Another Ramadan is upon us, and the winsome Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu) is already in the spirit of the season. On Thursday, the first day of the Muslim month of fasting during daylight hours and gorging after sundown, she introduced a resolution in the House that, whatever else it was, wasn’t exactly timely. Omar’s resolution condemned the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and decried what she claimed was an increase in “Islamophobia.” That’s the first thing you think of when you start thinking about what ails our troubled nation today, isn’t it?
Omar declared Wednesday that “as we begin the holy month of Ramadan, we must reaffirm that all people of faith should have the right to worship without fear.” They certainly should. But then Omar departed from reality a bit: according to the Huffington Post, she added that “anti-Muslim hate crimes are at an all-time high.” That may be, but oddly (or suspiciously, these days) enough, the FBI’s post-2019 hate crime statistics are lost in a maze of broken links and malfunctioning pages. We do know, however, that in 2019, there were 219 anti-Muslim hate crimes and 995 anti-Jewish hate crimes. In 2020, anti-Muslim hate crimes decreased by 42%. No hate crimes are ever justified under any circumstances, but the idea that “anti-Muslim hate crimes are at an all-time high” remains, at best, unproven.
The very fact that Omar chose to introduce her resolution on the anniversary of the Christchurch attacks demonstrates this. Those attacks were certainly heinous, but they took place four years ago, and they didn’t happen in the United States. We can all, except maybe Omar herself, take it as a positive sign that she can invoke no more recent example of violent “Islamophobia.” What’s more, since the Christchurch mosque attacks, we have seen Islamic jihad terrorists attack churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 269 people. Then in June 2022, Islamic jihadis stormed a Catholic mass in Nigeria’s Ondo state, killing at least 20 people. And there have been many other jihad attacks worldwide, but no one is introducing any resolutions condemning Islamic jihad.
Omar nevertheless tried to claim that the Christchurch attacks represented a much larger threat that, in the United States, comes from — you guessed it — those “white supremacists” who are supposed to be the biggest terror threat the nation faces and yet who seldom seem to manage to pull off any terror attacks. “The attack in Christchurch,” Omar stated, “motivated by an extremist ideology of white supremacy, anti-Muslim hate, and the so-called replacement theory resonates deeply for Muslims in nearly every corner of the globe.” Jihad violence, which might motivate some to be less than wholly welcoming of Islam, doesn’t exist at all in her world.
Omar has trod this ground before. In 2021, she managed to get a resolution calling for the establishment of a special envoy to combat Islamophobia passed in the House. It did not, however, make it out of the Senate. But Omar on Wednesday declared how “proud” she was to “lead my colleagues in condemning the rise in Islamophobia and affirming the rights of religious minorities in the United States and around the world.” That sounds high-minded, but it is actually something else altogether.
Related: Trailblazer: Canada’s Trudeau Appoints ‘Special Representative for Fighting Islamophobia’
The big problem with Omar’s statement is with the word “Islamophobia” itself. The word is frequently used to refer to two distinct phenomena: vigilante attacks against innocent Muslims, which are never justified, and honest analysis of the motivating ideology of jihad terror, which is always necessary. The objective of this conflation is to silence that analysis by falsely claiming that it leads to or causes those attacks. Her new condemnation of “Islamophobia,” while ostensibly aimed at stamping out “anti-Muslim hate,” will inevitably lead to a further chilling effect on accurate discussion of the ways in which Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and oppression.
The net result of that will be that Islamic jihadis will have more freedom to act, without having to worry so much about intrusive scrutiny from those who really understand what they’re all about and are determined to prevent them from committing more acts of murder, destruction, and mayhem. That couldn’t possibly be what the indefatigably patriotic Rep. Ilhan Omar could want, right? The very idea is inconceivable!