Florida official embraces Islamophobia, says Tlaib could ‘Become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill’
A commissioner in Hallandale Beach, Florida this week launched an Islamophobic attack on freshman Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, accusing Tlaib of being a terrorist.
“[Rashida Tlaib] is a Hamas-loving anti-Semite [who] has NO place in government!” Annabelle Lima-Taub wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, which first reported the story. “She is a danger and [I] would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.”
Included with her comments was a link to a petition which sought to remove Tlaib from office.
The commissioner removed the Facebook post on Monday afternoon, after receiving several requests for comment from the Sun Sentinel, but not before the story had spread, drawing condemnation — but not demands for an apology — from her fellow commissioners and city officials in Hallandale Beach.
“To say [Tlaib] could blow up Capitol Hill is really inappropriate,” Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana said. “Congressman Steve King from Iowa has openly embraced white supremacy and I don’t see anyone condemning him. Maybe she’s being targeted because she’s a woman and because she’s a Muslim.”
On Twitter, Tlaib condemned the vitriol. “This sort of hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” she said. “This President embraced it and Republicans have happily gone along with it.”
ThinkProgress has reached out to Rep. Tlaib’s office for further comment on the matter.
Since becoming one of the first two Muslim congresswoman in U.S. history earlier this year, along with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Tlaib has stoked a firestorm of controversy.
Shortly after being sworn into office, BuzzFeed News reported a Palestinian-American comedian had placed a sticky note reading “Palestine” over the Middle East on a map in Tlaib’s office. According to Roll Call, the move led some right-wing outlets to claim that Tlaib wanted to “wipe Israel off the map.”
Last week, the Washington Examiner also accused Tlaib of anti-Semitism, after she wrote “They forgot what country they represent” in response to a bill introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) which would give more security assistance to Israel. The outlet claimed the statement was “code for Jews and their alleged dual loyalties.”
Then there was the backlash earlier in January to Tlaib saying “we’re going to impeach that motherf***er,” in reference to Trump. According to analysis by Axios, the collective hand-wringing over Tlaib’s comments went on to receive five times more news coverage then Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) comments asking why it wasn’t OK to describe oneself as a white nationalist. The worst offender was Fox News, which devoted 52 minutes of airtime to Tlaib’s comments, as opposed to just 42 seconds for King’s comments.