Rep. Ilhan Omar calls on House leadership to take appropriate action against Rep. Boebert

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota called Friday for House leaders to take “appropriate action” against Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert for allegedly using anti-Muslim language in describing a recent encounter she had with Omar at the U.S. Capitol. Speaker Nancy Pelosi had demanded Boebert retract her comments.

In a video clip posted by a Twitter account called PatriotTakes, Boebert made the remarks this holiday break. In it, she says she and a staffer were taking a Capitol elevator when she saw an alarmed Capitol police officer running toward them. She said she turned to her left and spotted Omar standing beside them.

“Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,” Boebert recalled saying, drawing laughs from her audience. “And I said, ‘Oh look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.’”

Omar responded to the video, denying the story and saying the “whole story is made up.” She added, “Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout. Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized. Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslim tropes get no condemnation.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., wrote the comments were “Shameful, deeply offensive & dangerous. Yet another blatant display of Islamophobia targeting (Omar). These comments are personally hurtful, legitimately endanger her & the broader Muslim community. Rhetoric like this must be denounced & anyone spewing it held to account.”

Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., called Capitol Hill “a toxic work environment for Muslim members and staff when bigots routinely spew racist, Islamophobic vitriol unchecked and with no consequence.”

Boebert apologized Friday, tweeting: “I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction.”

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