18:05 GMT21 January 2021
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    On Monday, conservative media personality Laura Loomer joined Radio Sputnik's Fault Lines to discuss how she was banned from Twitter last week after her posts allegedly violated Twitter’s rules on hate speech.

    Twitter has been under fire for banning the accounts of public figures for unspecified reasons.

    ​According to Loomer, she was suspended after posting a tweet in which she called newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American politician from Minnesota who is among two of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, "anti-Jewish" and a supporter of a religion in which "homosexuals are oppressed" and "women are abused and forced to wear the hijab."

    "My public persona came about 18 months ago," Loomer told hosts Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan.

    ​"I had 265,000 followers on Twitter, but mind you, Twitter had deleted a lot of my followers. Without all the censorship and sabotage on my account, I had probably acquired 400,000 followers. By the time I was banned, it was 265,000," she added.

    When asked if she has tried to appeal her banning, she noted that the social media platform's appeal process is ineffective.

    "There is an appeal process, but the thing about it is that no one ever hears back about their appeal, and it takes forever. The tweets that they [Twitter] said I was banned for were the tweets in which I was criticizing Ilhan Omar," Loomer told Radio Sputnik. 

    "She is now one of the first two women to become a Muslim elected to Congress. And she is a pro-sharia candidate from Minnesota. I've been reporting on this woman a lot. I even flew to Minnesota, where I confronted her. She voted against legislation that would have made female genital mutilation a felony. She voted against a bill that would stop insurance payouts to family members of terrorists. She is pro-sharia."

    "She refused to condemn Hamas when she was confronted on camera. She has made very anti-Jewish statements. She tweeted that Israel hypnotized the world and that Allah will awaken people to see the evils of israel," Loomer noted, referring to sharia, Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran.

    When Garland noted that there is a difference between Israel and the Jewish religion, Loomer responded, "We know how Muslims feel about Jews. Let's not try to act like this is interpretative or up for discussion. It is a concerning issue: should Muslims be allowed to hold positions of power in government?" Loomer asked.

    "Absolutely," Nixon responded. "Clearly, it would be unconstitutional to say that based on your religion, you can't hold a position of power," he said. The "no religious test clause" of the US Constitution states that officeholders cannot be required to accept any particular religion or religious dogma.

    "Sharia is a way of life. Muslims do not even view Islam as a religion. They view it as a political ideology. Sharia is a way of life. Islam is a political system inherently. It's structured politically. Sharia law is incompatible with the US constitution," Loomer responded.

    "This kind of vigorous debate is exactly what we need," Stranahan chimed in.

    "So we could do a whole segment on you [Loomer and Nixon] going back and forth, but the point is, I think people would gain something from listening to this debate as long as it stays civil."

    "Laura, you're a provocateur," Stranahan added. 

    "In other words, you believe what you believe, and you're not not going to pipe down. But when you got suspended, it was a signal to me, at least, that the crosshairs were on you. Now at that point, you have a choice. Do you want to keep being the same Laura Loomer and risk getting banned, or do you want to pull back? And I said that's not a fair choice, but you kind of knew that they were coming at you." he added.

    According to Loomer, she has been targeted by Twitter for a while.

    "I know I've been targeted by Twitter for a long time… I have a right as a journalist in this country with the First Amendment right to have those views on Islam. My tactics may be provocative, and they may not be to everybody's liking, but I have a right to do it."

    "This is an essential aspect of a society. I love being able to wake up in the morning and have a vigorous debate on a candidate or about whether people should be banned with social media with someone who doesn't agree with all of my positions. I love that you're listening to me and not banning me from your show. But when Twitter bans people, they are creating a liberal echo chamber. And even liberals now are starting to get banned." Laura continued.

    However, she plans to continue disseminating her content, regardless of the Twitter ban.

    "I'm asking people to subscribe to my website, lauraloomer.us, and I'm going to find a way to get my content out. I'm not going to go down without a fight. I'm known for my tactics. I'm known for being a little over the top sometimes. I'm going to do whatever it takes to make sure that my voice is heard."

    Earlier this year, InfoWars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was banned from Twitter, after which the American Civil Liberties Union said that Twitter's action set a dangerous precedent that threatens free speech in the country. At the time, the union recommended less punitive steps such as removing individual posts that Twitter sees as a violation of its terms of service, rather than banning entire accounts

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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