There is one joke that never seems to get old with Republican voters; maybe you’ve heard it: It’s the one where everyone pokes fun at people wearing crosses. Wait, you haven’t heard this joke? That’s because people don’t make them. You’d be a douche if you made fun of Christianity but you know what hasn’t seemed to tire out?
On Monday morning, the white supremacist of the highest order and the Whitest House thought it would be funny to retweet a Photoshopped image of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wearing traditional Muslim garb and standing in front of an Iranian flag.
Democrats and Republicans have been at odds over the president’s decision to issue a deadly drone strike killing Iranian military commander Qassam Soleimani. Democrats, including Pelosi and Schumer, have been upset that the president didn’t consult anyone before issuing the strike that pushed an already-on-edge Iran over the top.
Republicans have continuously pushed the narrative that Democrats care more for Muslims than they do for their own countrymen as if Muslims aren’t their countrymen. Republicans have conflated being a Muslim with being a terrorist and, as such, a sensical Democratic argument about when to use deadly force and how a president can make that decision becomes a joke meme with congressional leaders dressed in Muslim garb—which again, is only a problem if you believe that there is something wrong with what they’re wearing.
It’s this kind of rhetoric that led to House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins to proclaim that Democrats are in love with terrorists:
“They mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani. That’s a problem.”
None of this is true. Not one sentence, but it didn’t stop Collins from making the claim and stoking fears by aligning Democrats with terrorists, a claim he later apologized for.
But let’s take a closer look at how Pelosi and Schumer (by proximity) have become Islamic sympathizers.
Since the killing of Soleimani, “a million Iranians reportedly flooded the streets of Teheran to protest the U.S. killing of the number two leader of Iran. But as Iran eventually admitted to shooting down a Ukrainian airliner and killing 167 civilians, protests have started against the Iranian regime,” Mediaite reports.
On Sunday, Pelosi appeared on This Week with George Stephanopoulos “and accurately noted that there were “different reasons why people are in the street” protesting in Iran. This was then inaccurately promoted by the RNC Research team as Pelosi dismissing “protests in Iran against regime.” [sic]
And thus a meme was born. What’s most troubling is that the president of the United States, in his usual Monday morning tweet attacks, retweeted the image to perpetuate the idea that going against the regime in the White House aligns the opposition with an enemy who isn’t wearing a fighting uniform but rather a religious one.