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Ilhan Omar Introduces Bill to Create Office for 'Monitoring and Combating Islamophobia'

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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) introduced legislation “to address the rise in incidents of Islamophobia worldwide.”

Omar introduced the Combating International Islamophobia Act along with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) on Thursday. According to Omar’s press release, “The bill requires the State Department to create a Special Envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia, and include state-sponsored Islamophobic violence and impunity in the Department’s annual human rights reports.”

It continues, “The creation of the Special Envoy will help policymakers better understand the interconnected, global problem of anti-Muslim bigotry. It will also establish a comprehensive strategy for establishing U.S. leadership in combatting Islamophobia worldwide.”

The press release notes over 500 documented complaints of anti-Muslim hate and bias have been issued this year in the United States.

The lawmakers cited a study conducted by CAIR that found 69% of respondents “personally experienced anti-Muslim bigotry or discrimination since 9/11.”

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They included another study in their press release from the Othering and Belonging Institute that found 67% of Muslims “personally experienced Islamophobia in their lifetimes.”

Additionally, the lawmakers go on to list several other instances of Islamophobia worldwide.

“We are seeing a rise in Islamophobia in nearly every corner of the globe,” Omar said.

She continued, “In my home state of Minnesota, vandals spray-painted hate messages and a Nazi swastika on and near the Moorhead Fargo Islamic Center. These types of incidents are all too common for Muslims in the United States and beyond. As part of our commitment to international religious freedom and human rights, we must recognize Islamophobia and do all we can to eradicate it.”

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Omar explained she is “proud to partner with Rep. Jan Schakowsky to create a special envoy to put an end to this bigotry.”

Schakowsky argued it is “past time for the U.S. to establish a comprehensive plan for combating this hatred worldwide.”

He added, “I am proud to join my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, in introducing the Combating International Islamophobia Act.”

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