Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz slammed Rep. Rashida Tlaib for her defense of her Muslim congressional colleague by blaming “Islamophobia” within political parties.
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” Monday, Dershowitz called out the Michigan Democrat for her remarks defending Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic comments and claiming members of Congress are guilty of having a fear of Muslims.
Tlaib suggested that fear was the source for the heavy backlash from the Democratic Party as well as the GOP over Omar’s comments and tweets, in an appearance on Showtime’s “The Circus.”
“You know, I’m trying to figure it out. It’s just this past week, I feel, and I know this would be somewhat shocking for some, but I think Islamophobia is very much among the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party,” Tlaib said.
— The Circus on Showtime (@SHO_TheCircus) March 10, 2019
Tlaib also told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that Omar has become an easy target for backlash because she is a black Muslim woman and that their congressional colleagues probably “have never met a Muslim before.”
Tlaib said Dems turned on Omar ‘because she’s Muslim and because she’s black’ https://t.co/HLZoOokjug
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 18, 2019
Accusations of Islamophobia like Tlaib’s are a “new justification for anti-Semitism,” Dershowitz noted, pointing out the “new tactic” used by the left to “stifle debate.”
“When you accuse someone, even truthfully, of making anti-Semitic statements, the very accusation – truthful or not – is called Islamophobic,” he said.
“So it provides a complete defense, no matter who made the accusation,” Dershowitz added. “You can’t call anybody out for making anti-Semitic statements, because if you do, you’re guilty of bigotry, you’re Islamophobic.”
Discussion turned to last week’s incident with Chelsea Clinton, as Dershowitz joined other voices in defending the former first daughter over a confrontation with students who blamed her condemnation of Omar’s remarks for stoking the rhetoric that led to the kind of hatred that erupted in the massacre at two mosques in New Zealand which claimed the lives of 49 people.
“Omar claims that the rest of us in the world are trying to stifle dissent,” Dershowitz continued.
“If you do identify anti-Semitic statements and condemn them — as everybody in the world should — you’re guilty of bigotry and Islamophobia,” Dershowitz, himself a Democrat, said. “You cannot do that anymore because if you do, you and Chelsea Clinton will be blamed for every anti-Muslim fanatic’s statement or act.”
“It’s designed to stifle debate. And everybody should recognize that,” he added. “We should have the complete and full freedom to call out anti-Semitism or any other bigotry wherever it occurs without being worried that you’ll be called a bigot if you do it.”
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