The nation’s largest civil rights group for Muslims wants the FBI to look “seriously” into an alleged threat against Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar that was scrawled onto a gas station bathroom stall.
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the vandalism, which reads “Assassinate Ilhan Oman,” is part of ongoing aggression against the 37-year-old politician who took office in January.
Omar posted an image of the message, which appears to be written in black marker, on her Twitter page.
“The unrelenting rhetorical attacks on Representative Omar have the potential to result in violence and threats of violence, as in this incident,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement.
Awad also noted that he recently asked West Virginia’s governor to speak out against an Internet meme showing Omar in the state’s House of Delegates along with an image of planes crashing into the World Trade Center in 2001. The text hints that her being in office indicates Americans “have forgotten” the tragedies of 9/11.
“We urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to take this apparent threat seriously, thereby sending the message that threats or violence targeting elected officials will not be tolerated,” Awad said.
Minnesota’s Star Tribune reports that the FBI is investigating the vandalism, which was first brought to Omar’s attention Feb. 22. It was posted on Instagram by a user who claimed the gas station attendant was in no hurry to cover up the offensive rhetoric when it was brought to his attention.
The Somali-born Democrat has made plenty of enemies since taking office in January, thanks in part to controversial comments she’s made about Israel. Omar has accused Americans sympathetic to Israel of having an “allegiance to a foreign country.”
Representatives from both parties have condemned Omar’s statements as insensitive and pressured House Speaker Nanci Pelosi to rethink allowing the congresswoman’s position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Nita Lowey, who represents New York’s 17th district, has accused Omar of mischaracterizing the United States’ relationship with Israel and called her colleague’s comments “hurtful.”
Omar took exception to that criticism and doubled down on her position.
“I have not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel,” Omar tweeted Sunday. “I have questioned it and that has been clear from my end.”
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