Trump attacks Ilhan Omar over 9/11 remarks with distressing video: 'We will never forget'

Minnesota congresswoman defends herself with language of George W Bush

Andrew Buncombe
Friday 12 April 2019 18:53
New York Post uses 9/11 front page to attack Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar

Donald Trump has launched a crude attack on congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s remarks about 9/11, posting a video containing distressing scenes from the Al-Qaeda attacks and writing: “We will never forget.”

The Minnesota congresswoman, one of the first two Muslim women last year elected to Congress, has been the target of criticism in recent days after footage of her emerged addressing a Muslim group, discussing the events of 9/11 and the subsequent impact on members of the community.

Speaking at the the American-Islamic Relations, Ms Omar said: “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.”

The use of the word “something” to describe the events in which around 3,000 people were killed, was leapt on by conservatives and some in the Republican Party.

The New York Post, a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, this week published a front page showing the Twin Towers ablaze and a message to Ms Omar that read: “Here’s your something.”

The video posted by the president includes scenes of the horror in New York and at the Pentagon, which was also attacked, intercut with the comments of Ms Omar’s speech last month.

It concludes with the words – “September 11, 2001. We remember.”

On Friday, Ms Omar, a refugee from Somalia who moved to the US in 1995 after spending four years in a camp in Kenya, responded to the controversy by tweeting words used by George W Bush in the days after the attack – “The people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon”.

President Trump attacks Ilhan Omar

“Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack,” tweeted Ms Omar. “What if he was a Muslim?”

The 37-year-old, who has three children, has frequently been the focus on conservative anger, some of whom have accused her of antisemitism. Her defenders say, in truth, she is being attacked because she and other young, progressive members of Congress have been more willing to criticise Israel’s policies towards Palestinians.

Among those who have come to her defence are fellow Democrats Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

“We are getting to the level where this is an incitement of violence against progressive women of colour and if they can’t figure out how to get it back to policy we need to call it out for what it is because this is not normal and this is not a normal level of political debate or rhetoric,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez told reporters this week, after the Post front page.

Both Ms Omar and Ms Ocasio-Cortez have reported getting death threats.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments