WASHINGTON— Democrats on the House Rules Committee blocked six amendments developed by the Republican Study Committee (RSC) and supported by RSC members to counter anti-Muslim bigotry and violence perpetuated by China, Iran, and the Taliban.
“If Democrats really cared about confronting the problem of anti-Muslim bigotry or violence throughout the world, why are they afraid of even having a debate on the floor on these common sense amendments? Instead, Democrats are working to slow down or oppose provisions holding China accountable for its genocide against Uyghur Muslims. It’s shameful and reveals this exercise is nothing other than a partisan messaging stunt,” said Rep. Jim Banks, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
The amendments were offered to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s H.R. 5665– Combating International Islamophobia Act, a bill that would do nothing to actually combat anti-Muslim bigotry and violence. Instead, Rep. Omar’s bill would create a new Special Envoy to Counter Islamophobia at the State Department, despite the fact that at least three offices in the State Department – the Special Representative for Muslim Communities, the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, and the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Rights, and Labor already work on the issue of human rights and religious freedom for Muslims around the world.
The Democrats move comes only a few weeks after the Washington Post reported that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman actively lobbied the Senate to water down the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which would make it easier to block the import of goods made with Uyghur Muslim slave labor in China. It also comes over a month after Democrats removed a provision from their so-called “Build Back Better” socialist spending spree that would have prohibited taxpayer dollars from going to entities connected to Uyghur Muslim slave labor.
The RSC amendments (described in more detail below) call out President Biden’s administration for removing investment restrictions in Sugon, a Chinese supercomputing company directly involved in the CCP’s genocide against Uyghur Muslims through assisting China’s surveillance state and so-called “predictive policing” in Xinjiang province. The amendments would also include the text of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and require that the new useless Special Envoy position would have to work to coordinate sanctions on China to prevent Uyghur forced labor. In addition, the amendments highlighted how President Trump’s maximum pressure campaign on Iran reduced the resources available for the Iranian regime to perpetuate hatred, incitement and violence against Sunni Muslims, and ask how repealing such sanctions would affect international Islamophobia. Finally, the amendments ask for a report into how normalizing the Taliban’s regime in Afghanistan, in power due to President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal, would further anti-Shi’a Muslim hatred and violence in Afghanistan.
A list of the amendments can be found below:
- Mooney (WV) -- Requires the Special Envoy to counter China for its genocide of the Uyghurs. This is done by working to stop Uyghur slave labor, enhancing economic sanctions on China’s economy, and calling for a full boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games.
- McClain (MI) – Contains a Sense of Congress supporting President Trump's maximum pressure campaign on Iranian regime and normalizing relations with the Taliban will provide the group resources to continue its campaign of violence. Requires a report within 60 days from the Secretaries of State and Treasury on the impact of lifting sanctions on Iran and the Taliban.
- Banks (IN) – Expresses the sense of Congress that Dawning Information Industry Co. (Sugon) is directly involved in the PRC's surveillance of Uyghur Muslims. Requires a report on the impact of removing investment prohibitions on Sugon under authorities pursuant to Executive Order 13959.
- Banks (IN) - Attaches the Senate’s Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which would ensure that CCP is not profiting from its abuses by stopping products made with Uyghur Muslim forced labor from entering our supply chains.
- Steube (FL) – Expresses the sense of Congress that President Joe Biden’s statements on multiple occasions that there exists no Thomas Jefferson behind some sand dune in the Middle East, implying that the Muslim people do not have any democratic thinkers or aspirations, represented a soft bigotry of low expectations against Muslims.
- Steube (FL) – States that countering sectarianism against Muslim sects, including the Islamic Republic of Iran’s promotion of incitement, hatred, violations of religious freedom, and gross human rights abuses against Sunni Muslims within Iran and throughout the Middle East, and the Taliban’s promotion of incitement, hatred, violations of religious freedom, and gross human rights abuses against Shia Muslims within Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East, including through the support of economic sanctions, such as those laid out in President Donald J. Trump’s maximum pressure campaign, to deny the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Taliban, the resources to commit sectarian acts against Sunni and Shia Muslims.