House Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, who was just sworn into Congress this year, says she’s faced increased death threats since President Donald Trump tweeted a misleading video of comments she made at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last month that was edited to make her appear dismissive of the 911 terrorist attacks.
“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 wrote in a statement released Sunday night.
“Violent rhetoric and all forms of hate speech have no place in our society. Much less from our country’s Commander in Chief,” she added. “We are all Americans. This is endangering lives. It has to stop.”
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! pic.twitter.com/VxrGFRFeJM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
What’s particularly upsetting about this is how Trump intentionally tweeted a spliced video of Omar speaking in March about how terrorism leads to Islamophobia. Meanwhile, Omar’s full quote was completely edited against images of the 9/11 attacks, making Omar appear anti-American. The full video expresses the exact opposite. What Omar was trying to convey in her speech was the violence, discrimination, Islamophobia, and loss of civil liberties many Muslim-Americans have since experienced since the 911 terrorist attacks. Whether her point fell on deaf ears or not, Trump clearly knew what he wanted to do with the speech by sharing a very edited version of it. He also knew the effects tweeting a video like that would have on Omar’s life, which has since been severely endangered.
The fact, that Trump went out of his way to make a Muslim-American woman appear dangerous and anti-American, in what many of us believe were efforts to endanger her life, is a disturbing and scary reality. There’s nothing more frightening than knowing that our own president intentionally put Omar, who also happens to be a WOC, in a severely harmful position. It’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible and only feeds into the Islamophobia rhetoric that already exists in this country.
Fortunately, there are a lot of folks out there on Omar’s side. In fact, many took to Twitter this past weekend to show their support, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Adam Schiff, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The hashtag #IStandWithIlhanOmar started trending on Saturday and Sunday, with more and more folks calling out Trump’s blatant Islamophobia and standing beside the House Representative.
Ilhan Omar is a leader with strength and courage. She won't back down to Trump's racism and hate, and neither will we. The disgusting and dangerous attacks against her must end.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 13, 2019
Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today.@IlhanMN’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress.
We must speak out.
“First they came…” pic.twitter.com/ygOX1vhE9j
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 12, 2019
The President’s use of 9/11 to attack @IlhanMN is dangerous and irresponsible, and part of a pattern of fanning the flames of hate against Muslims.
Using the emotions and tragedy of 9/11 to score political points is beneath the dignity of any president. At least it should be.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 13, 2019
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.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 13, 2019
Trump is engaging in blatant Islamophobia by taking a comment by @IlhanMN out of context in order to smear her with the worst stereotypes. He is likely also endangering her life, as she has already been target of death threats. @jack @Twitter how long will you allow incitement?
— Rabbi Jill Jacobs (@rabbijilljacobs) April 12, 2019
It’s unfortunate, but this isn’t the first time Omar has received death threats since taking office. Just a few weeks ago we learned that a New York man was arrested after having called Omar’s Washington, D.C. office, accusing her of being a terrorist and even threatening to kill her. In March, an FBI investigation was made after an individual chose to graffiti “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” in a Minnesota men’s bathroom stall. These are all threats that had become public knowledge — that Trump was most likely aware of. Omar is now herself facing the same discrimination and violence she tried to warn Americans about, many of it being instigated and triggered by our own administration.