'Freedom of speech doesn't exist for Muslim women in US Congress'

The benefit of doubt doesn't exist for Muslim women, says Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

Anadolu Agency June 11, 2021
US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. PHOTO COURTESY: ANADOLU AGENCY

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib defended her fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Thursday after the House Democrat leadership criticised Omar over her tweet seemingly equating the US with the Taliban.

"Freedom of speech doesn't exist for Muslim women in Congress," Tlaib said on Twitter.

Her tweet came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats said in a joint statement that drawing any comparison between the US and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban "foments prejudice and undermines progress towards a future of peace and security for all".

Tlaib said the House Democratic leadership should be "ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of colour."

"The benefit of the doubt doesn't exist for Muslim women in Congress," she wrote.

Also read: Outcry as Muslim US lawmaker equates America with Hamas, Taliban

Omar triggered the backlash on Monday, posting a tweet after her questioning of Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

"We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban," it said.

Omar later clarified her remarks in a statement, saying: “On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about … ongoing International Criminal Court investigations. To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel.”

“I was in no way equating terrorist organisations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,” she said.



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