by Gary Anderson
I had a junior high social studies teacher who was fond of saying that if it reached its logical conclusion, liberalism would eventually become fascism. He was long dead before Ilhan Omar hit the scene, but he would be gratified to see his prediction in action.
Omar’s Combating International Islamophobia Act passed the House of Representatives on a narrow party line vote recently. If it becomes law, it will mandate a new State Department bureaucracy to report on anti-Islamic activity as a human rights violation. English is Omar’s second language, and the wording of the bill shows it. Its definition of Islamophobia is not precise. An example of the text includes “acts of physical violence against, or harassment of, Muslim people, and acts of violence against, or vandalism of, Muslim community institutions, including schools, mosques, and cemeteries, and instances of propaganda in government and nongovernment media that attempt to justify or promote racial hatred or incite acts of violence against Muslim people.”
This is broad enough to drive a truck through. Consequently, a zealot in the proposed State Department office could brand anyone who criticizes Hamas or Hezbollah as a human rights–abusing Islamophobe. But perhaps I’m wrong. Omar has shown a fondness for both organizations, and perhaps that is her actual agenda. Predictably, the White House is all in on the idea.
The fact that Omar’s bill passed the House is a sad commentary of the state of the Democratic Party. Just imagine: Any Republican Baptist representative who proposed an “Anti-Christianophobic” piece of legislation would be laughed off the floor of the House and pilloried on Saturday Night Live. Fortunately, like most recent goofy leftist ideas pushed by the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, this one will likely die in the Senate or be overturned by the Supreme Court if it passes and if Biden is foolish enough to sign it.
One Muslim journalist has had the moral courage to cry foul and is under attack for daring to criticize one of the darlings of the radical Left. Masih Alinejad is an Iranian-born journalist, author, and women’s rights campaigner. She recently wrote a thoughtful article for the Washington Post criticizing Omar’s bill. In her op-ed, she expressed concern that Americans were sliding down the slippery slope of eroding freedom of speech similar to what she experienced in Iran.
Omar’s response was telling. Rather than engage in a meaningful dialogue with her, Omar’s office accused her of essentially being a Republican stooge. Alinejad was driven out of Iran for being an honest journalist; now, she is apparently being cancelled by another group of third world–leaning intellectual thugs posing as progressive American politicians.
Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, and the other members of the so-called progressive “squad” direct terms like “fascist” and “racist” at anyone who disagrees with them. But in the Orwellian world of progressive politics, the use of fascist tactics to further what they see as anti-fascist ideals is not considered to be a contradiction. In fact, breaking a few eggs to make the proverbial omelet has become an accepted practice. Under Omar’s bill, any criticism of atrocious behavior in the name of Islam could considered a human rights violation, and, by implication, a hate crime. These would presumably include criticism of the Taliban for closing girls’ schools and denying women the right to work and travel freely in Afghanistan.
Journalists who object to Saudi Arabia’s barbaric treatment of women also would be liable to the proposed State Department blacklist, as would anyone like Alinejad who calls out the Ayatollahs in Iran for their atrocities in the name of Allah. Perhaps even ISIS and al Qaeda could fall under Omar’s protection. Taken to its logical conclusion, Omar’s bill could label SEAL Team Six and other members of U.S. Special Forces as human rights–abusing war criminals for eliminating Islamic terrorists; and perhaps that is the real intent.
The fact that Biden’s White House applauds and supports Omar’s legislation proves yet again that America’s Creampuff-in-Chief has sold his soul to the radical left wing of his party. This was reinforced by his recent Atlanta speech, in which he essentially equated nearly half of the county’s voters with racists like Bull Connor and George Wallace.
This is the presidential candidate of 2020 who promised to bring us all back together. It is fascinating that Democratic politicians and left-leaning columnists view conservatives and Republicans as a threat to democracy because they believe that voters should (a) be required to prove American citizenship and (b) prove they are still alive. Of course, this is not the norm in traditional Democratic strongholds such as Chicago, but that pesky Constitution kind of requires it.
But if I were to try to subvert American democracy, I would not go after voting rights. I would instead attack the First Amendment right of freedom of speech, which is exactly what Omar is doing. The fact that she got 219 of her fellow Democrats to vote with her says volumes about how out of touch her party is with the American public. We can only hope that many of these Democrats will no longer be in office following the November elections.
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Gary Anderson is a contributor to American Spectator. He lectures on Alternative Analysis at the graduate level.
Photo “Rep. Ilhan Omar” by Tony Webster CC BY 2.0.