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Fox Host Gets Rebuke Over Hijab Comments

Jeanine Pirro mused whether Rep. Ilhan Omar's headwear may be 'antithetical' to Constitution
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2019 6:21 AM CDT
In this Jan. 28, 2015, file photo, Jeanine Pirro attends the HBO premiere of "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" in New York.   (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar has been at the center of controversy over remarks she recently made that some call anti-Semitic, but a Fox News host's comments on Omar have themselves earned what CNN Business calls a "rare rebuke" from the network. On her program Saturday, Jeanine Pirro wondered where Omar's "anti-Israel sentiment" arises from, noting, per Politico: "Think about it. Omar wears a hijab. ... Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?" Critics quickly took notice on social media, going after Pirro for targeting Omar's religious wear as somehow being un-American. "What is an American Jew wearing a yamaka (kippah) and an American nun covering her head/body 'indicative' of?" one detractor pointed out. One of Pirro's co-workers issued her own complaint on Twitter.

"@JudgeJeanine can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren't American enough?" Hufsa Kamal, who says she's an online producer at Fox, wrote on Twitter. "You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself." Pirro's employer also responded. "We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro's comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar," Fox said in a statement. "They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly." (Fox also "rebuked" Pirro late last year, along with Sean Hannity, for appearing with President Trump at a Missouri campaign rally.) Pirro's take? "I did not call Rep. Omar un-American," she said in a statement. "My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don't support the Constitution. I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today." (Read more Jeanine Pirro stories.)

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