Muslim Members Of Congress See Rise In Death Threats Amid Israel-Palestine War
Muslim members of Congress are fearful for their safety as there has been a spike in death threats since the start of the Israeli-Palestine war.
The threats mirror similar ones Muslims are facing across the country. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) condemned Hamas attacks, but her critique of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians and Washington’s support for the country has made her an easy target. Omar, whose family emigrated to the United States after fleeing the civil war in Somalia, was briefed about the rise in threats by the U.S. Capitol Police and the House Sergeant at Arms. Other Muslim members, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), a Palestinian-American, were also briefed.
I condemn the horrific acts we are seeing unfold today in Israel against children, women, the elderly, and the unarmed people who are being slaughtered and taken hostage by Hamas. Such senseless violence will only repeat the back and forth cycle we’ve seen, which we cannot allow…
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 7, 2023
Omar released a statement citing that Muslim Americans have been victims of a “dishonest smear.”
“It directly endangered my life and that of my family, as well as subjected my staff to traumatic verbal abuse simply for doing their jobs,” Omar said. “More importantly, it threatens the millions of American Muslims. This toxic language and imagery has real-world consequences.”
Voicemails reportedly hold vile and profanity-laced death threats calling the congresswoman a “terrorist Muslim” and targeting her children, claiming a group was spying on them and obtained “all your addresses and handed them out to rapists.”
Because of the rise in threats, several Congress members have been assigned security details. However, for Omar, the threats have become worse since the start of the war.
Omar isn’t new to receiving threats. During the summer of 2022, a man from Florida was sentenced to three years of probation and a $7,000 fine over an emailed threat to Omar, Tlaib, and fellow members of Congress known as “The Squad,” Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley.
Congress members on the other side of the aisle haven’t been as supportive of embracing Omar and her fellow Muslim Democratic lawmakers while dealing with threats. According to Now This News, controversial Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has labeled them the “Jihad Squad” along with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) referring to them as the “Hamas caucus.” Advocacy groups like the Center for American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim advocacy group in the country, say they have been overwhelmed with responding to violent incidents.
Research director Corey Saylor touched on specific attacks, such as a mosque in Oregon getting a message saying, “DIE MUSLIMS DIE!,”
Other anti-Muslim sentiment resulted in the death of a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy who was stabbed 26 times by his landlord outside of Chicago.