Last month, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the Combating International Islamophobia Act that serves as a formal step to monitor and combat Islamophobia worldwide. The final vote, which took place on December 14th, was 219-212 along party lines.
Rep. James McGovern (D-MA), the chairman of the House Rules Committee, cited several surveys showing an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide and around the world — as well as the need for the U.S. to make a strong statement.
If signed into law, the bill would require the U.S. State Department to create a special envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia, including state-sponsored Islamophobic violence and impunity, in their annual human rights reports.
The bill, strongly backed by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), feels more necessary than ever. Omar has been working on this project for several months.
Even within the House itself, Islamophobia has been rearing its ugly head. Rep. Lauren Boebert has recently been slammed for multiple comments made towards her Muslim colleagues, namely Omar herself.
And much earlier, particularly on June 15, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made Islamophobic remarks about Omar, portraying her as a radical and calling for her to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“I will promise you this, if we are fortunate enough to have the majority, Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs or anybody that has an anti-Semitic or anti-American view,” McCarthy told Fox News.
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 combating Islamophobia worldwide,” according to a summary of the bill.
The bill must now pass the Senate before it is passed along to President Biden to be signed into law, who said in a statement that he supported the legislation.
What are your thoughts? Let us know at @muslimgirl on Twitter!