(A7) Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Friday called for House leaders to take “appropriate action” against Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) who she accused of using anti-Muslim language in describing a recent encounter she had with Omar at the US Capitol, The Associated Press.
According to a video clip posted by a Twitter account called PatriotTakes, Boebert made the remarks this holiday break. In the clip, 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.’”
The “jihad squad” is apparently a reference to “The Squad”, which is what Omar and Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib sometimes refer to themselves as.
Boebert later apologized and wrote in a tweet that “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.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders demanded Boebert retract her comments, noted AP.
Omar publicly urged Pelosi and GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to discipline Boebert.
“Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter,” Omar tweeted, adding that McCarthy and Pelosi “need to take appropriate action, normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress.”
Omar had earlier said that Boebert had fabricated the story.
“Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up,” Omar tweeted. “Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout.”
Both Omar and Boebert have made controversial statements since taking office.
Omar came under fire in 2019 after she suggested on Twitter that Republicans were attacking her at the behest of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.
She subsequently issued a half-hearted apology before ultimately deleting the controversial tweets.
Earlier this year, Omar shared to Twitter a video of a conversation she had with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in which she appeared to compare Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban.
After 12 of the 25 Jewish Democrats in the US House of Representatives published a statement criticizing Omar’s assertion, she fired back at her Jewish colleagues and said, “It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for ‘clarification’ and not just call.”
She later issued another clarification and claimed she had been misunderstood.
As for Boebert, she tweeted earlier this year that a federal effort to reach out to people who have yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19 was like Nazi Germany.
The Auschwitz Memorial responded to the tweet and told Boebert that it “is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”