Ilhan Omar under fire for equating America with Hamas

Ilhan Omar under fire for equating America with Hamas, Taliban
2 min read
10 June, 2021
Omar's remarks led to a rare public letter of disapproval from 12 House Democrats, who were irked by her tweet which mentioned "unthinkable atrocities" commited by the US, Israel, Hamas and the Taliban.
Omar said the "Islamophobic tropes" in the statement demanding she clarify her remarks were offensive [AFP via Getty]

Pressure mounted Thursday on US congresswoman Ilhan Omar as a Jewish group of fellow Democratic lawmakers called on her to clarify her remarks about "unthinkable atrocities" committed by the United States, Hamas and the Taliban.

At a Monday House hearing Omar had grilled Secretary of State Antony Blinken over accountability for victims of crimes against humanity.

She then followed up with a tweet that read: "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban."

Her remarks led to a rare public letter of disapproval from 12 House Democrats, who wrote that "equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided."

"The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups," wrote the group, led by Brad Schneider of Illinois.

"We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words."

In their letter the Jewish lawmakers said Omar's comments equating actions by a nation and those of organizations that "engage in terrorism" potentially "reflects deep-seated prejudice."

Omar, who was born in Somalia and immigrated as a refugee in the mid-1990s, pushed back Thursday.

"The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive," she tweeted. "The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable."

Omar also said her earlier remarks were related to an open case against Israel, the United States, Hamas and the Taliban in the International Criminal Court.

Omar received support from the other Muslim woman in Congress, Rashida Tlaib, who said she was tired of colleagues "demonizing" Omar.

"Their obsession with policing her is sick," Tlaib said.

Omar said she has recently received death threats, and on Thursday posted audio of a man threatening her staff and saying "Muslims are terrorists."