On Fox, Laura Ingraham airs a deceptively edited clip of Rep. Ilhan Omar to accuse her of hating religion

On Fox, Laura Ingraham airs a deceptively edited clip of Rep. Ilhan Omar to accuse her of hating religion

Ralph Reed: “There are few things, Laura, that are more distinctly” American “than bringing your faith into the public square.”

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Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

On the May 23 edition of her prime-time show, Fox News host Laura Ingraham aired a deceptively edited clip of a speech by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to imply that she opposes people practicing their religious faith, despite the fact that Omar is a practicing Muslim.

On May 22, Omar gave a speech on the House floor about the wave of anti-abortion bills being pushed in states across the country and criticized the hypocrisy among the “religious right” on such policy decisions. Omar called out “religious fundamentalists” who she said are “trying to manipulate state laws in order to impose their beliefs on an entire society.” She mentioned a recently defeated Texas bill that would have opened the possibility of giving the death penalty to people who get an abortion, saying, “If that was being proposed by any other country, we would be calling it a dangerous violation of human rights. But because it’s happening here, with the support of the ultra-conservative religious right, we call it religious freedom.” Omar also listed Republicans whose personal actions contradicted policies that they fought to push on the American public, and said, “How could it be that an entire century has passed [since women got the right to vote] and we are still forced to fight for our rights as women, as human beings, and as Americans. This should outrage every single person. It certainly outrages me, and we can no longer stand for it.”

On her show, Ingraham aired the clip of Omar saying, “I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that onto other people.” Ingraham also played a clip from earlier in the speech in which Omar criticized “those that talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith” when they are “the ones that simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives.” Ingraham mischaracterized her comments by saying, “I guess we are offending her by speaking about faith.” Ingraham also questioned Omar’s understanding of what it means to be American, saying, “This is a fundamental misunderstanding, purposeful or not, of what we are.” Her guest, Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed, agreed, adding, “There are few things, Laura, that are more distinctly and characteristically American than bringing your faith into the public square and using it to impact the culture for the common good.”

This isn’t the first time that Fox figures have questioned Omar’s understanding of American values: Hosts have repeatedly doubted Omar’s loyalty to America, going as far as calling her “anti-American” and suggesting that her hijab means that she’s against the constitution. It's also not the first time Fox has deceptively edited a video of a sitting member of Congress to misrepresent their words -- last year, Fox & Friends aired a deceptively edited clip of Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) to claim she was “confused” about Trump’s family separation policy.

From the May 23 edition of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle:

LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Did you know that we were talking about faith and that -- just the fact that we were talking about faith upsets a certain congresswoman. Watch.

[BEGIN CLIP]

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that onto other people. Those that talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith are the ones that simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives.

[END CLIP]

INGRAHAM: So I guess we are offending her by speaking about faith.

RALPH REED (CHAIRMAN, FAITH & FREEDOM COALITION): Wow. Wow. So the people who poured out of African-American churches in the 50s and 60s and marched on Washington and sat at church counters because of their faith, because they believe that God's law and natural law required that they be treated the same as whites.

INGRAHAM: Well America wouldn't have been founded if we didn’t have people of faith who prayed for strength and resolve in every battle, at the end of every war, to bring the country together. I mean, this is -- but this is a fundamental misunderstanding, purposeful or not, of what we are and who we are as a people.

REED: Of American character. I mean, there are few things, Laura, that are more distinctly and characteristically American than bringing your faith into the public square and using it to impact the culture for the common good.

INGRAHAM: Yeah, and inform who we are. I mean, what’s supposed to inform who we are? You know, Hollywood? Ralph, great conversation, I’m sure it offended all the right people.

From Omar’s May 22 speech on the House floor:

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): I rise today to defy the horrifying attacks happening against women’s reproductive rights all across this country. Religious fundamentalists are currently trying to manipulate state laws in order to impose their beliefs on an entire society, all with complete disregard for voices and the rights of American women. The recent efforts, like those in Alabama and Georgia, are only the latest in a long history of efforts to criminalize women for simply existing -- to punish us when we don’t conform to their attempts to control us. A new proposal in Texas would go as far as to threaten women who obtain an abortion with the capital punishment. If that were not being proposed by -- If that was being proposed by any other country, we would be calling it a dangerous violation of human rights. But because it’s happening here, with the support of the ultra-conservative religious right, we call it religious freedom. It’s simply unthinkable. But this anti-choice movement isn’t only unjust, it is dangerous because history has proven that when abortion is criminalized, the number of abortions do not simply go down. The number of deaths and injuries to women increase.

Let’s just be honest. For the religious right, this isn’t simply about their care of concern for life. If they cared about, or were concerned about, children, they would be concerned about the children that are being detained and those that are dying in camps across our borders. Or the children who are languishing in hunger and facing homelessness. This isn’t about religious morality or conviction, because we’ve seen time and time again those that talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith are the ones that simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives. I just remember recently, not too long ago, a Republican congressman who had to retire -- Tim Murphy -- because he asked his mistress to abort their baby while pushing for a ban on abortion. Or I remember the anti-LGBT rights Republican Larry Craig who was found soliciting sex in a bathroom in Minneapolis airport.

I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that onto other people because we know those so-called religious politicians, when it comes to their life, their choices, they want to talk about freedom. But when it comes to other people’s lives and other people’s choices, they want to talk about religion. I feel that we must point out how ironic it is that women now are facing these challenges to their freedom in the week that we’re marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. How could it be that an entire century has passed and we are still forced to fight for our rights as women, as human beings, and as Americans. This should outrage every single person. It certainly outrages me, and we can no longer stand for it.

Update (6/5/19): On June 4, Ingraham once again played the deceptively edited video to claim Omar opposes people practicing their religious faith.

Posted In
Religion, The House of Representatives
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Laura Ingraham, Ralph Reed
Show/Publication
The Ingraham Angle
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