A Few Questions for Ilhan Omar

Now that the allegations of immigration fraud against Rep. Ilhan Omar have entered the mainstream, although she steadfastly refuses to address them, it is important to remember that these charges are not the only reason why she causes concern. Last March, Omar was the main speaker at a private fundraiser in Los Angeles for CAIR. Her remarks were notable for several reasons, as an article in Breitbart made clear:

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) referred to September 11, 2001, as a day in which “some people did something” during her keynote address at a private fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Greater Los Angeles last March.

Some people did something.

Was Omar hoping by this bizarrely vague formulation to make it appear that the 19 Arab Muslims who carried out the 9/11 attacks should not be identified as such because, clearly, they were “extremists” who had nothing to do with the real Islam, and should not be identified with the faith? She could have said “some people claiming to be Muslims carried out the horrific attacks of 9/11.” That would have been both true (they did “claim to be Muslims”), and also would thereby suggest that they were “bad’’ Muslims, or perhaps not Muslims at all.

There is another possibility, that Ilhan Omar is one more Muslim conspiracy-theorist, and does not believe that Muslims (or those “calling themselves Muslims”) were responsible for the attacks, that Israel could have been behind it, so as to make Muslims look bad — we are expected to believe that “3000 Jews working at the Twin Towers did not go to work that day” — possibly in cahoots with Islamophobic elements in the American government. But instead of saying that openly — “on 9/11,when many of us  believe that Israel staged a terrorist attack for which Muslims would get the blame” — mindful of  how bizarre such a view seems to non-Muslims, she decided to be deliberately vague in describing 9/11 as a day when “some people did something.” That’s a signal to her audience that much remains to be known about the attacks that day: we can’t be sure who took part in them, or who orchestrated them, we don’t know if Muslims were used by the Mossad, or if indeed the people with Muslim names, who were identified as taking part in the attacks, actually did so.

Now that we know what Ilhan Omar said in that address, she needs to answer some questions. Ideally, an editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune should take the lead and ask: “Ilhan Omar, What Do You Mean By “Some People Did Something” On 9/11”? But it has been three months now, and the Star Tribune has not published anything like this, so don’t hold your breath.

In her remarks, Omar urged attendees to “raise hell” and “make people uncomfortable” in an effort to reverse the fortunes of Muslim Americans, who the freshman Congresswoman suggested were demoted to second-class citizens following 9/11.

What “reversal of fortunes” have Muslim Americans suffered? How have they been “demoted to second-class citizens following 9/11”? Would Ilhan Omar care to tell us what laws, federal, state, or local, have been passed that treat Muslims differently? Could she give us examples of how, even in the absence of such laws, she believes Muslims have been treated worse than others by Islamophobic bigots? Isn’t it quite the reverse, with Muslims being privileged, with workplace accommodations for daily prayers, school curricula supplying students with a sanitized version of Islam, where pupils get to recite the Shehada, memorize the Five Pillars, learn Qur’an 2:256 (“There is no compulsion in religion”) and a deliberately-misleading abridged 5:32 (“Whoever kills a person [innocent person]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind”), police departments go out of their way to hire Muslims, and the media celebrate our two new Muslim congresswomen? Isn’t Ilhan Omar, despite her antisemitic remarks about AIPAC buying support for Israel (“it’s all about the benjamins, baby”) herself being treated with kid gloves by fellow Democrats, and given star treatment by the media, even landing on the cover of Newsweek?

“CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognize that some people did something, and then all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” said Omar, without offering any evidence to back up her claim. “You can’t just say that today someone is looking at me strange, that I am going to try to make myself look pleasant. You have to say that person is looking at me strange, I am not comfortable with it. I am going to talk to them and ask them why.”

Apparently Ilhan Omar does not know that CAIR was founded in 1994. She insists it “was founded after 9/11” in response to a supposed — in fact, non-existent — campaign against Muslims who “were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” There are a few things wrong with this. First, CAIR was founded in 1994; its founding had nothing to do with any supposed backlash against Muslims after 9/11. Second, there never was, in any case, such an anti-Muslim backlash after 9/11. In fact, there have been endless reassurances made to Muslims who keep claiming to be victims (some even staging “hate crimes” against themselves); a sanitized version of Islam is promoted in the schools (and woe betide the teacher who dares to present  home truths about the contents of the Qur’an).

Third, CAIR is not mainly a civil rights organization, though it calls itself such and Ilhan Omar describes it thus. Robert Spencer has summed up CAIR’s history: “CAIR is an un-indicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements about how Islamic law should be imposed in the U.S. (Ahmad denies this, but the original reporter stands by her story.) CAIR chapters frequently distribute pamphlets telling Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement. CAIR has opposed virtually every anti-terror measure that has been proposed or implemented and has been declared a terror organization by the United Arab Emirates. CAIR’s Hussam Ayloush in 2017 called for the overthrow of the U.S. government. CAIR’s national outreach manager is an open supporter of Hamas.”

Later in her remarks, the Minnesota Democrat implied President Donald Trump was to blame for the deadly mosque shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The March 15th attack, which consisted of two consecutive shootings during Friday prayers, killed 50 people and wounded 50 others. “The reason I think that many of us knew that this was going to get worse is that we finally have a leader, a world leader in the White House, who publicly says Islam hates us; who fuels hate against Muslims; who thinks it is okay, that it’s okay to speak about a faith and a whole community in a way that is dehumanizing, vilifying, and doesn’t understand, or at least makes us want to think that he doesn’t understand, the consequences that his words might have,” she said.

If the attack on the mosque in New Zealand is to be blamed on President Trump, as Ilhan Omar shamelessly contends, we are expected to believe that the lone lunatic in Christchurch would not have carried out his killings without the handful of less than flattering remarks made by Trump about Islam (similarly, some people want to blame the killings by Anders Breivik on Robert Spencer’s Islamocriticism), then the more than 35,000 attacks by Muslim terrorists since 9/11 should with considerably more justice be blamed on the verses in the Qur’an that command Believers to “fight” and to “kill” the Unbelievers, to “smite” at their necks, and to “strike terror in their hearts.” Let’s ask Ilhan Omar whether she believes  such Qur’anic verses as 2:191-193, 3:151, 4:89, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, 98:6 have an effect on Muslims, and does she not agree that these, along with another 100 verses commanding violent Jihad, explain Muslim attitudes and behavior toward Unbelievers. Indeed, let’s ask her if she takes those verses to heart herself, or whether she just ignores them, something no one claiming to be a Muslim should do. Does she think, for example, that Muslims should follow 8:12, which says “Your Lord inspired the angels: I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes”? Does she agree with 98:6, which describes non-Muslims as “the most vile of created beings”? And what does she think about Muhammad’s own claim, in a famous hadith, that “I have been made victorious through terror”? And could she tell us who, in her view, was responsible for the 9/11 attacks when “some people did something”? She has so far managed not to have been asked such questions by an adoring media; it’s time now, when the media is finally beginning to report on her possible immigration fraud, that she were put to the test about these other statements.

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