Ilhan Omar on Al-Qaeda Sympathy: ‘I Will Not Dignify That with an Answer’

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) reacts as she listens to remarks during a congressional Iftar event at the U.S. Capitol May 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. Muslims around the world are observing the holy month with prayers, fasting from dawn to sunset and nightly feasts. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) refused to respond to claims made by President Donald Trump that she praised Al-Qaeda.

Omar was asked during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol if she had a response to statements President Donald Trump made earlier in the day alleging she was a communist and “pro-Al-Qaeda.”

“When he made that comment, I know that every single Muslim who has lived in this country and across the world has heard that comment,” Omar said. “So, I will not dignify that with an answer.

Omar said to discuss the issue would be empowering “every single Islamaphobe” and “person who is hateful,” like “this president.”

“I think it is beyond time, beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists,” Omar said. “We are no longer going to allow the dignification [sic] of such a ridiculous, ridiculous statement.”

Although Omar appears to never have directly offered praise for Al-Qaeda, the congresswoman has in the past used language when discussing terrorism that many view as inappropriate and offensive. Earlier this year video emerged of Omar’s 2013 appearance on a local Minnesota television program where she asserted that terrorism was a reaction to America’s “involvement in other people’s affairs.

“Nobody wants to face how the actions of the other people that are involved in the world have contributed to the rise of the radicalization and the rise of terrorist acts,” Omar said at the time. “Usually most people want to not look internal and see what their actions that makes another react.”

“Nobody wants to take accountability of how these are byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs,” she added.

Omar also incited controversy by describing Al-Qaeda’s masterminding of the September 11th terrorist attacks — where more than 2,977 Americans perished — as “some people did something.”


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