Ilhan Omar has had spike in death threats since Trump attack over 9/11 comment


Muslim American congresswoman Ilhan Omar has said she has received an increased number of death threats after Donald Trump repeatedly tweeted video footage of September 11 and accused Omar of downplaying the terror attacks.

Omar issued a statement on Sunday night saying: "Since the president's tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life - many directly referencing or replying to the president's video."

Omar said the Capitol police, the FBI, the House sergeant at arms and the speaker of the House were all aware of the threats and she thanked them for their assistance.

"Violent rhetoric and all forms of hate speech have no place in our society, much less from our country's Commander in Chief," she wrote. "We are all Americans. This is endangering lives. It has to stop."

The White House escalated its assault on Omar on Sunday, as White House press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted that Omar, 37, a Somali American who as one of the first Muslim women in Congress is the first to wear a hijab in the House chamber, was in the wrong.

"I find her comments to be absolutely disgraceful and unbefitting of a member of Congress," Sanders said, "and I think that it's a good thing the president is calling her out."

Sanders dismissed concern among Democrats that Trump was inciting violence against Omar, who has received death threats before, and other Muslim Americans.

"The president is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence toward anyone," said Sanders. "But the president is absolutely and should be calling out the congresswoman."

Omar has come in for a drubbing from the right over a snippet from a speech last month to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair), in which she discussed the problem of Islamophobia and described "the discomfort of being a second-class citizen".

"Cair was founded after 9/11," Omar said, "because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties".

In response, Trump tweeted, retweeted then pinned atop his Twitter account a video splicing footage of Omar's remark with video of the 9/11 attacks, including planes striking the World Trade Center and the Twin Towers falling.

Supported by a wave of Democrats saying Trump was wilfully misrepresenting comments by Omar in what amounted to dangerous racist bullying, the congresswoman on Saturday said she would not be silenced by "an administration that ran on banning Muslims from this country".

"No one person - no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious - can threaten my unwavering love for America," Omar tweeted.

Trump's attack amplified a cover run by the tabloid New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch, which splashed a quote from Omar over a picture of the World Trade Center in flames. In response, a group of New York City corner-store owners announced a boycott of the newspaper.

The Yemeni American Merchants Association, which represents Yemeni Americans who own and run an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 of the city's thousands of delis and corner stores, known as "bodegas", wrote that the front page "provoked hatred" and "aims to harm Omar and her family and other people of the Islamic faith".

"This rhetoric threatens the safety and wellbeing of Omar, Muslim leaders, and the larger Muslim American community at a time when Islamophobia is at an all-time high," it added.

Andrew Gillum, a former mayor of Tallahassee who made a strong run in 2018 for the Florida governorship, said on CNN's State of the Union Trump was making a racist attack on Omar as part of his strategy to win re-election.

"Obviously Ilhan has become a little bit of an easy target for this White House, for this administration," Gillum said.

"But I think his attack is beyond congresswoman Omar. This is about the fact that she looks a certain way, she is a woman of color, she happens to be of the Muslim faith. The president is setting, in my opinion, the groundwork for the kind of campaign he wants to run, which is to pit Americans against Americans, to turn brown and black people against his base."

Omar, who represents a district including Minneapolis, has been in Congress just over three months but she has been targeted by Trump more than once. In February, after Omar suggested support for Israel was fueled by donations from a lobby group, she was accused of antisemitism.

Omar apologized "unequivocally". But she has declined to do so over her 9/11 comment.

"I did not run for Congress to be silent," she tweeted on Saturday. "I stand undeterred to continue fighting for equal opportunity in our pursuit of happiness for all Americans."

Many Democrats, including more than a dozen presidential candidates, issued statements of support for Omar, though activists were careful to note that some of the statements, which mentioned Omar by name, were stronger than others.

Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the other Muslim American woman in Congress, was the first on Friday to call for Democrats to support Omar.

"Enough is enough," she wrote. "No more silence, with NY Post and now Trump taking Ilhan's words out of context to incite violence toward her, it's time for more Dem[ocrats] to speak up. Clearly the GOP is fine with this shameful stunt, but we cannot stand by."

Senator Bernie Sanders called attacks on Omar "disgusting and dangerous" and said Omar would not "back down to Trump's racism and hate, and neither will we".

Senator Elizabeth Warren said: "The president is inciting violence against a sitting congresswoman - and an entire group of Americans based on their religion. It's disgusting. It's shameful. And any elected leader who refuses to condemn it shares responsibility for it."

Former representative Beto O'Rourke and New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Trump's attacks amounted to an "incitement to violence".

Trump's own controversial remarks and false claims about September 11 have come under renewed scrutiny. Speaking on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, the New York congressman Jerrold Nadler, whose district covers lower Manhattan, said he was not offended by Omar's remarks because she referred only in passing to September 11.

But Trump was speaking out of turn, Nadler said, because after 9/11 he had taken money from a federal grant fund for small businesses that were damaged in the terrorist attacks.

"He stole $150,000 from some small business person who could have used it to help rehabilitate himself," Nadler said.

"He has no moral authority to be talking about 9/11 at all."


More Related News

The Latest: Trump claims he was
The Latest: Trump claims he was 'not happy' with chant

President Donald Trump says he "was not happy" when his supporters at a rally Wednesday night in North Carolina chanted "send her back" in reference to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. Trump said this weekend that Omar and other progressive Democratic lawmakers of color should leave the country and "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" over their criticism of his administration.

President Trump says US Navy ship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz
President Trump says US Navy ship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz
  • World
  • 2019-07-18 20:52:00Z

"The Boxer took defense action against the drone which had closed into a very close distance, approximately a thousand yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew," Trump said at the White House. "This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters," he continued.

Samantha Bee Shocked Kellyanne Conway Somehow Even
Samantha Bee Shocked Kellyanne Conway Somehow Even 'More Racist' Than Trump

TBSSamantha Bee didn't have time to cover all of President Trump's recent "racisms," instead choosing to zero in on his demand that four freshmen Congresswomen of color go back to the countries "from which they came." "Sadly, the only thing that should surprise anyone is that he wrote 'from which they came' to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition," the Full Frontal host joked. "Way to go, Shakespeare, now return your head to the orifice from which it came." "Of course, it wasn't long before spokes-golem Kellyanne Conway leapt to his defense by somehow sounding more racist than her boss," Bee continued before playing the clip of the White House counselor literally responding to a...

'Unfit to be president': House to consider articles of impeachment against Trump

The House voted to kill a measure seeking to impeach President Donald Trump - the first vote on such a measure since Democrats took the majority and since the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

MS-13 gang members indicted after
MS-13 gang members indicted after 'medieval-style' killing spree in Los Angeles

Federal racketeering, murder and other charges were filed against 22 alleged MS-13 gang members linked to a series of grisly killings in Los Angeles.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.