Many people continue to speak out about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel. Lawmakers from both parties have issued statements condemning the freshman congresswoman’s remarks, which were intended to point out the influence of pro-Israel lobbying in the nation’s capital. President Trump went so far as to call for her resignation, and on Friday used Omar to claim in front of a group of Republican donors that “Democrats hate Jewish people.” A day later, Jeanine Pirro, maybe the most consistently incendiary of the president’s acolytes on Fox News, used some bizarre logic to suggest Omar is anti-American.
“She is not getting this anti-Israel sentiment doctrine from the Democrat Party,” Pirro said of Omar. “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 molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to sharia law, which is antithetical to the U.S. Constitution?”
The comments were so Islamaphobic that even Fox News was forced to distance itself from Pirro. “We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar,” the network wrote in a statement. “They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”
Hufsa Kamal, a producer for Special Report With Bret Baier, another program on Fox News, also wasn’t happy.
@JudgeJeanine can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough? You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself. K thx. https://t.co/ZfKhRhlvM3
— Hufsa Kamal (@hufkat) March 10, 2019
On Monday, Omar thanked Fox News for condemning the remarks. “Thank you, @FoxNews. No one’s commitment to our constitution should be questioned because of their faith or country of birth,” she tweeted.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 11, 2019
Pirro, however, is not apologizing.
“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,” she said in a statement. “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.”
But phrasing attacks in the form of questions does not equal “starting a debate.” Pirro plainly suggested that Omar could be un-American because she wears a hijab. It’s as easy to discern her intention as it is to see that Trump simply flubbed his words when he called Apple CEO Tim Cook “Tim Apple” last week, which he has since denied.
Pirro may also feel emboldened by the president’s history of questioning whether Muslims may be prone to subverting American values. On Monday, the Washington Post pointed out several such instances from the 2016 campaign. “They want sharia law. They don’t want laws that we have. They want sharia law,” Trump said on NBC’s Today after a March 2016 a terrorist attack in Belgium. “You know, you say to yourself, at what point — how much of this do you take? And what we’re doing is we’re allowing thousands and thousands of these people into our country.”
This fear that an influx sharia-law-adhering Muslims will infect American culture is what led to Trump’s proposal to ban people from predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. Though the “travel ban” seemed like an absurd idea at the time, Trump would go on to win the presidency and attempt to actually institute it. After being struck down in federal court multiple times, a revised version of the ban was upheld by the Supreme Court last summer.
Unfortunately there are no network executives to reprimand Trump.