On Tuesday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), along with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), led two dozen Democrat lawmakers in demanding Secretary of State Antony Blinken establish a special U.S. international envoy with the purpose of ending “Islamophobia” around the world.
In a letter sent to Sec. Blinken, Omar and her fellow Democrats highlighted a rise in Islamophobia and the “persecution of Muslims manifesting itself around the world.”
“As part of our commitment to international religious freedom and human rights, we must recognize Islamophobia as a pattern that is repeating in nearly every corner of the globe,” the lawmakers wrote, according to CNN. “It is past time for the United States to stand firmly in favor of religious freedom for all, and to give the global problem of Islamophobia the attention and prioritization it deserves.”
The lawmakers also cited a recent report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) which identified several nations with “patterns of mistreatment of human rights violations against either their entire Muslim populations or particular sects of Muslims.”
“In addition to state-sponsored policies of Islamophobia, we have seen a disturbing rise in incidents of Islamophobic violence committed by individuals connected to larger transnational white supremacist networks, including but by no means limited to the mosque shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019 and the recent murder of a Muslim Canadian family in London, Ontario,” the letter stated.
The group also asked Secretary Blinken “to specifically include anti-Muslim violence per se in next year’s annual human rights reports.”
In the letter, Omar personally pointed out “anti-Muslim hate” in the United States.
“This year has seen over 500 incidents of hate in the U.S. — and those are just the ones that have been reported,” Omar claimed. “In countries around the world — from China to India to Myanmar — Muslim communities are being discriminated against. We must all stand united against this horrific rise in hate.”
Among the Democrats who signed the letter are Reps. Karen Bass of California, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Adam Smith of Washington and Sara Jacobs of California, The Hill reported.
The letter comes after Melissa Rogers, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, announced that President Joe Biden would soon choose a State Department ambassador to lead efforts of monitoring antisemitism.
In June, House lawmakers blasted Rep. Omar for her comments comparing the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, in which she asserted that each group has committed “unthinkable atrocities.” Omar later walked back her remarks, asserting the comparison was not one of moral equivalence.