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Omar Doesn't Find Boebert's Anti-Muslim Story Funny

Colorado Republican apologizes in post after video draws outrage
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2021 3:25 PM CST
Omar Doesn't Find Boebert's Anti-Muslim Story Funny
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, shown in July, tweeted that she tried to speak to Rep. Ilhan Omar this week.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(Newser) – Just a week after the House dealt with Rep. Paul Gosar's cartoon attack on a Democratic colleague, another Republican member has drawn outrage with an apparent joke about Rep. Ilhan Omar being a suspected terrorist. Rep. Lauren Boebert made the remark, which elicited laughter and applause, to an audience in her Colorado district, the Guardian reports. After a video online drew millions of views, Omar responded by calling Boebert a buffoon and saying the story was invented. "Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout," Omar tweeted Thursday. On Friday, Boebert tweeted an apology "to anyone in the Muslim community I offended."

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In her Colorado appearance, Boebert said she'd had a "jihad squad" encounter at the US Capitol while on an elevator, waiting for the door to close. A police officer rushed toward the elevator, "fret all over his face," she said. "What's happening? I look to my left, and there she is: Ilhan Omar," Boebert told the audience. "And I said, 'Well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine.'" Boebert drew another round of cheers when she added, "I said, 'Oh look, the Jihad Squad decided show up for work today,'" per NBC. The online criticism included calls for House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy to act, per the Washington Post.

"This slur will inspire more death threats to Ilhan and her family,” Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted, adding that Boebert "should be held accountable but so too should @GOPLeader McCarthy who condones it." The Council for American-Islamic Relations called Boebert's story "disgusting" and "merely the latest symptom of the anti-Muslim bigotry that has plagued the Republican caucus in the House for years." McCarthy hasn't commented on the issue. In her response, Omar added: "Anti-Muslim bigotry isn't funny and shouldn't be normalized. Congress can't be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation." (Read more Lauren Boebert stories.)

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