The Illinois Republican County Chairman’s Association created and shared a racist, Islamophobic meme Saturday, accusing four Democratic members of Congress of “jihad.”
The attack, by the leading Republican party local officials in the state that once sent Abraham Lincoln to Congress, managed to out-do even President Donald Trump’s incendiary and offensive comments.
Days after Trump began a series of racist attacks on Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the group posted a fake film poster for a fake film, The Jihad Squad.
The illustration includes violent images of the four congresswomen, their names, and the words: “Political jihad is their game.”
“If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology you’re racist” is the tag-line at the bottom.
The Islamophobic trope uses a term that refers to a struggle against the enemies of Islam. While it would be an offensive smear to launch such an attack on any Muslim-American lawmaker, it is noteworthy that neither Ocasio-Cortez nor Pressley is Muslim.
The Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association — which according to its own audit reportedly ignored federal and state campaign finance and tax laws as recently as a few years ago — frequently posts far-right memes on Facebook. The group’s president did not immediately respond to a ThinkProgress inquiry asking if he stood by the latest attack.
UPDATE: The meme was deleted on Sunday evening and replaced with a statement from the group’s chair. “A couple of days ago, an image which was not authorized by me was posted on the Facebook page of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association (“RCCA”),” he wrote. “I condemn this unauthorized posting and it has been deleted. I am sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by the contents.”