Ilhan Omar Refuses to Condemn Al-Qaeda – No, Really
Things are heating up in Washington as the verbal sparring between President Trump and Congress becomes increasingly vitriolic. Central to the plot of the news cycle’s most recent high profile firestorm is the ongoing back and forth commentary between the President – who has been lambasted for allegedly racially charged remarks and the four congresswomen presumed to be the targets of said remarks.
These Congresswomen: Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar, who have coined themselves ‘The Squad’ in a (somewhat cringey) appeal to millennial/young voters have been both at the center of Trump’s commentaries and the backbone of attacks against him stemming from the Democrat controlled House.
Arguably the most controversy-riddled of the four is representative Ilhan Omar who has had a shaky past in terms of anti-Semitic remarks and controversial views regarding Islamic fundamentalists. However, in a recent press conference she might have managed to hit a new low in failing to denounce Al-Qaeda when members of the press queried her about claims Trump made regarding a supposed affinity for the organization.
Now let’s be crystal clear here (as PBP is no tabloid); Ilhan Omar is not affiliated in any demonstrable way with Al-Qaeda or other violent Muslim extremists and has never openly voiced support for such organizations. That said, she has also repeatedly failed to condemn them and over the years has repeatedly given shaky answers and expressed concerning views when the general topic area has come around. Trump has been keen to jump at this claiming in tweets,
“I mean, I look at the one, I look at Omar, I don’t know her, I never met her. I hear the way she talks about al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda has killed many Americans,” Trump said. “When she talked about the World Trade Center being knocked down, some people, you remember the famous ‘some people.’ These are people that, in my opinion, hate our country.”
In the realm of realistic policy discussion considering a US Congresswoman to hold a genuine hatred for America is very likely a stretch of Trump’s hyperbolic style. But his mentions of her extremely questionable stance on Al-Qaeda has some serious merit. Merit that Omar herself reinforced when she refused to go on the record condemning the organization in her public response to Trump’s statements.
To keep as fair to Congresswoman Omar as possible – and to avoid being lumped in with the bevy of available hysterical ‘fake news’ – we’ll go ahead and provide her response in its entirety such that the readers might make their own conclusions. As per The Federalist,
“Rep. Ilhan Omar refused to answer whether she supports the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda, at a press conference Monday.
“I will not dignify it with an answer because I know that every single Islamophobe, every single person who is hateful, who is driven by an ideology of ‘othering’ as this president is, rejoices in us responding to that and us defending ourselves,” Omar said.
“I do not expect every time there is a white supremacist who attacks or there is a white man who kills in a school or in a movie theater, or in a mosque, or in a synagogue, I don’t expect my white community members to respond on whether they love that person or not. And so, I think it is beyond time, it is beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists. We are no longer going to allow the dignification of such ridiculous — ridiculous statement,” she said.
Earlier on Monday, President Trump recalled Omar’s previous comments about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Omar still refuses to answer the question of who she believes was responsible for the attacks. Multiple requests from The Federalist for a comment from Omar have gone unanswered.
In a 2013 interview, Omar complained about people who think there are differences between America and al-Qaeda.
“When I was in college, I took a terrorism class,” she said. “Every time the professor said ‘al-Qaeda,’ his shoulders went up. He’d say ‘al-Qaeda’ and ‘Hezbollah.’ You don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity. You don’t say ‘England’ with the intensity. You don’t say ‘the army’ with the intensity.”
As It Was for Trump, So It Should Be for Omar
Here’s the rub, white community members decrying white supremacy when it occurs is *exactly* what the entire left – absolutely including a vocal Omar – has constantly demanded. This demand, in fact, has often resulted in repeated abasement of President Trump.
Who can so easily forget the months-long tirade of headlines that scorched the President for his failure to outright and openly condemn white supremacists to the left’s satisfaction following the Charleston clashes?
Well, Omar has engaged in the exact same game of verbal evasiveness that detractors accused Trump of then; so, where’s the outrage from the left this time around? Violent religious fundamentalism isn’t exactly ‘progressive’…
You might have noticed in the above response by Rep Omar that she completely and deliberately failed to condemn Al-Qaeda when *directly asked* about her views on the organization. Her answer was well prepared and in many ways fair – much like Trump’s in Charleston. But just like the left was all too eager to point out following that Trump affair, she refused to directly denounce them whatsoever; cleverly, but all the same, refused. That’s completely factual observation.
If the left was so ‘morally right’ in endlessly calling Trump out for a perceived failure to condemn white supremacy, bringing Omar to account for pulling a similar maneuver with Al-Qaeda and radical Islam – which causes much more death and destruction globally on an annual basis – should currently be invoking a crusade of righteous condemnation.
Instead, we’re met with crickets, save a few outlets like The Federalist and here at PBP. The hypocrisy is blatant to the point of absurdity.
Thus, this reporter asks with completely validated curiosity; Representative Omar why do you refuse to denounce Al-Qaeda? And why should we not be holding you accountable for that?