Rep. Ilhan Omar the target of right-wing vitriol over 9/11 comment

Comments made by the Minnesota member of Congress are under the microscope once again.
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Rep. Ilhan Omar is once again the subject of pressure and attacks over public comments she made recently.

Minnesota's 5th District representative is under the microscope for making the following comment as she spoke at a Council on American-Islamic Relations' Los Angeles chapter dinner last month.

"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 was referring to the rise in Islamophobia and persecution of all Muslims in the wake of 9/11 as a result of the actions of the evil few who carried out the attacks.

Nonetheless, her phrasing of the comment left room for a different interpretation, leading to accusations she was mitigating the actions of the 9/11 bombers.

This in turn has led to condemnation from the right and unsavory newspaper headlines such as this:

If you're looking for a more comprehensive look at Omar's comments, we suggest this one courtesy of the Washington Post, and here courtesy of the Associated Press.

It's not the first time that Omar's turn of phrase has led to controversy. She was under pressure earlier this year – including from members of her own party – after conveying her opposition to the Israeli regime in a manner that some said contained anti-Semitic tropes.

Her supporters would say that her comments are willfully taken out of context by a right-wing intent on demonizing one of only two Muslim women in Congress.

Her critics contend that there is a sinister subtext to her statements, as evidenced by the fact comments she's made are once again making headlines.

It is fair to say however that Omar is also a target for bad faith criticism from the right.

Last month, for example, she was pilloried for another remark in which she said there is political influence in the U.S. "that says that it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," as it related to American supporters of the Israeli regime.

Suggestions that Jewish Americans have "dual loyalties" is a long standing anti-Semitic theme.

But this did not seem worthy of mention last week from many of those critics when President Donald Trump used the same anti-Semitic trope in an even more explicit manner, telling members of the Republican Jewish Coalition he recently met with "your prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu."

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And with Fox News having slammed Omar for supposedly suggesting there are dual loyalties among pro-Israeli regime proponents in America, the criticism now appears somewhat disingenuous given that Fox News host Brian Kilmeade this week said of Omar "you have to wonder if she's an American first."

She fears the vitriol being directed her way is putting her life in danger. Just last week the FBI arrested a man for plotting to kill her, while Muslim communities are already on edge following the mass slaughter of worshippers at a mosque in New Zealand by a right wing terrorist.

Following the post-9/11 comments, Rep. Omar accused one of her fellow House colleague, GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw of "dangerous incitement" for spreading the out-of-context interpretation of her comments.

Crenshaw disagreed with her interpretation of his interpretation.

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