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US Democratic Lawmakers Call On Secretary Of State To Introduce Anti-Islamophobia Envoy 

August 12th, 2021 13:51

US media is report­ing Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ilhan Omar (D‑MN) is lead­ing a group of 25 Demo­c­ra­t­ic law­mak­ers in call­ing on Sec­re­tary of State Antony Blinken to cre­ate a spe­cial envoy to com­bat Islam­o­pho­bia. Accord­ing to a CNN arti­cle:  

July 20, 2021 Omar, one of three Mus­lims serv­ing in Con­gress, is send­ing a let­ter to Blinken to make the case for why the Unit­ed States needs to play a height­ened role in mon­i­tor­ing Islam­o­pho­bic inci­dents around the world.  

Read the rest here.  

The arti­cle fur­ther reports the group, which is co-led by Omar and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D‑Illinois) and was joined by 23 oth­er Democ­rats, includ­ing Reps. Karen Bass (D‑California) and Rashi­da Tlaib (D‑Michigan) is look­ing for Blinken to estab­lish a spe­cial envoy that mir­rors pri­or efforts by oth­er offices to inves­ti­gate and fight anti-Semi­tism. In the let­ter, the group also called for the sec­re­tary to specif­i­cal­ly include “anti-Mus­lim vio­lence per se” in future human rights reports, argu­ing it was time for the US to „stand firm­ly in favor of reli­gious free­dom for all,“ and demand­ing to give the prob­lem of Islam­o­pho­bia atten­tion and pri­or­i­ti­za­tion.   

The let­ter was pub­lished on the same day as a report by the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR), which cit­ed new find­ings on the increase in anti-Mus­lim bias inci­dents in the US. Rep. Omar joined CAIR leader Nihad Awad in speak­ing at a Wash­ing­ton, DC press con­fer­ence that was held on this occa­sion, and where Omar reaf­firmed her call for polit­i­cal action to com­bat Islam­o­pho­bia. CAIR, a part of the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) in the US, describes itself as “a grass­roots civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy group” and was found­ed in 1994 by three offi­cers of the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Pales­tine, part of the US Hamas infra­struc­ture at that time.   

Rep. Omar has a his­to­ry of work­ing togeth­er with and deliv­er­ing video mes­sages for CAIR. The orga­ni­za­tion has repeat­ed­ly joined oth­er groups with ties to the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in engag­ing Mus­lim cit­i­zens to par­tic­i­pate in con­sul­ta­tive meet­ings with leg­isla­tive offices and state sen­a­tors, high­light­ing the need to com­bat Islam­o­pho­bia and anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment in the US.  

In Novem­ber 2020, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed that CAIR had issued a state­ment con­grat­u­lat­ing Pres­i­dent Biden on his vic­to­ry, vow­ing to hold the forth­com­ing admin­is­tra­tion account­able on Mus­lim inclu­sion and civ­il rights issues. In August 2021, the GIOR report­ed that CAIR com­mend­ed Biden for appoint­ing an Indi­an-Amer­i­can diplo­mat with a long his­to­ry of GMB engage­ment to the post of Unit­ed States Ambas­sador-at-Large for Inter­na­tion­al Reli­gious Free­dom at the State Depart­ment.  

Report­ing by the GIOR on Rep. Omar has includ­ed:  

  • A July 2020 report that Omar was one of the par­tic­i­pants in a vir­tu­al con­fer­ence that includ­ed then Pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Joe Biden and two impor­tant lead­ers of the US Mus­lim Brotherhood.
  • A Decem­ber 2020 report that Omar was fea­tured at a Pales­tin­ian advo­ca­cy con­fer­ence whose spon­sor is tied to US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Hamas sup­port groups.
  • An April 2021 report that Omar was among the sup­port­ers of a viral social media cam­paign protest­ing a pro­pos­al by the French sen­ate to ban minors from wear­ing the hijab in pub­lic spaces.
  • A July 2021 report that Omar joined a vir­tu­al gath­er­ing in con­nec­tion with a Mus­lim con­gres­sion­al advo­ca­cy event host­ed by a promi­nent US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood group.