House Censures Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Sparks Concern Among Muslim Community

By MNN Desk Report
Published Thu, Nov 9, 2023 3:07 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House of Representatives voted 234-188 to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., over her remarks related to Israel and Palestinians. Twenty-two Democrats joined Republicans in voting to formally rebuke Tlaib for her comments.

The measure, sponsored by Georgia Republican Rich McCormick, accuses Tlaib of "promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel." It is the second attempt to formally punish Tlaib over her comments about the war.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, has made several  comments about the war. She has defended her comments and says she is simply availing herself of freedom of speech.

Censure is a symbolic move where the member who has been censured is called to the House floor as the Speaker of the House reads the text of the measure.

Members from both parties have criticized her comments, but most Democrats say they do not support censure as a response.

CAIR and AJP Condemn House Censure of Rep. Rashida Tlaib

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Michigan Chapter of CAIR (CAIR-MI) today condemned the House of Representatives for censuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the lone Muslim Palestinian-American woman in Congress. They say she is being targeted for daring to support Palestinian human rights and calling for a ceasefire in response to Israel's ruthless killing of more than 10,000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including more than 4,800 children.

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

"The American Muslim community stands against this hypocritical and racist targeting of Representative Tlaib, whose voice is indispensable in representing the concerns of millions of Americans who are horrified by the war crimes our government supports against the Palestinian people. She should wear this cowardly censure as a badge of honor. We will not be cowed by those attempting to muzzle our voices."

Awad also said that the censure of Tlaib is a "disgraceful form of political intimidation that establishes a perilous precedent."

In a statement, CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said:

"Michigan Muslims proudly stand alongside Congresswoman Tlaib as she champions the human rights and dignity of all people, including Palestinians. This censure also represents a disgraceful form of political intimidation that establishes a perilous precedent. Following Congresswoman Omar’s similar censure for speaking truth to power in Washington, D.C., it reinforces the perception that any Muslim member of Congress who dares to challenge the establishment will face suppression."

Walid also said that the failure of Congress to censure Rep. Brian Mast for his racist comments, equating Palestinian civilians with Nazis, underscores a lack of consistency in the principles of fairness and justice that should guide the people's House. He called on Congress to demonstrate compassion by extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and authorizing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to Palestinians in the United States.

AJP Action and CAIR Call for Protection of Palestinians in the United States

Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) and CAIR today called for the protection of Palestinians in the United States, saying that they are facing "increased violence and hatred" as a result of the Israeli government's actions in Gaza.

In a statement, AJP Action and CAIR said:

"Palestinians in Gaza must have the opportunity to live in their homeland with justice, peace, and freedom, free from the constant threat of ethnic cleansing. For those Palestinians currently in America on limited visas with impending departure dates, they should be granted the right to stay until the Israeli government ceases its campaign of mass violence in both the West Bank and Gaza."

AJP Action and CAIR also called on the Departments of State and Homeland Security to demonstrate compassion by extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and authorizing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to Palestinians in the United States.