Photo: Wikimedia/Kristie Boyd; U.S. House Office of Photoraphy
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Ilhan Omar Has Received Even More Death Threats Thanks to Trump

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.”

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. 

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.