- Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan in 2006 published a column on The Final Call, a blog founded by Louis Farrakhan.
- Tlaib and other freshmen Democrats have recently been criticized for rhetoric and associations that have been characterized as anti-Semitic.
- Tlaib’s column argued against “excessive punishment, such as detention and deportation” for legal immigrants accused of “minor offenses.”
- A spokesperson for Rep. Tlaib did not respond to multiple requests for comment from INSIDER.
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan published a column in 2006 on The Final Call, an online publication founded and maintained by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
First unearthed by conservative blogger Jeryl Bier, Tlaib penned a column titled “Bills must stop deportations for minor offenses,” which takes issue with deportations for minor offenses.
“Lost in the often-vitriolic national quarrel over immigration reform is any examination of proposed measures that would result in excessive punishment, such as detention and deportation, for the most minor offenses,” she wrote. “Concern for ‘national security’ has introduced unprecedented insecurity to living in the United States as a legal permanent resident.”
Farrakhan has a long history of anti-Semitic, misogynistic, and homophobic tirades. He has drawn widespread condemnation from groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
“Louis Farrakhan heads the Nation of Islam, a group he has led since 1977 and that is based on a somewhat bizarre and fundamentally anti-white theology,” the SPLC website’s summary of him reads. “Farrakhan is an antisemite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the U.S. government and controlling the levers of world power.”
After publication, a spokesperson for Tlaib said in a statement to INSIDER:
“As a former immigration attorney and advocate, Congresswoman Tlaib has published numerous articles about the need for immigrant rights. The goal was to educate citizens about the importance of passing just and humane immigration reform, which is still a priority for her district today.
The piece was from 2006 and was not an endorsement of Farrakhan or anyone for that matter. The Congresswoman has not had any direct contact with Farrakhan and condemns his anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ views.”
Tlaib’s association with Farrakhan comes on the heels of heavy criticism of her and other freshmen Democrats who have been accused of anti-Semitism.
Tlaib was also revealed to have a prominent fundraiser who has trafficked in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Tlaib’s Democratic colleague, freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, has also faced similar criticisms for off-hand remarks about Israel and Jewish advocacy groups in the United States.
But Democratic leadership has so far defended Tlaib and Omar. House Democratic Caucus Chair and New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries dismissed concerns of anti-Semitism last month, as did House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
“I don’t know that I draw the conclusion that these two members are anti-Semitic,” Hoyer said. “I don’t accept that.”
Meanwhile, Republicans have made a point of hammering in the issue. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has threatened forcing a vote disciplinary action, whil other members of the House GOP leadership have been vocal about the issue.