WASHINGTON – Rep. Ilhan Omar again sparked outrage and sharp criticism with a comment, this time for referring to the 9/11 terrorist attack that killed nearly 3,000 people as “something” that “some people did.”
The freshman Minnesota Democrat made the remark at an event last month in Los Angeles hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Omar mistakenly said the organization, which was founded in 1994, was started in response to the repercussions for Muslim Americans after September 11, 2001.
“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 in a video shared on social media while lamenting the “second-class” treatment of Muslim Americans. She said often “when Islam is mentioned” in America, people are “only talking about terrorists.”
In November, Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., became the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress.
“First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something,’ tweeted Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, in response to the clip. “Unbelievable.”
Omar’s comment prompted Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade to question the congresswoman’s loyalty to the United States.
“You have to wonder if she’s an American first,” Kilmeade said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.”
Omar responded to both Crenshaw and Kilmeade in a tweet calling it a “dangerous incitement, given the death threats I face.”
“I hope leaders of both parties will join me in condemning it. My love and commitment to our country and that of my colleagues should never be in question. We are ALL Americans!” she said.
Last week, a New York man was arrested for threatening Omar and saying he would “put a bullet” in her “skull.”
Kilmeade later walked back his comment in a tweet, saying he “didn’t intend to question whether Rep. Omar is an American.”
“I am questioning how any American, let alone a United States Congresswoman, could downplay the 9/11 attacks,” Kilmeade said.
“The Islamaphobes and other anti-Muslim extremists are grasping at straws and looking for any way to smear her,” Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s communications director, told USA TODAY. Hooper said the event was broadcast live and scoffed at her critics “suddenly” finding something offensive in her remarks more than two weeks later.
“Ilhan Omar isn’t just anti-Semitic – she’s anti-American,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a tweet referencing her 9/11 remark. “Democrat leaders need to condemn her brazen display of disrespect.”
McDaniel followed with another tweet saying Omar “has no business serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee.”
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