Friday, 19 April, 2019

Omar 'facing death threats' over 9/11 video

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a press briefing at the White House White House press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a press briefing at the White House
Deanna Wagner | 16 April, 2019, 14:45

First came the liberal establishment and their conflated accusations of anti-Semitism.

"President Trump must take down his disrespectful and unsafe video", she said, adding that security officials are reviewing Ms Omar's protection and "will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces".

Noting the similarity between the gunman's views and those of anti-Muslim politicians in the United States like Trump, she cited the rising threats to mosques, schools and individual Muslims.

Asked in a separate appearance on "Fox News Sunday" whether Trump is anxious he was inciting violence against Muslims or Omar, Sanders said no. The video pulled a single line from Omar's roughly 20-minute speech at a Council on American-Islamic Relations event in Los Angeles in March: "CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties", Omar said in the short clip.

But "what we are saying is, to have a message that appeals to people in a way that does not menace them", she said.

On Friday, Trump tweeted a video that juxtaposed the snippet - which Omar's fellow Democrats say was taken out of context - with images of the hijacked planes used in the attacks crashing into the World Trade Center's twin towers that once dominated New York's skyline.

Pelosi's trip to Europe followed a two-day conference of the House Democratic Caucus at which she was at pains to maintain that the Democrats must continue to work with the Trump administration.

The congresswoman had made an error in her speech. They want her gone because she upsets a cabal that is still essentially upper class, white, Christian, instrumentally liberal but ultimately conservative and war-mongering. I know that she abides by the Constitution.

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Following Omar's statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday night that she had spoken with the House Sergeant at Arms about the Congresswoman's safety and that she wanted to make sure a security assessment was being conducted.

But in truth, the first half of Sanders' defence could belong to just about most Democrats.

"It is rare that a president would tweet and talk about a fresh member of the Congress". He said Pelosi should consider past remarks by Omar about Israel that were widely condemned by Democrats, including party leadership, as antisemitic.

Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, meanwhile, defended the president Sunday against accusations that he was inciting violence toward Omar.

"I think that what she is experiencing right now, she does not deserve - from what she said in her speech, she does not deserve the kind of vicious, hate-filled attacks that she's experiencing, threats on her life, right now", said Booker, one of almost 20 contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination. If they did, would it matter?

But many rushed to her support after Trump's attack. This much is clear.

Rep. Karen Bass, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, predicted Trump would use the venue to attack the Muslim congresswoman.

Yet Omar's comments about USA political backing for Israel being fuelled by money from a pro-Israel lobbying group led to criticism from both sides of the political aisle.