(LOS ANGELES, 4/13/19) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA), today joined with its National chapter in condemning what it called a life-endangering tweet from President Donald Trump using shocking imagery from the September 11, 2001 terror attack that may incite violence against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
CAIR, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, called on Democratic and Republican leaders to use their platforms to publicly and vocally stand in support of Rep. Omar, one of the first American Muslim women elected to U.S. Congress.
On Friday night, Trump tweeted: “Never Forget!” along with a video repeating one sentence from Rep. Omar’s speech at CAIR-LA’s 4th Annual Valley Banquet, held in Woodland Hills, on March 23.
The president’s tweet comes just days after news reports that mentioned death threats targeting Rep. Omar as she finishes her first 100 days in office.
SEE: CAIR: Death threats pile up against Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar | City Pages
In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
“The truth is what we’re dealing with is not about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s speech. This about a failed, irresponsible, white nationalist president who wants to intimidate and bully one of his most vocal critics in Congress.
This is about a privileged white man who is not used to being challenged by a black, refugee, Muslim woman. And he wants to silence her. Enough is enough and it is time for all of us, Republicans, as well as Democrats, to stand up and defend all Americans against hate.”
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“Every American should be disgusted by Trump’s continued incitement against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. He is endangering Rep. Omar’s life by taking her words out of context and evoking painful imagery to exploit a national tragedy.
“All fair-minded Democrats and Republicans need to not only oppose Trump’s continued incitement but also use their platforms to warn both Islamophobes across the political spectrum who seek to frame Rep. Omar as less American because of her skin color and how she prays, that hate speech leads to hate violence.”
In a statement, CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch said:
“For years, American families and children who are Muslim or perceived as Muslim have faced taunts as they go about their everyday lives at school, at their workplaces and even in public spaces. The effects of this demonization are unfair and traumatizing to these American families and children who are Muslim and those often perceived as Muslim.
“This direct attack by the president compromises Ilhan Omar’s security – as she was just targeted by a death threat. Weak responses on both sides of the aisle give validation for those who seek to marginalize American Muslims and threaten the futures of a whole generation of American Muslim children.”
Allouch called for Twitter to remove Trump’s tweet.
“The tweet is an incitement to violence and violates its guidelines,” she said.
Allouch also noted the full video of Rep. Omar’s speech has been available to the public for weeks.
SEE: Rep. Ilhan Omar Speech – 4th Annual Valley Banquet 2019 | CAIR-LA
CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
In a published report, CAIR noted a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents and a 15 percent increase in hate crimes against American Muslims since Trump took office.
SEE: 2018 Civil Rights Report: Targeted
CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.
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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-776-1847 or firstname.lastname@example.org