89 Orgs Condemn Vote to Remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from HFAC


Washington – Win Without War and MPower Change Action Fund joined 87 other organizations from the human rights, progressive, and national security communities in signing a letter condemning the removal of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee in an effort led by Speaker McCarthy.

The letter (copied below) highlights “the obvious anti-Black, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant sentiment behind this decision.”

Here is what leading experts had to say in reaction to Rep. Omar’s removal:

Sara Haghdoosti, Executive Director at Win Without War:

“Speaker McCarthy’s targeting of Ilhan Omar is telling of just how threatened the Republican party is by Women of Color who are consistently pushing for change and dare demand not just a say but leadership in decisions that impact their lives.”

Yasmine Taeb, Legislative and Political Director at MPower Change Action Fund:

“The targeting of Rep. Ilhan Omar by House Republican leadership and her removal from the Foreign Affairs Committee was absolutely disgraceful. Rep. Omar is a powerful Black, Muslim, African-born Member of Congress who speaks truth to power. We are committed to continuing to work with Congresswoman Omar on advancing a progressive foreign policy, one that prioritized diplomacy and multilateralism over militarism.”


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, February 3rd, 2023

Joint Statement in Support of Representative Omar

The vote to remove Representative Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), following the partisan decision to keep Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell off the House Intelligence Committee, lacked any legitimate justification and marks a disgraceful opening to the 118th Congress. In pressing ahead with the resolution of removal, Speaker McCarthy has robbed HFAC of a member of Congress committed to universal human rights, international justice and diplomacy, and the defense of democracy, while stirring up hate against a leading Black woman and Muslim member of Congress. We, the undersigned organizations, condemn this vote and affirm our intent to continue engaging with Rep. Omar as a leader in shaping U.S. foreign policy.

In the last four years, Rep. Omar has used her position on HFAC to center human rights and democracy, support critical humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected and disaster-stricken communities, combat hate and authoritarianism, and promote international justice. Her signature efforts include the Pathway to PEACE, a package of seven bills that would block arms sales to human rights-abusing governments, redirect funds from the Pentagon’s overseas slush fund to global peacebuilding efforts, and enhance congressional oversight of the executive’s sanctions authorities. She co-led the Combating International Islamophobia Act, which passed the House in 2021. She has led or co-led congressional letters expressing solidarity in defense of Brazil’s democracy, urging the creation of a Loss & Damage Finance Facility to help developing countries recover from climate catastrophes, and supporting the rights of migrants and refugees at every turn.

The partisan decision to remove her from HFAC as she becomes the first African-born ranking member of its Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights subcommittee is particularly egregious. Her formation of the U.S.-Africa Policy Working Group is an example of her willingness to push for a U.S. foreign policy that prioritizes partnerships with civil society and social movements. Her support for international accountability mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court, and close scrutiny of U.S. military operations in Somalia, the Sahel and elsewhere, are a needed corrective to policymakers who believe that the United States  should be allowed to play by a different set of rules, thereby trying to preserve the integrity of international laws and norms.

In addition to uplifting her substantive contributions to HFAC, we cannot let this moment pass without condemning the obvious anti-Black, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant sentiment behind this decision. Until this vote, Rep. Omar was the most senior Black woman serving on HFAC, in addition to being its second most senior Black member and its only Muslim member. Speaker McCarthy’s resolution is the latest in a line of attacks animated by unapologetic and vile Islamophobic smears that seek to marginalize Black and Muslim perspectives. Previously, these attacks have encouraged death threats against Rep. Omar. In addition to ginning up further hate, this latest vote is another in a string of efforts to silence her and others who share her background from determining and influencing key U.S. policies.

We vow to continue to engage with Rep. Omar on U.S. foreign policy, and we will work to ensure that policy discussions in Congress and throughout the country make room for her views and voice.


198 methods

Amazon Watch

America Indivisible

American Friends Service Committee

Americans for Indian Opportunity

Americans for Peace Now

Arab American Civic Council

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project

Borderlands for Equity

Bridges Faith Initiative

Center for Economic and Policy Research

Center for Victims of Torture

Civic Ark


Colombia Acuerdo de Paz NGO

Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)


Council for a Livable World

Council for Global Equality

Defending Rights & Dissent

Demand Progress Education Fund

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)

Demos Action


Foreign Policy for America (FP4A)

Foreign Policy In Focus

Freedom Forward

Friends of the Earth

Giniw Collective

Global Zero

Greenpeace USA

Hindus for Human Rights

Human Rights First


Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti

Institute for Policy Studies Climate Policy Program

Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project

Islamophobia Studies Center

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society

Jetpac Resource Center

Jewish Voice for Peace Action

Just Foreign Policy

Justice Democrats

Keystone Progress

Lansing Area Peace Education Center

Latin America Working Group (LAWG)

Libyan American Alliance


Mennonite Central Committee U.S.

Minneapolis DFL

Movement Voter Project

MPower Change Action Fund

Muslim Community Network

Muslim Counterpublics Lab

Muslim Public Affairs Council

Muslims for Just Futures

National Iranian American Council Action

National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Our Revolution

Pacifica Strategies

Pax Christi USA

Peace Action

Peace Action New York State

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Poligon Education Fund

Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Progressive Democrats of America

Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

Rethinking Foreign Policy


School of the Americas Watch

Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign

Social Security Works


South Dakota Voices for Peace

The Advocates for Human Rights (a Minnesota-based organization)

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

The Black Hive @ M4BL

The People’s Justice Council

The Quincy Institute

Tunisian United Network


US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO)

Win Without War

Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center

Women Cross DMZ