April 23, 2019

What Republicans Want with Ilhan Omar

“I was 11 years old, and I didn’t realize our country was under attack until I heard the rocks pelting against the window of our classroom. I was in math, and kids outside were throwing rocks at our Islamic school in New Jersey. The principal got on the intercom and announced that school was dismissed for the day and that all students needed to evacuate the building.

Before I even saw the pillar of black smoke coming from lower Manhattan, I knew that as an American Muslim, I would be asked to choose between those two identities. I’m 29 now, and still, over and over, my religious identity is leveraged by bigoted pundits and politicians, who place me on the side of the terrorists who attacked all of us that day.

I can’t say I’m surprised that Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first ever hijab-clad congresswoman, has been subjected to the same smears. Last month, the West Virginia Republican Party displayed a poster that claimed that Omar was proof that Americans have forgotten about 9/11. This week, the New York Post published an inflammatory cover connecting Omar to the terrorist attacks. And then, on Friday, Donald Trump tweeted out a heinous propaganda video intercutting Omar’s words with images of the attacks.”

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