The cynical opportunism and hypocrisy of the right-wing’s recent attempts to smear Democratic representatives as anti-Semites is made clear by the eagerness with which they spout openly bigoted Islamophobia in the same breath.
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks made that clear on Wednesday when he trashed all Muslims and accused them of having “great animosity” toward Israel and the Jewish faith while heavily implying that the first Muslims elected to Congress, Democratic Reps Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), shared such “great animosity.”
Speaking to the Jeff Poor radio show, Brooks insinuated that there was some kind of Muslim conspiracy to take over the Democratic Party and turn it anti-Semitic.
“Keep in mind – Muslims, more so than most people, have great animosity towards Israel and the Jewish faith…I think you’re going to see this influence in the Democratic Party grow and grow and grow over time but ultimately become the dominant influence within the Democratic Party, where the Democratic Party will become very strongly anti-Jewish and anti-Israel.”
The idea that all Muslims hate Jews and Israel is preposterous, but unfortunately, it’s a very common and Islamophobic trope that is repeated on nearly a weekly basis by bad faith conservatives and even echoed by many so-called “liberals,” who for all their supposed tolerance still have a serious problem when it comes to Islamophobia.
To say that the election of two Muslims to Congress means the Democratic Party is being “dominated” by Muslim influence is nothing but a racist conspiracy theory that brings echoes of McCarthyism to mind.
Republicans have spent the past month and a half howling for Democratic leadership to punish Omar and Tlaib for their appropriate and accurate criticisms of Israel’s appalling human rights record in a tiring and infuriating show of bad faith.
We can safely assume no such demands will come from Democratic leadership in response to Brooks’ appalling comments, and that they would be immediately ignored even if they were issued at all.
Islamophobia is one of the few bigotries still openly tolerated and even rewarded in American politics, and that will never change unless we start treating it with the same seriousness that we treat anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, and all the other forms of prejudice peddled by white supremacists and their enablers.
Listen to his remarks here:
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) August 24, 2019
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Colin Taylor is the managing editor of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.