In Call for Accountability, Omar Says Boebert Waged 'Attack on Millions of American Muslims'

On Tuesday evening, the three Muslim Congress members held a press conference to demand accountability for Republican Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert's most recent Islamophobic comments.

The conference referenced a second video, circulated online Tuesday, of Boebert referring to Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota as a terrorist bomber and a member of the "Jihad Squad."

In the video, recorded in New York at a September Staten Island Conservative Party dinner, Boebert also refers to Omar and fellow Muslim Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan "blackhearted evil women who want to destroy America."

At the press conference Tuesday night, which included Omar, Tlaib and Democratic Representative André Carson of Indiana, Omar said that Islamophobia pervades the Republican Party, "our culture, our politics and even policy decisions."

"When a sitting member of Congress calls a colleague a 'member of the Jihad Squad' and falsifies a story to suggest that I will blow up the Capitol, it is not just an attack on me, but on millions of American Muslims across this country," Omar said at the conference.

Omar said she has reported "hundreds" of threats on her life, often triggered by Republican attacks on her faith.

She then played a recording of a voicemail she had received on Monday, after Boebert published a video insinuating that Omar is a terrorist sympathizer.

"We see you, sand [n-word] bitch," the voicemail began. "We know what you are up to. You are all about taking over our country. Don't worry. There are plenty who would love the opportunity to take you off the face of this f**king earth. Come get it. But you are f**king Muslim piece of shit. You are Jihadist ... You will not live much longer, b*tch. I can almost guarantee you."

Omar Ilhan Raphia Tlaib Islamophobia Republicans
Muslim Democratic Congress members held a press conference on Tuesday evening to condemn Islamophobic remarks from Republican Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert and other Republicans, saying that more needs to be done to eradicate Islamophobia from the United States. In this photo, Democratic Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota hold a news conference on August 19, 2019, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Adam Bettcher/Getty

"To date, the Republican Party leadership has done nothing to hold their members accountable," Omar said. "It is time for the Republican Party to actually do something to confront anti-Muslim hatred in its ranks, and hold those who perpetuate it accountable."

At the conference, Omar said her goal in the conference was to help protect Muslim lives. Tlaib said she wanted to send a message to Muslims that Americans speak out against violent rhetoric like Boebert's. Carson pointed out that Muslim-Americans work in the U.S. judicial system, including numerous police officers who assisted following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The conference occurred in response to Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's tepid statement about Boebert's remarks. McCarthy's statement didn't condemn the remarks. Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson criticized McCarthy for not "publicly condemning" Boebert's comments.

In a video that surfaced last week, Boebert referred to Omar as a member of the "Jihad Squad" while telling a story in which she implied that a Capitol police officer mistook Omar as a potential suicide bomber.

In the second video containing similar remarks, Boebert tells a modified version of the story: "One of my staffers, on his first day with me got into an elevator in the Capitol," Boebert tells the crowd. "And in that elevator, we were joined by Ilhan Omar."

Someone in the audience moans, "Oh God." Another person remarks, "Press the emergency button." The audience then laughs.

Boebert continues, "Well, it was just us three in there and I looked over and I said, 'Well, lookie there. It's the Jihad Squad.'" The crowd laughs and applauds at her comment as Boebert smiles and looks around the room.

"I do have to say," Boebert adds, "She doesn't have a backpack, she wasn't dropping it and running, so we're good."

In a Tuesday morning broadcast, CNN political reporter Andrew Kaczynski said that the lack of a Capitol police officer in this retelling of Boebert's story lends "a little bit of credence to the fact that this is a made-up story that she's telling a crowd for laughs, maybe. I guess the joke is that Muslims are terrorists."

In her response to Boebert's Islamophobic remarks from the first video, Omar replied, "Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up. Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout."

Omar added, "Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter. ... Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress."

Last Friday, Boebert tweeted a 41-word apology to the Muslim community for her remarks, calling the incident an "unnecessary distraction." Then, on Monday, Boebert called Omar to discuss the matter.

According to Boebert, Omar demanded a public apology "because what I had done wasn't good enough." Boebert told Omar that "she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, antisemitic, anti-police rhetoric."

The rhetoric Boebert mentioned may refer to Omar's past controversial statements. She has said that Israel's allies in American politics were primarily motivated by money. She has also compared American war atrocities to those committed by terrorist groups.

Omar hung up on Boebert after deciding the call was "unproductive," Omar said on Monday.

"Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies ... she instead doubled down on her rhetoric," Omar said.

In a Monday Instagram video recounting the call, Boebert accused Omar of "sympathizing with terrorists." Boebert has previously, baselessly called Omar an advocate "for state-sponsored terrorism" and an "honorary member of Hamas."

Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has also inserted herself into the controversy, referring to Omar as a part of the "Jihad Squad" via Twitter on Tuesday morning.

Greene and Boebert have also both baselessly claimed in the past that Omar is in an incestuous marriage with her brother.