J Street is appalled by the ongoing campaign of targeted bigotry and incitement directed at Representative Ilhan Omar. Led and promoted by President Trump and his allies in politics and the media, the despicable attacks on Rep. Omar seek to demonize the first black Muslim woman in Congress. They are clearly calculated to incite fear and hatred against the congresswoman, people of color and Muslim Americans — and could easily help trigger further acts of xenophobic violence such as those that we have seen in Charleston, Pittsburgh, New Zealand and elsewhere in the US and the world.
This campaign of hate against Rep. Omar is just the latest escalation in the long-running right-wing effort to scapegoat and stigmatize Muslim Americans in a transparent ploy to score political points, rally xenophobic voters and distract from the real challenges and threats facing our country. It is an attack on democracy itself and on the values of freedom and equality that our nation is meant to uphold.
Already, this incitement has led to death threats against the congresswoman, putting her security and her life in danger. In the face of this hatred, it’s vital that all responsible voices, from advocacy groups and communal leaders to elected officials and presidential candidates, make clear that we stand firmly behind Rep. Omar and the Muslim community — and that we will not countenance or validate the bad-faith smears put forward by President Trump or his propaganda machine.