On Tuesday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, compared Israel to Iran and said she “chuckles” when Israel is called a democracy.
“When I see Israel institute a law that recognizes it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are — that are living in it, and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East, I almost chuckle,” Omar told Zainab Salbi on the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes.”
She said she would “chuckle … because I know that if, you know, we say — we see that in any other society we would criticize it, we would call it out. We do that to Iran, we do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion. And I see that now happening with Saudi Arabia, and so I am aggravated truly in those contradictions.”
Israel does not force non-Jews to live according to religious laws. By contrast, Iran institutes a harsh Shia interpretation of sharia (Islamic law), where a woman who leaves the house without her face veiled is subject to arrest and even torture.
Israel is not perfect, but Iran is an oppressive theocracy. Omar’s defense of the Islamic Republic as equivalent to the Israeli declaration that it is a Jewish state is disgusting.
Yet Omar also endorsed Somalia’s new president (she is Somali-American), and days later, her brother-in-law had a job in the administration. Sharia remains the basic source for Somalia’s legal system.
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