Ilhan Omar bill creating federal ‘Islamophobia monitor’ advances

By Art Moore

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. (Official portrait)
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. (Official portrait)

Described by critics as an effort to block criticism of jihad terror, a bill that would establish a State Department monitor of “Islamophobia” has advanced in the House of Representatives and is poised for a vote.

Sponsored by Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, the Combating International Islamophobia Act was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday and now goes to the full House.

The bill would “require the State Department to create a Special Envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia, and include state-sponsored Islamophobic violence and impunity in the Department’s annual human rights reports.”

The problems with the bill begin with the definition of “Islamophobia,” said Robert Spencer, who has been called an “Islamophobe” by the likes of Omar for his longtime effort to spotlight the politically incorrect topic of Islamic jihad.

“The Special Envoy would just be another agent in the Left’s escalating war against freedom of speech, silencing opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women, and thereby enabling unarguably sinister forces,” he wrote on his Jihad Watch website.

A press release promoting the bill says it would “help policymakers better understand the interconnected, global problem of anti-Muslim bigotry.”

“It will also establish a comprehensive strategy for establishing U.S. leadership in combatting Islamophobia worldwide.”

But Spencer points out the press release “said nothing whatsoever about combating jihad terror or about how suspicion of Islam may be created by the all too common spectacle of Muslims committing acts of violence while screaming ‘Allahu akbar’ and justifying their actions by reference to Islamic texts.”

Omar and Schakowsky claimed that the U.S. has seen more than 500 “documented complaints of anti-Muslim hate and bias” this year.

But the source is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C.-based group that was founded by members of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas.

CAIR claims the complaints include “hate crimes, harassment, school bullying, discrimination, hate speech, and anti-mosque incidents.”

But the “hate speech,” Spencer noted, included incidents in which someone is rude to a Muslim, “inflating the numbers of those crimes and contributing to the false impression that Muslims are victims of widespread discrimination and harassment in America today.”

With that low a bar, Spencer continued, it’s no surprise that the press release states that in March, the United Nations Human Rights Council said discrimination and hatred towards Muslims has risen to “epidemic proportions.”

Spencer argued that Muslims in Nigeria regularly murder Christians in jihad attacks, and Muslims in Pakistan persecute Christians and other religious minorities through draconian blasphemy laws.

He wants to know if the special envoy will make note of the large number of faked anti-Muslim hate crimes.

And will this official conflate “crimes against innocent Muslims, which are never justified, and honest analysis of the motivating ideology of jihad terror, which is always necessary?”

Islamic advocacy groups such as CAIR and their leftist allies have insisted that such analysis constitutes “Islamophobia.”

“Omar and Schakowsky speak of Islamophobic violence,” Spencer wrote, “but if this Special Envoy is created, he or she will without any doubt crack down on any honest discussion of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and oppression, because for years such discussion has been labeled ‘Islamophobia’ along with real acts of anti-Muslim bigotry.”

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