US Congress member introduces new resolution against Islamophobia
US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar introduced a new resolution on Thursday that condemns Islamophobia globally and commemorates the 2019 Christchurch mosque shooting that left more than 50 Muslim worshippers dead in New Zealand.
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Co-sponsored by 20 Democratic members of Congress, the move was introduced on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and comes one week after the UN commemorated its first annual day to combat Islamophobia.
"This year, [Ramadan] is also a time of increasing terror and attacks against our Muslim brothers and sisters across this country and around the world," Omar said during a press conference on Thursday at the US Capitol.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations reported in 2022 that it had received more than 6,000 cases of bias against Muslims in the previous year, ranging from immigration and workplace discrimination to government overreach and incarcerate rights.
The UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion released a report in 2021 concluding that suspicion, discrimination, and hatred towards Muslims have risen to "epidemic proportions", citing as examples both France and India.
The latest government report from Canada found that attacks against Muslims increased by 71 percent in 2021.
"We all know that we have so much more work to do to combat racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and hateful policies that fuel it," Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, a co-sponsor of the measure, said during Thursday's press conference.
In 2021, Omar introduced a different resolution regarding anti-Muslim sentiment, which would have established a US envoy for Islamophobia, just like it has one for antisemitism. The bill was able to pass the House in December 2021 but has yet to be voted on in the Senate.
The measure introduced on Thursday comes a week after the four-year anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks.
The attacks took place on 15 March 2019, when 51 worshipers were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. More than 40 were seriously wounded.
"The attack in Christchurch, motivated by an extremist ideology of white supremacy, anti-Muslim hate, and the so-called replacement theory resonates deeply for Muslims in nearly every corner of the globe," Omar said in a statement on Thursday.