Fox News condemns Jeanine Pirro after TV host says Ilhan Omar hijab 'antithetical to constitution'

Pirro remarks receive huge backlash on social media

Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American to make it into Congress. Bloomberg 
Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American to make it into Congress. Bloomberg 

Fox News on Monday denounced comments made by the channel's own Jeanine Pirro after the host said Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's headscarf was "antithetical to the United States Constitution".

Over the weekend, Ms Pirro, who hosts the show Justice with Judge Jeanine, slammed Ms Omar’s criticism of Israel. The television host attributed Ms Omar's comments on Israel to her Muslim faith and Sharia law, while questioning her adherence to the US constitution. “She’s not getting this anti-Israel sentiment doctrine from the Democratic Party. Where is she getting it from?” she asked.

Ms Pirro, who is a friend of President Donald Trump, went on to say the Ms Omar's views were also a result of her wearing a hijab.

“Think about it. Omar wears a hijab, which according to the Quran 33:59 tells women to cover so they won’t get molested” she 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?”

Ms Pirro's comments were met with anger, with people taking to social media to accuse her of attacking the country's First Amendment, which protects freedom of religion and expression. Others suggested it was a way of diverting attention from the Israel debate in the US.

Ms Omar, the first Somali-American to make it into Congress, was accused of making anti-Semitic comments when she questioned the support of US lawmakers for Israel. Congress voted last week to repudiate all forms of hate including antisemitism, racism, and Islamophobia.

Ms Omar apologised last month for some of her remarks – Ms Pirro has yet to issue an apology of her own.

In a statement a Fox News network representative said: “we strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar...they do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”

Hufsa Kamal, a Pakistani-American producer at Fox criticized Ms Pirro publicly.

“@JudgeJeanine can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough? You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself,” she tweeted.

Ms Pirro was on Mr Trump’s short list for Attorney General and the US President has given her multiple interviews. The host has since said that her “intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution.” She invited Ms Omar to come on her show.

Published: March 11, 2019 09:46 PM


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