Trump escalates ‘life-endangering’ attack on Muslim Congresswoman

26th Apr 2019
Trump escalates ‘life-endangering’ attack on Muslim Congresswoman

US President, Donald Trump is accused of endangering the life of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (Photos: WikiCommons)

Harun Nasrullah

US President, Donald Trump, has escalated his attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on April 15 as death threats aimed at her soared. Trump accused the 37-year-old first-term congresswoman of being “out of control” and slamming the Democrats for coming to her defence.

The Minnesota Congresswoman has said she has received an increased number of death threats since the President tweeted a video in which she was accused of downplaying the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Omar, a Somali-American, former refugee, and one of the first Muslim women in Congress has been singled out by the far-right over a snippet from a speech last month to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in which she addressed Islamophobia and described “the discomfort of being a second-class citizen.”

“CAIR was founded after 9/11,” Omar said, “because they recognised 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.

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.

Omar issued a statement 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. 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.”

Omar has said she often faces questions doubting her “American-ness.” In a tweet, she said: “No one person – no matter how corrupt, inept or vicious – can threaten my unwavering love for America.”

Nancy Patricia Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, tweeted: “The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence. The President shouldn’t use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack.”

The outpouring of support for Omar after Trump’s latest tweet was immediate.

#IStandWithIlhan began quickly trending on Twitter.

More than 150 progressive leaders and groups are lining up behind Omar amid intensifying attacks from the right.

Their “solidarity” letter came a day after Pelosi had asked the US Capitol Police and the House sergeant-at-arms to conduct “a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff.”

“The attacks aimed at Rep. Omar is beyond the pale” the liberal activists wrote in a letter obtained by POLITICO. “Far from legitimate disagreements and critiques, there are intentional efforts to spread misinformation and incite fear and hate in the hearts of people in this country. These are blatant attempts to divide and distract us, while Trump and the GOP undermine our democracy and enrich themselves and their friends.”

The letter called the Democratic Congresswoman from Minnesota a “visionary and inspiring leader,” and it was co-signed by leaders of the American Federation of Teachers, Demos, Indivisible, MoveOn, and the Working Families Party, among other groups.

Democratic Presidential candidates quickly came to Omar’s defence after Trump posted a video that called attention to remarks by Omar that Republicans have panned as downplaying

the 2001 terror attacks.
White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, dismissed accusations that Trump was inciting violence against Omar, who has received death threats before and other Muslim Americans.

“The President wishes no ill will and certainly not violence toward anyone,” said Sanders.

“But the president is absolutely and should be calling out the congresswoman.”
However, a Trump supporter has been arrested and charged for threatening to kill Omar.
New Yorker Patrick Carlineo, 55, called Omar’s office on March 21 and told a staff member

“Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her? She’s a (expletive) terrorist? I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull,” according to the criminal complaint.
Carlineo initially denied to FBI agents that he had threatened to shoot the Minnesota Democrat. He told investigators he had said, “If our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head.”

CAIR condemned the “life-endangering” tweet from Trump and the use of shocking imagery from the 2001 terror attack and called on Democratic and Republican leaders to use their platforms to publicly support Omar.

CAIR National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, said: “Every American should be disgusted by Trump’s continued incitement against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. He is endangering Rep. Omar’s life by taking her words out of context and evoking painful imagery to exploit a national tragedy.”

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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