Trump’s Islamophobic Remarks Inspire Attacks like New Zealand Shooting: Rep. Ilhan OmarTop Stories

March 27, 2019 15:18
Trump’s Islamophobic Remarks Inspire Attacks like New Zealand Shooting: Rep. Ilhan Omar

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Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) on Saturday said she believes President Donald Trump’s hateful comments toward Muslims has inspired attacks such as New Zealand shootings that claimed lives of 50.

“We all kind of knew that this was happening,” Omar said of attacks against Muslims. “But the reason I think that many of us knew that this was going to get worse is that we finally had a leader in the White House who publicly says Islam hates us, who fuels hate against Muslims, who thinks it is OK to speak about a faith and a whole community in a way that is dehumanizing, vilifying.”

Omar, who addressed attendees during a banquet for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Southern California, suggested Trump inciting hatred against Islam has helped fuel the same hatred behind the March 15 attack in Christchurch, as well as threats to mosques in the United States.

The Minnesota Democrat said the president “makes us want to think that he doesn’t understand” the consequences behind his Islamophobic language when he is actually fully aware of the magnitude of his words.

“He knows that there are people that he can influence to threaten our lives, to diminish our presence,” she added.

In the wake of the New Zealand attack, many Muslim leaders in the U.S. have called for action against Islamophobia. While some have requested for increased security at Muslim institutions, especially during prayer times others, like CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, have called on Trump to tone down his anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Following the Christchurch attacks, Trump accused journalists of “working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand.”  

“They will have to work very hard to prove that one,” he tweeted. “So ridiculous.”

Shmuley Boteach, a rabbi who publicly aligns himself with figures like Steve Bannon, bought an ad in the Washington Post’s Sunday paper depicting Omar as anti-Semitic.

Omar shut down protesters during her speech.

“There are thoroughly fascinating people outside who for so many years have spoken about an Islam that is oppressive, an Islam that lessens and isolates its women, and today they gather outside to protest a Muslim woman who is in Congress,” she said. “The irony in that is very entertaining to me.”

Omar’s speech “was applauded enthusiastically,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

By Sowmya Sangam

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