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Rep. Ilhan Omar Plays Violently Threatening Voicemail, Says GOP Islamophobia Is Creating Hatred and Division

Rep. Ilhan Omar Plays Extremely Disturbing Voicemail In Midst of Attack From GOP Colleague

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, disgusted by increased attacks by media conservatives and some Congressional Republicans played a death threat recently left for her by voicemail.  She demanded that House Republican leaders speak out against the “anti-Muslim hatred” among their members and that they “hold those who perpetuate it accountable,” the AP reports.

Omar is one of three currently Muslim members of Congress. She contends that the viral video of first-term Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert in which Omar was slandered as a member of the “jihad squad” and implied that she is a bomb-carrying terrorist likely to attack the Capitol, is part of a wider trend of Republicans being prejudiced against Muslims.

At an event in her district, Bobert recounted a story about Capitol Police being terrified by Rep. Omar. The event never happened.  Omar took to Twitter to call out the fabrication.

At the press conference in which Omar explained the direct fallout of Bobert’s fabricated tale, The AP reports Omar said, “When a sitting member of Congress calls a colleague a member of the ‘jihad squad’ and falsifies a story to suggest I will blow up the Capitol, it is not just an attack on me but on millions of American Muslims across the country,” Omar said during a news conference Tuesday. “We cannot pretend this hate speech from leading politicians doesn’t have real consequences.”

Omar then played the voicemail message, filled with profanity, racial slurs and a threat to “take you off the face of the (expletive) earth.” Omar said the voicemail was left for her after Boebert released another video on Monday attacking her.

Editor’s Note: This video clip is graphic and readers may find its contents disturbing.

The Hill reports that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for a failure to hold the members of the GOP caucus accountable for their rhetoric. Calling out the members of the GOP fomenting the anti-Omar and anti-Muslim factions, Ocasio-Cortez called them the “Ku Klux Klan caucus.”

Arsalan Iftikhar, human rights lawyer and author of Fear of a Muslim Planet: Global Islamophobia in the New World Order told BET.com that this level of directed attack must be addressed.

"You know that Islamophobia is part of the Republican political playbook when a Black Muslim female member of Congress gets death threats because some right-wing charlatan spews racist fictional stories about her," he said. Iftikhar explained the level may be heightened, but the message is unfortunately not new.  "From Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban to Republican presidential candidates saying Muslims shouldn't be allowed to serve in government, this rise in anti-Muslim bigotry coming from the Republican party highlights the importance of intersectional allyship between all people of color and under-represented minorities in America today."

The Hill reports that Democratic leaders are considering punitive action against Boebert for her Islamophobic remarks. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there will be consequences. "These people do not respect the House that they serve in. We have to make sure that the public understands that we do." Pelosi told House Democrats during a closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol.

The Democrats have not pressed to have the same disciplinary action they applied to Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar who were stripped of their committee assignments this year for promoting violent rhetoric and imagery against Democratic lawmakers.

The lack of response from GOP leadership has been noted by Democrats, and even some Republicans, who question just what it will take- if language and stories that cause death threats to be directed to a member’s office aren’t enough to prompt a reprimand from the party leader.

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