.”

“You can’t call anybody out for making anti-Semitic statements, because if you do, you’re guilty of bigotry, you’re Islamophobic,” Dershowitz said.

After last Friday’s shooting drew calls from Muslim organizations to end Islamophobia, other vocal Muslim critics said they feared a push from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google to silence their opposition.