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Lauren Boebert Sparks Outrage After Smearing Ilhan Omar As A Member Of The 'Jihad Squad'

Lauren Boebert Sparks Outrage After Smearing Ilhan Omar As A Member Of The 'Jihad Squad'
Win McNamee/Getty Images; Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert sparked outrage and was accused of expressing anti-Muslim sentiment after she branded Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar a member of the "Jihad Squad."

Boebert made the remarks during a House resolution to censure Arizona Republican Representative Paul Gosar, who'd shared an altered, animated video that depicted him killing New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and threatening President Joe Biden.

You can hear what Boebert said in the video below.

Boebert said:

"The Speaker has designated the floor to discuss members' inappropriate actions, shall we?"
"The Jihad Squad member from Minnesota has paid her husband, and not her brother husband—the other one, over a million dollars in campaign funds."
"This member is allowed on the Foreign Affairs Committee while praising terrorists."

Boebert's use of the phrase "Jihad Squad" generated significant controversy.

Omar is one of three Muslim members of Congress, the others being Democrats André Carson (Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan).

She is also one of the members of "The Squad," a group of six Democratic members of the House that was initially composed of Omar, Tlaib, and their fellow Representatives Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts).

The phrase "Jihad Squad" first emerged in 2019 when the Illinois Republican County Chairman's Association included it in an image posted to their social media accounts that depicted the four women holding guns and standing defiantly.

The image has been included as evidence of the "process of radicalization," according to the political scientists Richard C. Fording and Sanford F. Schram, who in their book Hard White: The Mainstreaming of Racism in American Politicsnoted the image appeared to "anticipate being called out for racism" with a caption that read:

"Political Jihad Is Their Game: If you don't agree with their socialist ideology, you're racist."

Omar issued a swift rebuke of Boebert's comments.

Omar called Boebert "an insurrectionist who sleeps with a pervert," referring to both Boebert's support for those who attacked the United States Capitol on January 6 and Boebert's husband's arrest for exposing himself to a minor.

She charged Boebert is "a deprived person who shamefully defecates & defiles the House of Representatives."

Many have joined Omar in condemning Boebert for her behavior.

Boebert's remarks are also rife with inaccuracies, taking at least some inspiration from conspiracy theories that have dogged Omar since she first took office.

They referred, at least in part, to Omar's campaign paying $2.9 million to E Street Group, a political consultancy firm co-owned by her husband Tim Mynett, to work on her 2020 re-election campaign.

Omar later terminated her contract with her husband's firm last year amid scrutiny from critics who filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging campaign funds paid for Mynett's personal travel.

Omar has for years denied she married her brother, a false claim that originated on right-wing blogs but nonetheless prompted federal authorities to launch a probe into her marriage to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a British Somali who she divorced in 2017.

The accusation Omar is guilty of "praising terrorists" has been thoroughly debunked but has continued to spread since former President Donald Trump falsely claimed Omar talked "about how great Al Qaeda is" during a 2013 interview on a local PBS television show.