Illinois GOP group shares, then deletes meme labeling minority congresswomen 'Jihad Squad'

The Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association (IRCCA) shared and later apparently deleted a movie poster-style meme labeling four Democratic minority congresswomen the “Jihad Squad.”

The post was shared on the group’s Facebook page early Saturday morning and featured images of Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary On The Money: Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' | Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOvernight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week Omar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOmar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy Overnight Health Care: Fauci clashes with Paul - again | New York reaches .1B settlement with opioid distributors | Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases Duckworth, Pressley introduce bill to provide paid family leave for those who experience miscarriage MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water Ohio becomes battleground for rival Democratic factions MORE (Mich.).

The "Jihad Squad" label is a reference to the fact they often refer to themselves as "the squad." House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiYellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' Freedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Tokyo Olympics kick off with 2020-style opening ceremony MORE (D-Calif.) also referred to the women as "the squad" in a recent interview.

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The meme appeared to be created from the movie poster for the 2013 film “Gangster Squad.” It is unclear who created it.

"Political jihad is their game," read one tagline. "If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology you’re racist," read another.

Jihad is a term that refers to a struggle against the enemies of Islam.

Mark Shaw, president of the IRCCA, issued a statement Sunday night after the post was deleted.

"I condemn this unauthorized posting and it has been deleted," Shaw wrote in a post on the group's Facebook page. "I am sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by the contents."

Illinois GOP Chairman Tim Schneider also issued a statement Sunday evening.

"I strongly condemn evoking race or religion as the basis for political disagreement," he said. "The recent social media post coming from the IRCCA does not reflect my values or the Illinois Republican Party’s values. Bigoted rhetoric greatly distracts from legitimate and important policy debates and further divides our nation."

Local political reporter for ABC 7 Chicago Craig Wall tweeted that the Cook County Democratic Party condemned the meme. 

"The post perpetuates the recent attacks by President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE, promoting lies and racism to alienate immigrants, women, and people of color. This language of hatred and bigotry has no room in our society and has dangerous consequences," a spokesperson for the Cook County Democratic Party told The Hill.

Omar and Tlaib last year became the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Neither Ocasio-Cortez nor Pressley is Muslim.

The since-deleted meme comes a week after President Trump attacked the four congresswomen on Twitter, telling them to “go back” to the countries they came from. 

All four lawmakers are U.S. citizens, and only Omar was born outside the country. She came to America at the age of 12 as a refugee with her family after fleeing Somalia.

Trump’s attacks were formally condemned as “racist comments” in a resolution passed by the House last week, largely along party lines.

Trump has since doubled down on his attacks, tweeting Sunday, "I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country."

Updated on Monday at 9:42 a.m.