13 April 2019
US president Donald Trump has weighed in on
the most recent controversy involving Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar,
retweeting a video edited to suggest she was dismissive of the significance of
the September 11 attacks.
The video shows a snippet of Ms Omar’s
speech last month to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in which
she described the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre as “some people did
something”, spliced with news footage of the hijacked planes hitting the twin
Donald J. Trump
WILL NEVER FORGET!
Apr 13, 2019
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Mr Trump tweeted: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
Ms Omar’s remark has drawn criticism from
political opponents and conservatives who say the congresswoman, one of the
first Muslim women to serve in congress, offered a flippant description of the
assailants and the attacks in New York City that killed nearly 3,000 people and
placed the US on the path to war.
Neither Mr Trump’s tweet nor the video
includes her full quote or the context of the Minnesota representative’s
people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us
soon!” President George W. Bush
Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack?
What if he was a Muslim 🤔
The remarks of the freshman member of
Congress during an address to a Muslim rights organization spawned controversy,
but they were just a snippet of a 20-minute speech.
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Ms Omar told CAIR in Los Angeles that many
Muslims saw their civil liberties being eroded after the attacks, and she
advocated for activism.
She said in the speech delivered on March
23: “For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class
citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country
should be tired of it.
“CAIR 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.”
CAIR was founded in 1994, according to its
website, but its membership increased dramatically after the 2001 attacks.
Donald Trump criticised the Democratic
Many Republicans and conservative outlets
expressed outrage at Ms Omar’s remarks.
Texas representative Dan Crenshaw, a
retired Navy SEAL who lost his right eye in 2012 in an explosion in
Afghanistan, tweeted: “First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who
killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something.'”
“Here’s your something,” the New York Post
blared on its cover, beneath a photograph of the flaming towers.
US house speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she
wants to hear from Ms Omar about the comment, but the Minnesota Democrat does
not seem to be backing down.
Ms Omar tweeted a quote from former
president George W Bush shortly after the attacks, when he said: “The people –
and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”
Ms Omar tweeted: “Was Bush downplaying the terrorist
attack? What if he was a Muslim.”
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.
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Two 2020 Democratic presidential candidates
waded into the debate to condemn Mr Trump’s tweet and to stand with Ms Omar.
Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted of his party
colleague: “She won’t back down to Trump’s racism and hate, and neither will
Elizabeth Warren also tweeted: “The
president is inciting violence against a sitting congresswoman – and an entire
group of Americans based on their religion.”
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.
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Ms Omar has repeatedly pushed fellow
Democrats into uncomfortable territory over Israel and the power of the Jewish
state’s influence in Washington.
She apologised for suggesting members of
congress support Israel for pay and said she is not criticising Jews. But she
refused to take back a tweet in which she suggested that American supporters of
Israel “pledge allegiance” to a foreign country.
Her comments sparked an ugly episode among
House Democrats when they responded with a resolution condemning anti-Semitism
which became a broader declaration against all forms of bigotry.