Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., on Monday expressed her appreciation for Fox News after the cable network condemned host “Judge” Jeanine Pirro for questioning whether Omar’s Islamic religious beliefs stand in opposition to the U.S. Constitution.
“Thank you, @FoxNews,” Omar tweeted. “No one’s commitment to our constitution should be questioned because of their faith or country of birth.”
On her Fox News show Saturday, Pirro suggested without evidence that Omar — the first Somali-American and one of the first of two Muslim women elected to Congress — is not committed to upholding U.S. laws because, among other things, she wears an Islamic headscarf.
“Think about it: Omar wears a hijab,” Pirro said on her primetime show on Saturday night. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”
On Sunday, Fox News issued a statement condemning Pirro’s comments.
“We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar,” the statement said. “They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”
The rare rebuke from the top-rated cable network came after a Muslim Fox News staffer called out Pirro.
“@JudgeJeanine can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough?” Hufsa Kamal tweeted. “You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself. K thx.”
Pirro — whose show "Justice With Judge Jeanine" is one of President's Trump's favorites — has yet to issue a public apology or clarification.
Omar has drawn the ire of some members of Congress and members of her own party for comments she made about Israel.
Last month, Omar apologized for saying the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC deployed “the Benjamins” to influence policy.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar said in a statement.
She stirred controversy again at a subsequent event when she told an audience she wanted to “talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Last week, the House passed a broad resolution denouncing hate after backlash from a number of factions across the Democratic Party forced changes to a measure that originally focused on anti-Semitism to condemning many kinds of hate.
Republicans, including Trump, as well as his supporters such as Pirro, condemned the vote, saying it didn’t go far enough.
“I thought yesterday’s vote by the House was disgraceful because the Democrats have become an anti-Israel party,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “They’ve become an anti-Jewish party.”
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