Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Ilhan Omar: Muslim legislator sees increasing death threats after Trump-Tweet

Trump and Ilhan Omarimage rights
Reuters / Getty

One of the first Muslim members of the US Congress said a tweet from President Donald Trump has led to an increase in threats against his life.

Ilhan Omar, Minnesota, said the threats were triggered by "violent rhetoric" that accused Mr. Trump of fueling right-wing extremism. "It has to stop," she added.

It comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced a new "safety assessment" to protect lawmakers.

The tweet showed Ms. Omar talking to a US Muslim group about the September 11 attacks.

On Monday, Mr. Trump intensified his attacks on Ms. Omar, calling her "out of control".

He also said that Ms. Pelosi "should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli and thankless Omar hate comments" before defending them.

What is the background?

Congressman Omar, after her election in 2018, has become a lightning rod for criticism.

Mr. Trump tweeted "WE WILL NEVER FORGET" on Friday, along with a 43 second video showing shots of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which were joined by a speech by Mrs. Omar.

"Some people have done something," she says, between shots of aircraft hitting the World Trade Center, damage to the Pentagon, and people fleeing from homes.

Democrats claimed the video was not related to Ms. Omar's 20-minute speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Kair) on March 23.

She discussed civil rights for Muslim Americans after the 9/11 attacks.

Kaira was founded "because they realized that some people did something and that we all lose access to our civil liberties".

Republican critics said that their comment "some people did something" offended nearly 3,000 Americans who were killed in the attacks.

  • The 9/11 series involving a US Congressman

How did Mrs. Omar react?

In a statement on Sunday, Ms. Omar said, "Since the President's Tweet on Friday night, I've seen an increase in direct threats in my life – many of which relate directly to the president's video."

She thanked security officials for "paying attention to these threats" and accused Mr. Trump of "intensifying acts of violence and other hate speech by far-right and white nationalists".

She also expressed her concern that Mr. Trump's visit to her home state of Minnesota on Monday could lead to an increase in hate crimes and assaults.

"Violent rhetoric and all forms of hate speech have no place in our society, let alone the commander-in-chief of our country.

"We are all Americans, this endangers life, it has to stop," she said.

Earlier this month, a man was charged with killing Ms. Omar for her Muslim beliefs.

What is a reaction?

On Sunday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump wanted the first-time lawmaker "no bad will and certainly no violence".

Commenting on her earlier controversial comments in which Ms. Omar questioned US support for Israel, Ms. Sanders added, "It is utterly disgusting what she still does and has done and they are looking the other way. "

The tweet published on Mr. Trump's Twitter feed on Sunday was removed after Ms. Pelosi sent the request to the White House, but is still visible in his feed.

"The president's words weigh a ton, and his hateful and rebellious rhetoric poses a real danger," she said on a trip to London.

  • Who is the US Congressman Ilhan Omar?
  • "I am a Muslim who voted for Donald Trump"

"President Trump must bring down his disrespectful and dangerous video," she said, adding that security forces are reviewing Ms. Omar's protection and "continue to monitor and respond to the threats she faces."

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