In light of the scrutiny directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for critical comments made about Israel and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), representing over 50 Muslim religious, educational, civic, and charitable organizations in the Chicago area, urges Democratic senior leadership to pass a resolution that equally condemns bigotry of all kinds including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, as well as physical threats against any members of Congress.
CIOGC rejects the vicious and racially-motivated smears against Rep. Omar including false charges of anti-Semitism, accusations of links to terrorism, and death threats.
No nation-state or lobby, representing foreign or domestic interests, should be above criticism. Furthermore, no person should be intimidated into pledging allegiance to a foreign nation. Censoring critique of the United States, as well as foreign nations, weakens democracy and is counter to our values of free political expression. Jewish faith leaders have been quick to defend Omar against accusations of anti-Semitism and are expressing tremendous support for the representative in op-eds, TV interviews, and on social media.
We also call on Democratic senior leadership and Congressional leaders to condemn any threat of violence against any members of Congress. Representative Omar has recently received death threats and was accused of links to terrorism, as publicly displayed in the West Virginia statehouse. These attacks on Rep. Omar are rooted in racism and Islamophobia, both of which do not belong in our Congress or our great nation.
With an alarming spike in Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia, the rise of white nationalist groups, and many in our presidential administration fanning the flames of racial division, we expect our Congressional leaders to demonstrate moral leadership and unity by passing a resolution that condemns all forms of bigotry and physical threats made against any member of Congress.