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Rashida Tlaib Blasted For Claiming ‘Freedom Of Speech Doesn’t Exist For Muslim Women In Congress’
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, D-MI, speaks to supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders at a campaign event in Clive, Iowa, on January 31, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) claimed that Muslim women in Congress do not have “freedom of speech,” an assertion that was met with mockery and condemnation online.

“Freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. The benefit of the doubt doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. House Democratic leadership should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color,” Tlaib posted to Twitter on Thursday.

Tlaib was attempting to defend fellow Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN) after she received bipartisan pushback for calling for equal accountability for the “crimes against humanity” committed by “the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

Tlaib was slammed over her claim that she and Omar lacked “freedom of speech,” a message that Tlaib had tweeted out to her roughly 1.4 million followers.

“1. You are one of the most vocal members of Congress,” Daily Wire co-founder and Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro responded. “2. You lost the benefit of the doubt when you repeatedly exposed your anti-Semitism. 3. You and your radical colleagues grace magazine covers, garner wall-to-wall attention, and have intimidated Pelosi into cowardly avoidance.”

Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake said: “This tweet is for people who don’t know what freedom of speech is.”

National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin added: “Being a Member of Congress means your speech gets criticized. What’s really being said here is that if Omar or Tlaib say things worthy of criticism, we’re supposed to wait until they are no longer Muslim women to criticize them.”

Omar’s comments were widely condemned by Republicans and received pushback from some Democrats as well. A dozen House Democrats released a statement on Wednesday night slamming Omar for her remarks.

“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” they wrote. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.”

“The United States and Israel are imperfect, and like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalence give cover to terrorist groups,” they continued. “We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the U.S. and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”

On Thursday, Omar put out a statement claiming that she was not asserting any “moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.”

“On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about ongoing International Criminal Court investigations,” Omar said. “To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel. I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”

Related: Pelosi, Leading Democrats Thank Ilhan Omar For ‘Clarification’ Of Statement That Appeared To Equate U.S., Israel With Hamas, Taliban

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