Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota and an outspoken Muslim, has undergone harsh criticism due to her history of comments that could lead Americans to believe that her only real loyalty could be to her faith, instead of her country.
Omar, who was a refugee from Somalia, earned a degree in political science from the University of North Dakota in 2011. Omar referenced a class that she took on terrorism during an interview some years ago, which was unearthed and posted on Twitter as the controversy around the representative swirls.
“The thing that was interesting, in the class, was every time the professor said ‘al-Qaeda,’ his shoulders sort of went up,” Omar said, smiling as she imitated her professor’s physical reaction to the name of the terrorist group. “Al-Qaeda, you know, Hezbollah,” she said as she laughed mimicked the professor.
The now United States congresswoman noted that her professors, and others, reaction to names like “al-Qaeda” and “Hezbollah” are in stark contrast to their reactions to the words “America,” “England” or the “U.S. Army.”
“You don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity; you don’t say ‘England’ with an intensity; you don’t say ‘the army’ with an intensity,” she explained. “But you say these names because you want that word to carry weight.”
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) April 11, 2019
Omar faced criticizim after she downplayed the terrorist attacks of 9/11 during a March address to CAIR, who is also believed to have ties to terrorism.
Omar’s comments were made while delivering the keynote speech at a fundraiser for CAIR, in which she urged her fellow Muslims to “make people uncomfortable” and “raise hell” because they have the right to do so.
“So to me I say ‘raise hell, make people uncomfortable,’” Omar said to the crowd of Muslims in attendance.
“Because here’s the truth, 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 recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” Omar said.
The Minnesota politician later castigated those who have criticized her, saying that it lead to death threats:
“This is dangerous incitement, given the death threats I face. I hope leaders of both parties will join me in condemning it,” the Democrat wrote on her Twitter account. “My love and commitment to our country and that of my colleagues should never be in question. We are ALL Americans!”
This is dangerous incitement, given the death threats I face. I hope leaders of both parties will join me in condemning it.
My love and commitment to our country and that of my colleagues should never be in question. We are ALL Americans! pic.twitter.com/foTZMpiZKv
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 10, 2019