To Protect Democracy, the House Should Act Against Michele Bachmann’s Anti-Muslim McCarthyism

Michelle BachmannMichele Bachmann. (Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr)Rep. Michele Bachmann is using her position on the House Intelligence Committee to promote a conspiracy theory that government officials, including State Department official Huma Abedin, are part of a Muslim Brotherhood plot to infiltrate the US government. Bachmann also claimed that Rep. Keith Ellison is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Bachmann has refused to apologize or back down, even after prominent Republicans like Sen. John McCain demanded that she stop.

As Representative Ellison has noted, he and Abedin are in positions of relative power; even greater than our concern for them should be our concern that the political participation of Muslim-Americans will be chilled by anti-Muslim McCarthyism attacking the role of Muslim-Americans in our country’s political life.

We need the voices of Muslim-Americans to help us reform US foreign policy in the Muslim world. If Muslim-American voices are silenced, reforming US policy is going to be much harder. Urge your representative to help draw a line by speaking out for sanctions on Bachmann, including – as People for the American Way has called for – her removal from the Intelligence Committee, for her attacks on the political participation of Muslim-Americans.

It’s indisputable that many Muslim-Americans have cultural ties to and heightened concern about countries where US foreign policy is especially controversial.

We need these Muslim-American voices in the debate over US foreign policy: in the debate over policy toward Iran, in the debate over the war in Afghanistan, in the debate over CIA drone strikes, in the debate over the US response to the Arab Spring, in the debate over the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

And that’s why Just Foreign Policy is asking members of Congress to speak out against these attacks on the political participation of Muslim-Americans. Urge your representative to speak out.