WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – A Democratic proposal for a U.S. State Department office addressing anti-Muslim bias is set to get a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, after a Republican congresswoman used an Islamophobic slur against a Democratic colleague.
The bill, authored by Representative Ilhan Omar, would create a special envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia, and include state-sponsored anti-Muslim violence in the department’s annual human rights reports.
It comes just a few weeks after video emerged showing first-term Republican Representative Lauren Boebert calling Omar, a Muslim who was born in Somalia, a member of a “jihad squad.”
That comment led to calls by Democrats for a vote to strip Boebert of her committee assignments, as well as criticism by fellow Republican Representative Nancy Mace.
Republicans decried the bill, saying it lacked definitions and could be used for a wide range of actions.
Representative Guy Reschenthaler called the bill “rushed and a partisan effort.”
Democrats countered that anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise in the United States and globally, and cited Boebert’s comments as evidence.