Rashida Tlaib posts picture of 'hateful' note left on office door

Joe Sommerlad@JoeSommerlad
Thursday 28 March 2019 08:45
Rashida Tlaib calls on Congress to cut funding for President Trump's 'deportation force'(Alex Wong/Getty)

New Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has quickly made a name for herself in Washington.

Along with fellow rising stars Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, the representative for Michigan took office on 3 January after triumphing in November's midterm elections, swearing an oath on the Qu'ran to uphold the values of the US constitution as she and Omar became the first Muslim women to serve in Congress.

But Tlaib and her fellow idealistic freshers have quickly found themselves at odds with the more moderate, pragmatic political stance of the Democratic hierarchy.

Tlaib has loudly advocated impeaching Donald Trump, whereas House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the process would be too lengthy and traumatic for America and that Trump himself was "not worth it".

Even more controversially, Tlaib has backed Omar, the representative for Minnesota, in her criticism of foreign lobby groups in Washington.

Specifically, Omar called out the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for their excessive influence in DC, expressing disquiet at their expectation she would "pledge allegiance to a foreign country" and saying their prominence is "all about the Benjamins".

Her remarks provoked an identity crisis within the party, forced the House of Representatives to pass a resolution categorically condemning racial prejudice and allowed President Trump to accuse the Democrats (outrageously) of being an "anti-Jewish, anti-Israel" party and call for Omar's removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

She's hit back against her detractors in fine style and received some shocking Islamophobic abuse in return.

Rashida Tlaib has stood by her friend throughout this ordeal, defending her concerns about the excessive influence of lobby groups as legitimate and the accusations of antisemitism as bogus.

And now she's received a threatening note on her office door, accusing her of "disgusting Jew hatred" and warning, "Your Jihad against the Jews will fail".

Congresswoman Tlaib posted a photograph of the message on Twitter, saying:

The incident is an alarming reminder of the power of politicians to influence others through the spread of disingenuous rhetoric.

Only last week, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo attempted to score cheap, partisan political points off the Omar affair on a visit to Jerusalem, saying: "Sadly, we in the United States have seen anti-Semitic language even in the great halls of our own Capitol".

The Republicans' attempts to warp the argument have been as dishonest as they have been dangerous.

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