Boebert’s home paper apologises for her and calls her an embarrassment

Ms Boebert is under fire for a series of bigoted remarks about Rep Ilhan Omar of Minnesota

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Thursday 02 December 2021 04:28
Ilhan Omar plays death threat voicemail during press conference
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Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert’s penchant for making flagrantly Islamophobic and dishonest statements about one of her congressional colleagues has pushed the largest newspaper in her state to call her an embarrassment and apologise for her.

In an editorial published Wednesday by the Denver Post, the paper’s editorial board said Ms Boebert “crossed a line” in videotaped remarks that went viral last week, in which the freshman congresswoman spun a fictitious yarn about an elevator ride with Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar that concluded with her referring to Ms Omar as part of the “jihad squad” and making an Islamophobic quip about Ms Omar having the potential to be a suicide bomber.

The Post editorial board wrote that they had “mostly tried” to ignore Ms Boebert, but the occasion of her bigoted remarks was one in which they “must stand up for common decency”.

Ms Boebert, they wrote, “is intentionally using her platform to peddle a gross and false narrative about Muslim Americans”. They added that they “cannot fathom what evil intent drives this behaviour”.

“Making a joke about suicide bombers and suggesting that a congresswoman is a threat to safety and security because she is a Muslim is both racist and a form of religious bigotry,” they continued, adding that Ms Boebert’s attempts at apologising — first through a statement directed to “anyone in the Muslim community” that ignored Ms Omar, then in a phone call which Ms Boebert used “as a publicity stunt” — were insufficient.

Continuing, the board declared that Ms Omar “deserved nothing short of a full apology,” which they would offer because Ms Boebert was “clearly incapable of remorse or reflection”.

“We apologize to the Congresswoman and to the Muslim community for Boebert’s insensitive remarks. Such remarks, no matter how innocently intended, have no place in American discourse … we are embarrassed a Colorado representative is engaged in widening this divide, and we are sorry we didn’t call her out the first time she used a derogatory reference toward you and other members of Congress who are women and minorities,” they wrote.

Ms Omar, who is serving her second term representing a district which includes Minneapolis and some of its suburbs, is one of just two Muslim women serving in the House and the only one to wear a hijab, or headscarf.

At a press conference on Tuesday, she said removing it to make herself less of a target for attacks was not something she ever considered.

“It was never an option for me to take off my hijab and run. And that should never be something that a Muslim woman or a girl has to contemplate if she wants to enter public life,” she said.

The Somali-American congresswoman, who immigrated to the US as a child, has been the subject of derogatory rumours, right-wing conspiracy theories, and even death threats from the time she was first sworn in, to the point where she is often accompanied by a security detail.

During the Tuesday press conference, she revealed that she had been on the receiving end of a vulgar threatening phone message in the wake of Ms Boebert posting a video regarding her aborted attempt at a phone call with Ms Omar.

The message, which she played for reporters, consisted of a male voice saying: “You f***ing Muslim piece of s***... you f***ing traitor, you will not live any longer”.

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