In a thinly disguised show of Islamophobia on Saturday, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro questioned whether the hijab worn by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) conflicts with the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
“Omar wears the hijab, which according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested,” Pirro said. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”
The Constitution’s First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion, and some Catholic members of Congress wore ash on their foreheads Wednesday to mark the start of Lent.
The cable host’s comments were part of her full-throated condemnation of Omar’s recent remarks on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and U.S. financial ties to the nation, which have sparked a firestorm of debate over whether her words could be seen as anti-Semitic or were legitimate criticisms of U.S. foreign policy.
Railing against what she called Omar’s “anti-Israel sentiment doctrine,” Pirro accused the congresswoman of spreading hatred by “using tropes which are figurative and metaphorical.”
But Pirro’s criticism of Omar wasn’t limited to her hijab or her remarks ― she also implied the lawmaker was indebted to the U.S. after fleeing Somalia as a refugee and being “resettled by our government in Virginia to enjoy the cornucopia of rights, privileges and benefits the United States offers.”
Pirro’s comments aren’t the first signs of her on-air Islamophobia.
In July 2016, she called for “a conversation about surveillance in mosques,” and in February 2017, she defended President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority nations.
“It’s about Joe Schmo Muhammad, who doesn’t have any vetting from another country that ― where they promised to send in individuals and jihadists to kill us,” she said.