Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Ilhan Omar condemns 'anti-Muslim' poster linking her to 9/11 attacks

Muslim congresswoman says display likened her to a terrorist and encouraged threats of violence against her

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Reuters
Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Reuters

US congresswoman Ilhan Omar has condemned a poster at a Republican event which falsely linked her to the 9/11 terror attacks.

The poster, which was accompanied by anti-Islam flyers, showed a picture of the burning Twin Towers, with the words “Never forget – You said”, above a picture of Ms Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, with the words “I am proof you have forgotten”.

Ms Omar said the display at West Virginia Republican Day at the state legislature in Charleston likened her to a terrorist and encouraged threats of violence against her.

"No wonder I am on the 'hitlist' of a domestic terrorist and 'Assassinate Ilhan Omar' is written on my local gas stations," she said on Twitter, apparently referencing the list of targets kept by a white nationalist arrested last month on suspicion of planning an attack on Democrats.

"Look no further, the GOP's [Republican] anti-Muslim display likening me to a terrorist rocks in state capitols and no one is condemning them.”

On Saturday, the West Virginia Republican party condemned the appearance of the poster and flyers.

"Our party supports freedom of speech, but we do not endorse speech that advances intolerant and hateful views," party chairwoman Melody Potter wrote in a statement, which also said that the exhibitor had been asked to remove the display.

Far-Right group ACT for America’s name appeared on a sign next to the display, but the group denied it was behind the images.

"While we find many of the views and actions of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar to be reprehensible, the display in the Capitol rotunda would have never been approved by our National Office,” the group said in a statement.

Republican House Speaker Roger Hanshaw pleaded for lawmakers to “do better than we are”.

"We have allowed national level politics to become a cancer on our state, to become a cancer on our legislature, to invade our chamber in a way that frankly makes me ashamed," Mr Hanshaw said.

Ms Omar, who fled the war in Somalia, was the first refugee to enter Congress when she was elected last November.

Last month she apologised for a series of tweets implying that US politicians support Israel because of lobby money.

Updated: March 4, 2019 06:21 PM

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