Ilhan Omar calls out Fox for anti-refugee rhetoric on Afghanistan: ‘This is their playbook’

‘They know how to whip up their base into frenzy,’ says Rep Ilhan Omar to MSNBC’s Joy Reid

Clara Hill
Wednesday 18 August 2021 20:31
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<p>Ilhan Omar said that Fox News “hateful rhetoric” was a part of their “playbook” to Joy Reid on MSNBC.  </p>

Ilhan Omar said that Fox News “hateful rhetoric” was a part of their “playbook” to Joy Reid on MSNBC.

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US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has called out Fox News for what she called the network’s “hateful rhetoric” about refugees fleeing Afghanistan.

The Democrat lawmaker appeared on The ReidOut on MSNBC and critiqued Fox hosts Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson. MSNBC host Joy Reid showed clips of the Fox anchors commenting on the potential of Afghan refugees settling in the US.

Mr Carlson said the number of refugees “could swell to millions” and Ms Ingraham said they would be “potentially unvetted”.

“This is their playbook,” the representative for Minnesota’s 5th District told MSNBC. “They know how to whip up their base into frenzy. The reality is that we’ve been in this conflict, in this war for 20 years. There are people who’ve helped us in this mission.”

She continued, “There are people whose lives are going to be at risk, and we have to do everything that we can to bring them to safety.”

“And we’ve done this many a times where we have evacuated people, airlifted them into safe spaces so that we can properly vet them and have them come to the United States as vetted refugees. I know a little bit about that, you know?”

Ms Omar came to the US as a refugee from Somalia in the 1990s after living for years in a refugee camp.

“I know what it’s like to be a child in a family scrambling for safety in a war-torn country. I know the rigorous process you go through to get vetted as a refugee,” she said.

She continued, “We are the most vetted people who come to the United States. The process is long, and it doesn’t just end when you arrive on the shores. It continues for years until you are eligible for citizenship at five years of entrance.”

She explained her belief that the world had made “a certain promise” to Afghanistan that could not be broken.

“And that’s not a promise that the United States made, but it’s also a promise that our NATO allies have made,” Ms Omar said. “It’s a promise that neighboring countries should fulfill, and we have to do everything to make sure there is a multinational coalition leading this effort to save not just our allies but every Afghani who’s afraid for their lives, especially young women and, you know, vulnerable men as well.”

The Independent reached out to Fox News for comment.

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