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Ilhan Omar reintroduces Islamophobia bill

The Oromo American Tawhid Islamic Center, reportedly severely damaged in an arson attack in May. (Courtesy of CAIR-MN)

Following a string of Islamophobic attacks around the globe, Representative Ilhan Omar has reintroduced The Combating International Islamophobia Act. She introduced the bill in partnership with Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

Rep. Omar first introduced the Combating International Islamophobia Act in October of 2021 to monitor and combat acts of Islamophobia in foreign countries. In Congress of December 2021, the bill was successfully passed through the House, but died in the Senate. Due to a recent surge of attacks, Rep. Omar says it's time to get this bill passed into law once and for all.

"Anti-Muslim bigotry is a global phenomenon," she said. “It is time for us as policymakers to understand these problems as interconnected and genuinely global. That's why I'm proud to partner with Senator Cory Booker and Representative Jan Schakowsky to create a special envoy to put an end to this bigotry. Last Congress, we were successful in passing this bill through the House, and I hope we can keep the momentum to get this bill passed into law once and for all.”

For Ilhan, the attacks are personal. Her own Minneapolis office was vandalized in January. Minnesota’s muslim community has faced a string of Islamophobic attacks. Six mosques were the recent targets of vandalism and in some cases arson. Four of the attacks occurred in the span of just four weeks.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations held a press conference this past May requesting a portion of state funding go towards the security of the local muslim communities’ houses of worship. Community members also paid a visit to Governor Tim Walz – who publicly condemned the string of attacks on Twitter – as well as the Minnesota Department of Safety.

According to a press release from Omar’s congressional office, violent Islamophobic incidents are on the rise in China, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Poland, New Zealand and Canada.

The bill requires the State Department to create a Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Islamophobia, as well as establish a comprehensive U.S. strategy for combating Islamophobia worldwide.

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