Fox News “strongly condemn[s]” host Judge Jeanine Pirro’s March 9 comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mn), which included asking if Omar’s “adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to sharia law which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution.” The “Islamic doctrine” Pirro referred to was the fact that Omar wears a hijab.
Fox News told Mediaite “We strongly condemn Judge Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”
Pirro claimed in a statement that said she was trying “to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution.”
iMediaEthics wrote to Fox News to ask if Pirro’s on-air remarks will be reviewed moving forward. A Fox News spokesperson sent iMediaEthics both the above Fox News statement and a statement from Pirro, which reads:
“I’ve seen a lot of comments about my opening statement from Saturday night’s show and I did not call Rep. Omar un-American. My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution. I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today.”
On Twitter, Omar wrote, “Thank you, @FoxNews. No one’s commitment to our constitution should be questioned because of their faith or country of birth.”
In 2015, the UK broadcast regulator OfCom ruled against Pirro’s show, Justice with Jeanine Pirro,for falsely claiming that there were “no-go zones” in Paris under Sharia law. Pirro also claimed wrongly that “non-Muslims just simply don’t go” to Birmingham, England. OfCom ruled her comments were “materially misleading and had the potential to cause harm and offence to viewers.” Fox News apologized for the error.