U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim Democrat from Minnesota, is once again in the national spotlight after portraying the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks as a day when “some people did something.” She made the comments last month during a fundraising speech in Los Angeles for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been linked to Hamas. Her appearance drew hundreds of protesters.
Previous coverage of the speech detailed remarks in which she encouraged fellow Muslim Americans to “raise hell” and “make people uncomfortable” with their activism.
“So, to me, I say raise hell. Make people uncomfortable,” Omar said as the crowd cheered. “Because here’s the truth, here’s the truth: Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and frankly I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.”
But contents from another part of the speech, which downplayed al Qaeda’s role in the terror attacks, only began to surface on social media this week.
“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” Omar said at the event.
Reaction has been swift. Omar’s colleague, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, slammed the freshman representative for her depiction of the terror attacks.
“First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as 'some people who did something,'” the Republican wrote in a tweet. “Unbelievable.”
GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel challenged Democrat leaders to respond to the comments.
"Ilhan Omar isn’t just anti-Semitic—she’s anti-American. Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives to Islamic terrorists on 9/11, yet Omar diminishes it as: 'Some people did something.' Democrat leaders need to condemn her brazen display of disrespect," said GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Since her election last year, Omar has come under fire for comments that critics, including some in her own party, have called ‘anti-Semitic.’ Just days ago she called President Trump’s adviser Stephen Miller – a Jewish man – a “white nationalist.”
In February Christian Headlines reported that Omar apologized for saying that Israeli groups pay the U.S. to support the country and that she 'almost chuckles' when people say Israel is a democracy. She ended the month by questioning the allegiance of pro-Israeli Americans during a gathering of supporters in the nation’s capital.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said in reference to Israel.
That comment drew a strong rebuke from fellow Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who called Omar’s remarks a “vile anti-Semitic slur.”
“I welcome debate in Congress based on the merits of policy, but it’s unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” the New York representative, who is Jewish, said.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Lori Arnold is a national award-winning journalist whose experience includes 16 years at a daily community newspaper in San Diego and 16 years as writer-editor for the Christian Examiner. She owns StoryLori Media and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association.