Rep. Ilhan Omar responded to the criticisms aimed at her during last week’s 9/11 memorial service in New York, saying her intention was to draw attention to civil rights issues for Muslims.
“9/11 was an attack on all Americans,” the Minnesota Democrat said on “Face the Nation.” “I certainly could not understand the weight of the pain that the victims of the families of 9/11 must feel.”
However, Ms. Omar, one of two first Muslim congresswomen in Congress, said Americans have to keep in mind that part of the aftermath was some people “had their civil rights stripped from them.”
“What I was speaking to was, as a Muslim, not only was I suffering as an American who was attacked on that day. But the next day I woke up as my fellow Americans were treating me as suspect,” she said.
Earlier this year the freshman congresswoman came under fire for making comments appearing to be dismissive of the Sept. 11 attacks, which left nearly 3,000 dead.
“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose our civil liberties,” Ms. Omar said at a Council on American-Islamic Relations event.
At the 9/11 memorial event, Nicholas Haros Jr. wore a black T-shirt with those words printed and called out the congresswoman.
“On that day, 19 Islamic terrorist members of al Qaeda killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of economic damage. Is that clear?” he said.
“We are here today, congresswoman, to tell you and the squad just who did what to whom. Show respect in honoring them, please. American patriotism and your position demand it. For God and country, amen,” he continued.
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