Rep. Ilhan Omar sparked a backlash from conservatives this week after a video surfaced of her speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in which she appeared to trivialize the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Ms. Omar, a freshman Minnesota Democrat and Muslim-American who has faced a number of allegations of anti-Semitism since her election, was speaking at a fundraising event for CAIR’s local chapter of Greater Los Angeles when she made some controversial remarks about the Muslim advocacy group’s founding.
“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,” Ms. Omar told the crowd. “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.”
Her reference to the al Qaeda attacks that killed 3,000 Americans outraged conservatives, including freshman Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who called the remark “unbelievable.”
“First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something,’ ” Mr. Crenshaw tweeted Tuesday. “Unbelievable.”
“Ilhan Omar isn’t just anti-Semitic – she’s anti-American,” tweeted RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives to Islamic terrorists on 9/11, yet Omar diminishes it as: ‘Some people did something.’ Democrat leaders need to condemn her brazen display of disrespect.”
“Can you imagine if she was representing your community, and you were in her district, how embarrassed you must feel today,” “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade said Wednesday.
“You have to wonder if she’s an American first,” he said.
Ms. Omar responded to the criticism Wednesday afternoon, tweeting screenshots of Mr. Crenshaw’s and Mr. Kilmeade’s comments.
“This is dangerous incitement, given the death threats I face,” the congresswoman wrote. “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!”
Ms. Omar has not yet addressed her controversial comment about 9/11.
Mr. Kilmeade responded in his own tweet, saying his words have been misconstrued after critics accused him of perpetuating a smiliar “dual loyalty” trope that landed Ms. Omar in hot water last month.
“I didn’t intend to question whether Rep. Omar is an American,” Mr. Kilmeade wrote. “I am questioning how any American, let alone a United States Congresswoman, could downplay the 9/11 attacks.”