House

Tlaib offers tearful rebuke to anti-Muslim comments from Boebert

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) provided a tearful rebuke to the recent Islamophobic sentiment on Capitol Hill following Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) incendiary comments likening Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to a violent foreign terrorist.

In a Wednesday afternoon press briefing, Tlaib, often choking back tears, said the anti-Muslim speech is inspiring violence in communities with Muslim populations living peaceful lives.

“It is hard being a Muslim in our country right now, and this makes it worse,” Tlaib said before turning the heat directly to Boebert. 

“You called a colleague a suicide bomber. You called her a terrorist,” she said. “By saying that, you said it about all Muslims in our country, and you know it. You knew exactly what you were doing. And you have to be held accountable.”

Tlaib, a progressive, called herself a “Muslimah” — the word for a Muslim woman — in her address to reporters. She is just one of three Muslim members currently serving in Congress.

The Michigan liberal was joined by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who convened the press conference, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“You know I get emotional,” Tlaib said, addressing Pressley in tears.

Without repeating Boebert’s exact remarks, Tlaib was talking about a moment when the Colorado conservative said, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine” after spotting Omar in an elevator.

After Tlaib asked Omar if she was OK, she said that she brushed it off, noting that she had survived a war zone and didn’t want to give Boebert’s comments life. 

“She says that so that I can stop crying,” Tlaib said. “But I also know that this is hard. This is hard for all of us. Women in politics, the violence against us is increasing.”

The briefing followed a resolution by Pressley, first reported by The Washington Post and confirmed by The Hill, to strip Boebert of her committee assignments and to exert additional pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to move on the issue before the new year.

Boebert has come under intense scrutiny from members of the House Democratic Caucus who, like Pressley, have called for action to be taken by their GOP counterparts in Congress.

“We shouldn’t have to beg and urge Republicans to do what’s right,” Tlaib said.

Tags anti-Muslim rhetoric Ayanna Pressley Ilhan Omar Lauren Boebert Nancy Pelosi Pramila Jayapal Rashida Tlaib Rashida Tlaib

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