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Rep. Ilhan Omar responds to President Trump's Ramadan statement

"Muslims are not your enemy."
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Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar has something to say about President Trump's comments on Ramadan.

As the month-long, Muslim holiday kicked off Friday, Trump issued an official statement from the White House. While he starts off by wishing all Muslims "a joyful Ramadan," the president transitions into talking about terrorism, citing the recent attacks in Manchester.

"This year, the holiday begins as the world mourns the innocent victims of barbaric terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom and Egypt, acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan. Such acts only steel our resolve to defeat the terrorists and their perverted ideology," part of the statement reads.

And that's not sitting well with America's first Somali-American female legislator.

Rep. Ilhan Omar responded to President Trump's statement in an open letter posted to Twitter Friday night, calling the president's words a "tepid statement."

"Thank you for recognizing Muslims as human beings and wishing us a joyful observance of Ramadan. As I read your tepid statement, I was unsurprised by the decided inference that Muslims fundamentally do not disavow terrorism; we do," Omar's letter begins.

"Further, to liken recent terrorist attacks as the scourge of young Muslims who reject peace is not only willfully ignorant, it creates the very environment in which extremism flourishes and aligns with the presupposition of terrorist recruitment: 'Westerners do not accept you and continue to trivialize your value. Instead of being a nobody, be a martyr'."

Omar wrote that compassion and inclusion are the best solution to fanaticism, adding that "Bigotry is a product of ignorance and by educating people, we will move toward respect and understanding."

She closed the letter by saying she prays the president will one day understand "Muslims are not your enemy."

More about Ilhan Omar

Omar made history last November when she was elected to Minnesota's House of Representatives, the first Somali-American legislator in not just the state, but the whole country.

She serves Minnesota House District 60B – her legislative area includes parts of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, southeast Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota.

According to her website, Omar is an experienced policy analyst, organizer, public speaker and advocate. The mother of three fled Somalia during the country's civil war when she was eight years old. Her family spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States in the 1990s.

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