Ilhan Omar is a victim of deeply rooted Islamophobia


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Mohammad Ahmad

“Some people did something.”

Those few words set off the massive American powder keg of rage and fury toward Ilhan Omar’s description of the Sept. 11 attacks at a CAIR conference. Critics have described Omar as unpatriotic, anti-American and even terroristic.  

But, is that really what she is? Or is this just misplaced anger?

Some argue that Omar’s comments had no ill-intent and were taken out of context. There are also some, however, that believe she meant well, but needed to choose her words wisely. When you first hear that, you might agree and say, “She didn’t mean any harm. But she needs to remember her country when she speaks.”

But here’s the problem with that statement: Omar is expected to be apologetic and remorseful because, in the minds of some Americans, she’s part of a religion that caused 9/11 and is expected to feel inferior to non-Muslims.

That right there points out the flaw in our society. People feel so insecure about what happened on Sept. 11 that they feel the need to project blame on someone innocent like Omar. Why is that, though?

There are more bigoted Americans than people may realize. Whether it’s because of lack of education, misinformation or whatever reason, Americans are attacking Omar because they feel the need to normalize white supremacy.

Thus, Muslim-Americans like Omar are verbally attacked, threatened and discriminated against just so that they can feel empowered and superior. The hate against Muslim-Americans is so strong that even the highest leader of our land took to Twitter and spewed a propagated video that was intended to hit the Islamophobic button of Americans.

People don’t understand how detrimental this Islamophobic hate is. Omar has reported an increase in death threats on her life since President Donald Trump tweeted this video. A New York man was arrested by the FBI about two weeks ago for threatening to murder Omar (which was also before Trump tweeted the video).

Some people have said that Omar should have thought about what she said before choosing to inflict death threats on her own life. By saying that, you are agreeing that death threats are OK, and that the blame shouldn’t be on the threat perpetrators, which is also racist. The response to Omar’s comments is just the most recent of many hateful, vile filled comments and threats she’s experienced in her short time in Washington.

America, I understand the pain of 9/11. Again, I wholeheartedly condemn a sickening terrorist attack that was carried out by members of my own religion. But we need to take a step back and ask ourselves something: What good comes out of anger and hate? What good comes out of wanting to wish death on someone? We only make ourselves angrier and bitter.

Christians, Muslims, Jews and all major religions are taught to love and respect each other. Let’s set aside our differences and do just that.