The attacks on Ilhan Omar reveal an America set against Muslims

Evarado Alatorre
Abril 16, 2019

The relentless attacks from the media, particularly from the stable of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, was followed by President Donald Trump tweeting what can only be described as an incendiary video, in which footage of the 9/11 attacks on New York City is interwoven with Omar's words; the attacks on the Congresswoman moved from the obtuse and the absurd to the downright risky.

"I think that is wrong, I think it's beneath the dignity of the office, and I don't think that it plays that well, I hope that it doesn't", she said.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Trump earlier yesterday, saying the President has a duty to highlight Omar's history of making comments that others deem anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive and that he wished no "ill will" upon the first-term lawmaker.

Somalia-born Ms Omar has received death threats in the past, but Ms Pelosi made the comments in the wake of Mr Tump's tweet, which stated "We will never forget!" alongside a video of Ms Omar giving a speech.

Pelosi announced on Sunday that U.S. Capitol Police and the House sergeant-at-arms "are conducting a security assessment to safeguard" Omar, he family and staff.

"Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful US HATE statements Omar has made", Trump wrote.

Prominent Democrats including Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris and Omar's fellow first-time Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were quick to rush to Omar's defense, accusing the president and other Republicans of deliberately de-contextualizing her remarks and endangering her life.

Donald Trump's Friday attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar-an attack he followed up Monday morning-looked like a call to violence against her-and it's accomplished that mission.

In a statement late Sunday, Omar said many of those threatening her life directly referenced Trump's post.

"The President's words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger", Ms Pelosi said in a statement.

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Lawmakers from Trump's Republican Party have accused Omar of minimizing the September 11 attacks, while critics of the president say he took Omar's words out of context in order to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment.

Omar has been at the center of an escalating row after a clip emerged of her characterizing the deadliest attack on U.S. soil as "some people did something".

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders noted that then-President George W. Bush, a Republican, went to a mosque after 9/11 to assure Muslim Americans that they are not criminals and terrorists. "So to me, I say, raise hell", Omar said.

Neither Trump's tweet nor the video included Omar's full quote or the context of her comments, which were about Muslims feeling that their civil liberties had eroded after the attacks.

Rep Omar was speaking to a branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. It remained lower in the feed after Pelosi requested that the video be pulled.

Since her January swearing in, the 37-year-old Minnesota Democrat has been at the center of a swirling debate about anti-Semitism, discrimination and the role of an outspoken first-year congresswoman who challenges the White House and makes her own party's leadership chafe. Democrats who criticised the president over the tweet defended Omar, with some noting their past disagreements with her.

Sanders questioned why Democrats weren't following Trump's example and calling out Omar, too. But she refused to take back a tweet in which she suggested American supporters of Israel "pledge allegiance" to a foreign country.

The tweet showed Ms Omar talking to a US-Muslim group about the 9/11 attacks.

"This whole process has really been one of growth for me", she told Colbert.

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