Omar clarifies tweet after pushback from fellow Democrats

Hunter Woodall, Star Tribune on

Published in Political News

However, another Minnesota Democrat who has defended Palestinian human rights blasted Republicans when asked about Omar's actions.

"Rep. Omar asked a serious question which is her right as a member of Congress," Rep. Betty McCollum, who holds a safe blue seat, said in a statement. "But the hypocrites at the NRCC, including Chairman Tom Emmer, should be reminded of their silence when the Trump administration sat down with the Taliban to negotiate a diplomatic agreement without the Afghan government while American service members and Afghan civilians were being attacked and killed."

This isn't the first time Omar has drawn prominent criticism from within her own party. Omar apologized in 2019 over a tweet that implied money is behind lawmakers' support toward Israel. Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders said in a statement at that time that "Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive."

Even after Omar's clarification Thursday, some Republicans still wanted action. "She meant what she said," Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas tweeted. "Ilhan Omar needs to be stripped of her committee assignments now.

In a tweet Wednesday night, Omar said "every time I speak out on human rights I am inundated with death threats," and tweeted audio of one message that included a racial slur. She pointed to a Fox News online story of her Monday tweet and a tweet from a GOP member of Congress, saying "this is incited directly by articles like this and far right politicians like this. And it is enabled by a political culture — in both parties — that allows and often fuels Islamophobia."


In a pair of early morning tweets before her clarification, Omar pointed to the statement from the dozen Democrats on Twitter and called it "shameful" that fellow members of Congress "who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for "clarification" and not just call." She further charged that "the islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive," and "the constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable."

Some House Democrats strongly defended Omar, including Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Omar and Tlaib are the only two Muslim women serving in the House.

"Freedom of speech doesn't exist for Muslim women in Congress," Tlaib tweeted. "The benefit of the doubt doesn't exist for Muslim women in Congress. House Democratic leadership should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color."


©2021 StarTribune. Visit at startribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.