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Somali-American lawmakers defend Ilhan Omar against GOP's racism and Islamophobia

Sunday February 5, 2023

Representative Ilhan Omar left the House chamber at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday.JOSE LUIS MAGANA/ASSOCIATED PRESS


Minneapolis (HOL) - Somali-American legislators in Minnesota condemned the GOP's removal of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee as "an act of pure racism and Islamophobia" in a joint statement released on Friday.

"Denying Representative Omar's rightful assignment to the Foreign Affairs Committee is an act of pure racism and Islamophobia. Her experience as a Muslim, an immigrant, and a refugee is one shared by millions of Americans, including us, and many people that she represents in the 5th Congressional District. Like every American, they deserve the right to have their voices heard on our nation's role in the world. Ilhan has been the target of scare tactics and bigoted attacks since even before she took office in Washington. Republicans resent her because of her race and identity, and they are threatened by her because she is a powerful speaker and capable legislator. We are confident Representative Omar will continue to be an outspoken champion of a more just and peaceful diplomacy."

The statement was signed by Minnesota Senator Omar Fateh (DFL-Minneapolis) and Representatives Hodan Hassan (DFL-Minneapolis), Mohamud Noor (DFL-Minneapolis) and Samakab Hussein (DFL-St. Paul).

US Republicans removed Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, citing her past comments on Israel, but Omar's democratic party said the GOP's decision was blatant targeting of a Black Muslim woman.

"My voice will get louder and stronger, and my leadership will be celebrated around the world, as it has been," Omar said in a closing speech.

In the previous session, Democrats ousted far-right GOP lawmakers over inflammatory comments.


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