Muslim American lawmaker is the target of an aggressive smear campaign, but she’s not taking the punches lying down.

Ilhan Omar is one of the first American Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota.
Ilhan Omar is one of the first American Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota. (Credit: Ilhan Omar's facebook page / TRTWorld)

Even before the 2018 Midterms, Muslim American lawmaker, Ilhan Omar, has been the target of a vast smear campaign; Whether it’s by Republican groups, right-wing journalists, Israel lobbyists, or Saudi trolls.  

Most recently, US President Donald Trump shared a video on Twitter accusing the Democrat representative of being ‘dismissive’ of the September 11th terrorist attacks, interspersing excerpts of her speech with footage of the attacks in New York and Washington DC.

Trump’s comments were the climax of a media attack on the lawmaker, which accused her of indifference towards the attacks. 

The latest smear campaign is just one of many. Here are just some of the attacks on the Somali-American congresswoman.

The New York Post headline 

In a speech about Muslim civil liberties activism, Ilhan Omar said: “ CAIR (The Council on American–Islamic Relations) was founded after 9/11, because they recognised that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

The far-right focused in on just one segment of that quote, “some people did something” , as evidence of Omar being dismissive of the attacks.

The New York Post featured a headline with Omar’s face against the backdrop of a plane striking New York’s World Trade Center and the words ‘here’s your something’.

In the resulting controversy, Omar became the target of Islamophobic death threats, which increased in number after Trump’s tweet.

Several prominent Democrats, including presidential candidates Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, condemned Trump’s tweet, saying he was inciting racism and violence toward Omar with the video.

Just a week ago, 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 [expletive] skull.

Depiction as ‘anti-Semitic’

The lawmaker has also been embroiled in controversy after criticising US support of Israel and for speaking out on the Israel lobby, AIPAC’s influence on US politics.

"I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," Omar said at a progressive town hall meeting earlier of March, referring to Israel.

The remarks provoked a widespread bipartisan backlash, with some in Congress labelling them ‘anti-Semitic’.

Omar said she had "not mischaracterised our relationship with Israel. I have questioned it, and that has been clear from my end".

Islamophobic poster linking Omar to 9/11

An Islamophobic poster, linking Ilhan Omar to the 9/11, was shared by the Republican party’s West Virginia chapter.

The poster read: ‘Never forget you said,’ next to an image of the burning World Trade Center, followed by an image of Omar, with the caption: ‘I am the proof you have forgotten.’

“No wonder why I am on the “Hitlist” of a domestic terrorist and “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” is written in my local gas station” Omar wrote in response on her Twitter account.

“Look no further, the GOP's anti-Muslim display likening me to a terrorist, rocks in state capitols and no one is condemning them!” She added.

Accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim majority Saudi Arabia has also played an important role in the campaign against Omar by inaccurately accusing her of links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya, published an article which claimed, without basis, that Muslim representatives in the US Congress and political activists had links with Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi trolls also frequently join in social media trolling against the Minnesota lawmaker.

Source: TRT World