Controversial Congresswoman Lauren Boebert Calls Colleagues “Jihad Squad” at Conservative Party Event in Staten Island
STATEN ISLAND, NY – A Republican congressman visited Staten Island last week and brought his controversial rhetoric with her.
During a stop at a Staten Island Conservative Party dinner on September 2, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) Made a series of comments captured in a Facebook Live video that are characterized as Islamophobic and transphobic, some directed against it. colleagues.
After characterizing Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens / The Bronx) as someone who is wrong but has a heart filled with “rainbows and unicorns”, she described Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Representative Ilhan Omar as “black-hearted, wicked women who want to destroy our country” – an opinion some members of the crowd greeted with applause.
Tlaib (D-Mich.) And Omar (D-Minn.) Are both Muslims. Ocasio-Cortez is not. Boebert took her comments a step further when she regaled event attendees with a story from one of her employees’ first day on the job.
Boebert suggested that she, the staff member, and Omar were alone in an elevator together. She did not insist on the emergency break, as a member of the audience suggested on September 2, but said she looked at Omar to make a derogatory remark.
“Look at him there. It is “the jihad squad,” she told her employee. Inquiries to the office of Tlaib, Omar and Boebert went unanswered at the time of publication.
“Jihad” is an Arabic term that Muslims use to refer to their struggle to live according to their faith. In the United States, the term is most often associated with radical Islamic terrorism.
“The Squad” is a term coined by the media used to refer to a group of Democratic members of Congress that includes Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). In a 2018 Instagram post, Ocasio-Cortez captioned a photo of the four women in Congress “Squad.”
“Jihad Squad” has been used derogatoryly in conservative circles to refer to congesswomen, including by the Illinois Republican Party in a social media post in 2019 which they later deleted, such as the reported the Chicago Tribune at the time.
On Staten Island, Boebert went on to say that she was raising her four sons “to be men, before the Liberals grab them and raise them to be women.”
Video clips of Boebert’s comments on social media have been widely criticized as Islamophobic and transphobic. Our reporting suggests that his comments first caught the attention of most critics after local congressional candidate Mike DeCillis, posted a video on Twitter on September 7th.
DeCillis said he obtained the images of Boebert’s remarks on the Facebook page of Conservative Party presidential candidate for Staten Island Borough, Leticia Remauro. Boebert’s full remarks could still be found on Remauro’s Facebook page at the time of publication.
“His comments at last week’s gala calling his House colleagues the ‘Jihad Squad’ and using homophobic slurs were appalling,” DeCillis, who is one of two Democratic candidates declared for the seat held by Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island / South Brooklyn) said in an emailed statement.
“(All) the elected officials present, including Nicole Malliotakis, did not say anything because it is what they believe, support, raise and celebrate. Shame on each of them for legitimizing this garbage. I was the first Democrat on Staten Island to shout this nonsense and I better not be the last.
Activists of the anti-Malliotakis political action committee (PAC) “Nicole is an accomplice” widely disseminated the clip on social networks in their latest effort to overthrow the deputy in the first term.
A PAC spokesperson said Thursday evening that Malliotakis’ silence over Boebert’s comments explains why they hope to overthrow her.
“Nicole can’t just stand there criticizing the Biden administration on Afghanistan and then sit idly by while Lauren Boebert shouts hateful Islamophobic and anti-Muslim language,” she said. “The Conservative Party is allowing this anti-Muslim rhetoric to be spewed out on its fundraising, and I have to ask ‘Are they trying to be the party of religious hatred?’ “
Several Staten Island elected officials, candidates and personalities can be seen in the video or have been independently identified as having participated in the event.
In addition to Malliotakis and Remauro, the Staten Islanders attending the event were City Councilor Joseph Borelli, Conservative mayoral candidate Bill Pepitone, Conservative Mid-Island City Council candidate George Wonica, judicial candidates Brendan Lantry, Ron Castorina and Paul Marrone, and Pastor Holy Rosary, Reverend Michel Martine.
Lantry and Borelli were the only two contacted who responded to requests for comment. The two can be seen in the video unresponsive to what Boebert had to say. The Staten Island Conservative Party also did not respond to an email request for comment.
“I only respond to things that I say, that my kids say or that people who work for me say,” Borelli said.
Lantry, who the Conservative Party nominated for a city court seat, stressed that the rules for court elections prohibit candidates from taking openly political positions. “(As) a candidate for office, I have no comment on the political rhetoric of any politician or elected official,” he said.
We also find in the video Malliotakis, Martine and the voice of Remauro, who can be heard repeatedly expressing his admiration for Boebert.
This isn’t the first controversy Remauro is courting in a Facebook post. Last year, she filmed herself on Facebook Live during a rally outside Mac’s Public House. In the video, she referred to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, responsible for the deaths of millions of people, to criticize the anti-coronavirus measures put in place by former Governor Andrew Cuomo.