Fox News host Jeanine Pirro's comments on her show Sunday about Muslim Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar have prompted rebukes from both the Left and Right, as well as her own network.
Omar was (indirectly) reprimanded last week by her own party for repeatedly working in anti-Semitic "dual loyalty" references about pro-Israel politicians. On "Justice with Judge Jeanine" on Sunday, Pirro dedicated an "Opinion" segment to addressing Omar's history of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Stressing that anti-Israel sentiments are not a part of the Democratic Party's platform, Pirro suggested that a deeper loyalty than party loyalty might be at work in Omar. Omar's decision to wear a hijab, said Pirro, might indicate her "adherence to Sharia Law," which is "antithetical to the United States Constitution."
"This is not who your party is," Pirro said in the opinion segment (video below). "Your party is not anti-Israel. She is! Think about this. She's not getting this anti-Israel sentiment doctrine from the Democrat Party. So if it's not rooted in the party, where is she getting it from? Think about it: Omar wears a hijab, which, according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won't get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia Law — which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?"
Pirro's comments were met with backlash from both the Left and Right. Fox News likewise came forward to condemn Pirro's comments.
"We strongly condemn Judge Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar," Fox said in a statement the statement to Mediaite Sunday. "They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly."
Pirro has responded to the backlash with her own statement, saying she was just trying to "start a debate" and challenging Omar to come on her show.
"I've seen a lot of comments about my opening statement from Saturday night’s show and I did not call Rep. Omar un-American," said Pirro. "My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution. I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today."
Among those on the Right calling out Pirro for the hijab comment was The Daily Wire's Kassy Dillon. "By Jeanine Pirro bringing this up, she’s detracting from the real issues with Omar. The hijab is not the issue, her anti-Semitism is," said Dillon. "Besides, has Pirro even been to Israel or met Orthodox Jews? Many female Orthodox Jews cover their hair. Let’s go back to the real issues."
Trump responded to the Democrats passing the watered-down resolution condemning anti-Semitism — a resolution that failed to actually name Omar — by declaring the Democrats to be the "anti-Israel party and anti-Jewish party." In a tweet last week, Trump said, "It is shameful that House Democrats won’t take a stronger stand against Anti-Semitism in their conference. Anti-Semitism has fueled atrocities throughout history and it’s inconceivable they will not act to condemn it!"