Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) introduces a resolution on Thursday commemorating the anniversary of the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 51 Muslims were killed in 2019, and condemning rising Islamophobia in the world.
The bill, first seen by HuffPost, will be introduced on the first day of Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk.
“As we begin the holy month of Ramadan, we must reaffirm that all people of faith should have the right to pray without fear,” Omar told HuffPost in an emailed statement, noting that hate crimes anti-Muslims are at an all time high. .
“The attack on Christchurch, motivated by extremist white supremacist ideology, anti-Muslim hatred and the so-called replacement theory resonates deeply with Muslims in almost every corner of the globe,” Omar’s statement read.
On March 15, 2019, an Australian far-right extremist stormed two mosques during Friday prayers and opened fire. He live-streamed the first attack on Facebook and admitted to police his plan was to target more worshipers at a third mosque.
The following year, the New Zealand government issued a detailed report acknowledging that the nation’s national security agencies have failed to take concerns about white supremacy and Islamophobia seriously.
“The events of the day were presaged by so many telltale signs of his coming, all of which were evident and all of which were ignored by those with the power to act,” said a Muslim New Zealander quoted in the report. .
In a manifesto before the attack, the Australian mass shooter named a Norwegian terrorist who killed 77 people in a gun and bomb attack in 2011. The Norwegian terrorist was also influenced by anti extremists -Muslims in the United States and told his lawyers he was saving his country from the Muslims.
In 2021, Omar and fellow Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced a resolution calling on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to create a special envoy to combat islamophobia. The bill, titled the Combating International Islamophobia Act, passed the House the following December, but was stalled in the Senate.
Last week the United Nations celebrated its first International Day Against Islamophobia.
“We also know that this increase in hatred is not restricted to Muslims alone. Church bombings, attacks on synagogues and racial hate crimes are also on the rise. In order to face the evils of religious bigotry and hatred, we must understand that all our destinies are intertwined,” Omar said.
“That’s why I’m proud to lead my colleagues in condemning the rise of Islamophobia and affirming the rights of religious minorities in the United States and around the world.”