Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Saturday issued a series of tweets to address a row after U.S. President Donald Trump posted an edited video on Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, aimed at her.
On Friday, Trump tweeted “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” with the 43-second video that featured Omar’s remarks at an address to the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last month, the country’s largest Muslim advocacy organization.
In her address, Omar had said the 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.”
CAIR was founded in 1994. Her office said Omar misspoke and “meant to refer to the fact that the organization had doubled in size after the Sept. 11 attacks.”
Her critics, however, focused on her use of the phrase “some people did something,” suggesting that she downplayed the attacks.
“No one person – no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious – can threaten my unwavering love for America,” Omar said. “I stand undeterred to continue fighting for equal opportunity in our pursuit of happiness for all Americans.”
Omar said she did not run for Congress to be silent. “I ran because I believed it was time to restore moral clarity and courage to Congress. To fight and to defend our democracy,” she stressed.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, two Democrat presidential runners, threw their support behind the Minnesota 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,” Sanders said.
Warren accused Trump of inciting violence against a sitting Congresswoman. “It’s disgusting. It’s shameful. And any elected leader who refuses to condemn it shares responsibility for it,” she said.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad criticized Trump and said the U.S. president was “endangering Rep. Omar’s life by taking her words out of context and evoking painful imagery to exploit a national tragedy”.
Also, the hashtag #IstandwithIlhan, on its second day, was on the list of top trending topics on Twitter in the U.S. The Muslim lawmaker thanked her supporters.
“Thank you for standing with me – against an administration that ran on banning Muslims from this country – to fight for the America we all deserve,” she wrote.
Omar has faced a slew of attacks and death threats in recent weeks, along with ongoing criticisms since she made scathing comments against Israel, and now with comments she made on the Sept. 11 attacks.
Last Friday, a man in New York was charged with threatening to assault and kill Omar, after he reportedly said “she’s a [expletive] terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her [obscenity] skull.”
Last month, a bomb threat was called into a hotel in which she was scheduled to speak, celebrity news site the Blast reported.
A woman called the hotel saying that Omar was a danger to society and threatened to blow up the building if they continued with the event.