“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 write in the letter. “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.”
Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, is co-leading the letter with Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and joined by 23 other Democrats including Reps. Karen Bass of California, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Adam Smith of Washington and Sara Jacobs of California.
The request from lawmakers to Blinken comes just as the Council on American-Islamic Relations came out with a report that found an uptick in anti-Muslim hate crimes, particularly coinciding with the heightened conflict between Israel and Gaza in May. A source familiar with the letter sent to Blinken told CNN that the findings from CAIR’s report played a significant role in getting lawmakers to make this request now.
Omar cited an uptick in “Anti-Muslim hate” as part of her reasoning calling for the position.
“In countries around the world — from China to India to Myanmar — Muslim communities are being discriminated against,” the congresswoman added. “We must all stand united against this horrific rise in hate.”
A group of Jewish Democrats immediately jumped to criticize Omar’s comments, arguing that “equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided.”