Speed Reads

Pelosi steps in

Top House Democrats blast Boebert for 'Islamophobic' comments about Omar

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other members of Democratic House leadership in a statement issued Friday denounced comments made by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) as "Islamophobic" and "deeply offensive and concerning," CNN reports.

In a video posted last Saturday, Boebert joked about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) being mistaken for a terrorist and referred to Omar as a member of the "jihad squad." Omar was born in Somalia and is a Muslim.

The statement condemning those comments was signed by Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (Mass.), Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), and Caucus Vice Chair Pete Aguilar (Calif.).

In June, Omar found herself on the opposite end of a statement from the same Democratic leadership team. After posting a Tweet grouping Israel with Hamas and the Taliban, Omar responded to a group of Jewish lawmakers who had requested "clarification" by accusing them of engaging in "Islamophobic tropes." The top House Democrats sided against Omar, issuing a statement a few days later in which they insisted that "drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all."

Nor was that the first time Omar drew criticism for her comments on Israel. In March 2019, she referred to a "political influence in this country" that advocates for "allegiance to a foreign country," a statement Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt denounced as anti-Semitic.

The signatories of the statement condemning Boebert also urged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other members of House Republican leadership "to take real action to confront racism."

This call comes as McCarthy, who is openly seeking the speakership, attempts to balance the demands of aggressively Trumpian representatives like Boebert, Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Ga.), and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) with the concerns of more moderate House Republicans. Gosar was recently censured and stripped of his committee assignments after he tweeted an edited video that depicted Gosar killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and equated migrants crossing the southern border with flesh-eating monsters from the anime Attack on Titan.