Islamophobia and Afghan refugees in the United States
As of this writing, in mid-December, another wave of migrants has arrived in America, and some are on their way. When the dust settles, there is no doubt that there will be a significant increase in the number of Afghans living in the county. The 2021 estimate was over 155,000. The states of California, Virginia and New York historically had the highest number of Afghan residents. There are several estimates of the number of Afghans who will eventually end up in the United States. Another 500,000 can be added bringing the total to 655,000. Over time, they will become US citizens with the right to vote. They are likely to head to places that already have large Afghan communities. Once there, they will gain political power.
Representative Ilhan Omar – from a district in the state of Minnesota with a large Somali population – is one example of how immigrants entered politics in the United States. Silicon Valley’s IT industry has attracted tens of thousands of Indian engineers, and their political presence has already been felt. Two members of Indian origin represent districts of the State of California in the United States Congress. Both have important voices on the Hill. One of them, Ro Khanna, was Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign chief of staff. The other is Pramila Jayapal who represents most of Seattle and chairs the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives. Islamophobia has become a serious political problem in the United States, as two female members of the House of Representatives – Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia; and Lauren Boebert, also a Republican but originally from Colorado State, attacked Minnesota State Representative Ilhan Omar. They called Omar a member of the âJihad Squadâ.
At an event in his Colorado district in late November, Boebert told his supporters that meeting Omar was “not my first” Jihad Squad moment. ” Greene, in an appearance on November 30, spared no effort in his attack on Omar. âShe hates Israel. She is pro-Hamas. She is pro al-Qaeda. She is essentially an apologist for Islamic terrorists. There is no need to apologize to this woman because she will never stop. She wants Republicans to be wiped out completely. She wants Republicans jailed. She doesn’t care about our country. She is anti-American. Some of the responses to his statements suggest support for his position. “I think Congresswoman Boebert probably expressed the sentiment of many Americans,” Pueblo County Republican President Robert told Colorado Springs-based radio station KRDO. “This Congresswoman Omar has pointed her finger in the eyes of many Americans over the past two years and we are fed up with it.”
Former President Trump sided with Boebert and Greene and attacked Omar. He falsely accused Omar of “wishing Israel death” and “of essentially abandoning her former country which doesn’t even have a government – exactly what she would like to see for the United States.” Omar had come to the United States as a child, escaping the assault on her Muslim community in Somalia. She was one of three Muslim women elected to the House in 2018 and regained their seats in 2020. Republicans have made statements saying that Muslim lawmakers support terrorists and are “bloodthirsty”, comparing them to suicide bombers. . Pressure was exerted on the Republican leadership to act against women lawmakers, but there was resistance to any public censor.
The Minnesota congressman said she had received death threats which she attributed to Republican attacks on her. It has been reported that “several Republicans have sidestepped the question of whether the party leadership or Republicans more broadly should condemn offensive or fanatic remarks by their members, noting that as a” big party “- such as Leader Kevin McCarthy has often called his lecture – commentary of all stripes will be thrown around. This episode made it clear that right-wing politicians on the political spectrum are not only tolerant of Islamophobia, but that many of them were also happy to support it. With even a slight increase in the proportion of Muslims in the American population, this attitude would continue to be part of the discourse in the country. Islamophobia in the United States, “House Republicans are faced with calls to condemn Islamophobic remarks by members of their conference, while There is growing concern that their silence will encourage extremist rhetoric that contributes to bigotry and potential threats of violence against Muslims.
In a press conference on December 1, 2021, the three Muslim lawmakers in the House urged Republican leaders to make it clear that they will not tolerate such attacks. “We cannot pretend that this hate speech by political leaders has no real consequences,” said Omar, who had introduced a bill to monitor and combat Islamophobia around the world. She released a threatening voicemail she had received the day before after Boebert accused her of “anti-American and anti-Semitic” rhetoric in a video posted to social media. “I myself have reported hundreds of threats to my life, often triggered by Republican attacks on my faith,” Omar said at the press conference. âAnd this week, again, we saw another increase. The right wing of the American political spectrum has engaged in Islamophobic comments to solidify its support among those who inhabit this political space. Donald Trump brought this sentiment to the surface. In 2015, then a candidate for President of the United States, he called for a “total and complete stop of Muslims entering the United States”, and upon entering the White House on January 20, 2017, he immediately acted on this. promise by instituting a ban on targeting foreign nationals of several Muslim-majority countries. His departure from the White House did not reduce the anti-Islam rhetoric of some Republican politicians. Interestingly, support for Omar came from a Jewish group, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. On November 30, 2021, he urged the House Ethics Committee to investigate Representative Boebert for her “virulent and anti-Muslim remarks”, which he said had created a “dangerous environment”, especially at the following the Jan.6 attack on Capitol Hill by a pro-Trump mob. Would this public dispute between the women of Congress affect the reception that Afghan refugees received in the United States? Polls suggest that support for refugees has remained strong. A Quinnipiac poll in September found that 60% of Americans were in favor of accepting Afghan refugees in the United States, while 32% were against it. However, 62 percent of Republicans said they were opposed to accepting Afghan refugees in the United States while 30 percent were in favor. This compares to 87 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Independents. Overall support for hosting refugees increased to 83 percent if the potential refugee was an Afghan national who assisted Americans during the war. It appears that despite provocative statements by some very fanatic women in Congress, refugees from Afghanistan would be welcome in the United States. Once settled in, some of them will enter the political system, like Ilhan Omar, a Muslim refugee from Somalia.