Illinois Democratic Party Condemns GOP Group For Sharing Fake Movie Poster Calling Minority Congresswomen 'Jihad Squad'

Illinois' Cook County Democratic Party condemned a GOP group this weekend after they shared, before then deleting, a fake action movie poster labeling four progressive congresswomen the "Jihad Squad."

The Illinois Republican County Chairman's Association posted an image of Democratic lawmakers Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, all first-term progressives and all women of color, to their Facebook group on Friday evening, which featured the lawmakers photoshopped into an action-style fake movie poster titled "The Jihad Squad."

"Political jihad is their game," the poster's tagline read. "If you don't agree with their socialist ideology, you're racist."

Illinois Republican County Chairman’s Association drawing criticism after this post. Cook County Democratic Party condemning it. @cookcodems @ABC7Chicago

— Craig Wall ABC 7 (@craigrwall) July 21, 2019

The Cook County Democratic Party on Sunday condemned the since-deleted post and called for an apology. "On Friday, the Illinois Republican County Chairman's Association posted a racist and inflammatory attack on Facebook directed at four Democratic congresswomen," the political party wrote in a statement. "The post perpetuates the recent attacks by President Trump, promoting lies and racism to alienate immigrants, women, and people of color."

"This language of hatred and bigotry has no room in our society and has dangerous consequences," the group continued, before calling on Mark Shaw, head of the Illinois Republican County Chariman's Association, to issue "a public apology and immediately take down" the post.

Tim Schneider, head of the Illinois Republican Party, also "strongly" condemned and distanced himself from the post in a statement earlier on Sunday. "I strongly condemn evoking race or religion as the basis for political disagreement," he said. "The recent social media post coming from the IRCCA does not reflect my values or the Illinois Republican Party's values."

"Bigoted rhetoric greatly distracts from legitmate and important debates and further divides out nation," Schneider added. "My intense disagreement with the socialist policies and anti-semitic language of these four congresswomen has absolutely nothing to dow ith their race and religion."

In his response, Shaw on Sunday evening denounced the post and claimed it was "unauthorized." The "image was not authorized by me," the president of IRCCA said. "I condemn this unauthorized posting and it has been deleted. I am sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by the contents."

Shaw then explained that the group "has a multi-stage, approval process for all social media posts," that they will be reevaluating following the incident to ensure that "any content posted in the future represented the 'big-tent' nature of the Republican Party."

The incident comes a week after Donald Trump urged members of the so-called "Squad" to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" in series of tweets. Despite the president's claims that all four of the congresswomen were foreign-born, all but one were born in the U.S. Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and moved to America as a child after her family fled from their home nation.

Democratic lawmakers and almost every 2020 presidential candidate quickly moved to label Trump's tweets as "racist," shortly before the hashtags #RacistInChief and #TrumpIsARacist began trending on Twitter.

Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Omar
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks as Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Illinois Republican County Chairman's Association on Saturday shared, before then deleting, a fake movie poster labeling members of the so-called "Squad," the "Jihad Squad." Alex Wroblewski/Getty