Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), civil rights attorneys, and advocate organizations had strong words for MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid after the television personality compared the supporters of President Donald Trump to “the way Muslims act.”
Reid, who has been filling the 7:00 p.m. weeknight slot originally held by anchor Chris Matthews, suggested President Trump’s supporters are being radicalized like terrorists. Reid said to a panel of guests:
When leaders, let’s say in the Muslim world, talk a lot of violent talk and encourage their supporters to be willing to commit violence including on their own bodies in order to win against whoever they decide is the enemy, we in the U.S. media describe that as they are ‘radicalizing’ these people, particularly when they’re radicalizing young people.
“That’s how we talk about the way Muslims act,” the ReidOut host added. “When you see what Donald Trump is doing, is that any different from what we describe as radicalizing people?”
Reid’s comment sent a shockwave throughout several social media platforms, getting attention from Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), civil rights attorneys, activists, and Muslims who lead organizations.
“Honestly, this kinda of casual Islamophobia is hurtful and dangerous,” Omar shared in a tweet. “We deserve better and an apology for the painful moment for so many Muslims around our country should be forthcoming.”
Honestly, this kinda of casual Islamophobia is hurtful and dangerous.
We deserve better and an apology for the painful moment for so many Muslims around our country should be forthcoming. https://t.co/megnZyL9dd
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 1, 2020
Zakir Khan, board chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oregon, said Reid’s remarks were “so unbelievably Islamophobic it’s ridiculous,” questioning whether the host plans to apologize after she chose to “stereotype an entire group of Muslims.”
“This isn’t even subtle,” Civil rights lawyer Zahra Billoo wrote in a tweet. “It’s blatant Islamophobia @JoyAnnReid.”
— Zahra Billoo (@ZahraBilloo) September 1, 2020
Muslim Advocates, a civil rights organization, has called for an apology from Reid for “spreading the false, dangerous myth that Muslims are inherently radical and violent.” The group also suggested that MSNBC “needs to take action to ensure anti-Muslim bigotry has no place on its network.”
Self-proclaimed conservative Jennifer Rubin rushed to Reid’s aide with a social media post attempting to clarify her remarks.
“This is hugely misleading,” Rubin wrote, before expressing her distaste with the outlet that published the piece. “She was making the point about a double standard. She was not AGREEING with it. Disappointed Slate would go with this.”
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) September 1, 2020
Reid is no stranger to controversy when it comes to troubling comments. After old blog posts that belonged to Reid were brought to life, it was revealed that in 2006 that Reid believed Islam could not co-exist with Western democracy.
“Current iterations of Islam are largely incompatible with Western notions of free speech and expression, and thus, I’d say, with the Bushian dream of Western style democracy for all,” Reid wrote at the time.
Reid’s slipup comes amidst the announcement that her show delivered MSNBC’s highest-rated month at 7:00 p.m. in network history.