(Breitbart) – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) finds herself at the center of controversy once again — this time, over her description of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, as an event where “some people did something.”
In her telling, Muslims were the real victims of 9/11 because, according to her, their rights were violated in the aftermath. Omar’s defenders, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), are reinforcing that claim by turning Omar into a victim in the present debate.
In truth, Omar’s revisionist version of history reveals something important about the myopic nature of her world view. Just as she turned House Democrats’ weak response to her own antisemitism into a victory for Muslims (by claiming, falsely, that their resolution was the first time Congress had condemned anti-Muslim bigotry), Omar has inverted the terror committed against Americans by Muslims in the name of Islam into an attack on Islam by the American people.
Some facts are in order. There were, in fact, Muslim victims on 9/11 — innocent civilians, both American and foreign, who were murdered by Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda fanatics. And there was a bump in prejudice against Muslims — though far more muted than Democrats claim. American leaders bent over backwards with proclamations that Islam was a “religion of peace”; Congress passed a resolution condemning anti-Muslim bigotry (which Omar has forgotten.)
A few weeks after the attacks, the U.S. went to war in Afghanistan — not just to destroy Al Qaeda, but also to liberate millions of Muslims from the oppressive rule of the Taliban. The case for democracy in the Muslim world would soon become the most important justification for President George W. Bush’s war on terror, as the U.S. toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. Later, Bush sent tens of thousands of additional troops to quash Iraq’s terrorist insurgency.
Thousands of Americans were victims of radical Islam on 9/11; thousands more died in the Middle East to defend the human rights of Muslims. That cause now appears ill-fated, given the cultural illiberalism of the Arab and Muslim world.
But there can be no doubt that the practical consequence of 9/11 was that Americans rushed to defend Muslims from terrorists and tyrants in the Islamic world who had also became a threat to the safety and security of Americans.
There were many Muslims who condemned the 9/11 attacks. But others — a minority — celebrated 9/11, particularly in the Palestinian territories (creating a public relations disaster so terrible that then-Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat, a terrorist himself, faked a blood donation for the benefit of the victims of 9/11). Then-candidate Donald Trump drew criticism in 2016 for remembering (albeit very inaccurately) that a few Muslims in America had also celebrated.
Radical Muslims were not alone in celebrating: many in the western world, particularly on the left, also celebrated — something I observed first-hand in South Africa at the time, where the media and political elite shared the feeling that America had finally been humbled.
Indeed, Omar’s own worldview seems to have been shaped by the academic left just as much as, if not more than, her Muslim background (as evinced by her odd passion for the transgender cause).
One of the central themes of the left is that “oppressed” or “subaltern” groups do not have agency; they are just victims.
That is how Omar approaches radical Islamic terror: in 2013, for example, she claimed terror by the Somali group al-Shabaab was a reaction to U.S. “involvement in other people’s affairs.”
Muslims, to Omar, are powerless to question themselves critically, or to better their lot. It is not a view shared by all Muslims, but it does hurt Muslims as a whole.
Flashback: Ilhan Omar: CAIR Formed Because Muslims Were Targeted After ‘Some People Did Something’ On 9/11
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) referred to the terror attacks of 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.
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.
“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.”
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 would 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, according to The Gateway Pundit.
As Breitbart News has extensively reported, CAIR has a dubious history in the U.S., which was formed in 1994 by the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee” members Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad.
In 2007-8, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That case, in turn, led the FBI to discontinue its work with the organization. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that the government “produced ample evidence to establish” the ties of CAIR with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. The United Arab Emirates labeled CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014 (a decision that the Obama administration opposed).
Omar has been at a lightning rod for controversy since coming to Washington, D.C. The 37-year-old has faced bipartisan blowback for repeated anti-semitic remarks and trafficking of anti-Jewish tropes. In February, Omar, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, suggested Republican lawmakers are bribed by the pro-Israel advocacy group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in exchange for supporting the Jewish state. The freshman Congresswoman has also described pro-Israel Americans as those who hold an “allegiance to a foreign country.” She previously apologized for accusing Israel of “evil doings” and “hypnotiz[ing] the world” in a 2012 tweet.