In a headline that actually drew an out-loud chuckle from us when we first read it, the UK Independent published an op-ed titled, “No Politician In Living Memory Has Been Treated as Badly as Ilhan Omar.” The author, a “woman of color who wears a headscarf” named Tasmiha Khan, apparently doesn’t remember such obscure politicians as John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Ted Cruz, or Donald J. Trump. But while she may be forgetting a few names, she remembers well everything critical said about Omar, who in her view is a victim of a “propaganda war” that targets not just the Minnesota lawmaker but “all minorities that make up the fabric of America.”
“Since Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar was elected to congress last year, Trump has been making racist attacks and inciting violence against her at every opportunity,” Khan writes. “I have watched the president of the United States, the man in charge of the most powerful nation on earth, tell Americans like me to return to the ‘crime infested places’ from which we came. I have watched him insinuate a Muslim American woman is in some way responsible for 9/11. It is little surprise that, following the infamous chants of ‘send her back’ at a North Carolina Trump rally, security protecting Omar had to be stepped up. This is violent white supremacy in action.”
Hmm, Khan doesn’t explain how Trump laid the blame for 9/11 at Omar’s feet, so we’ll have to assume she just made that up. What certainly isn’t made up (nor mentioned in Khan’s dishonest op-ed) is the fact that Omar dismissed 9/11 and “some people did something” and framed its true importance not as a deadly attack on innocent Americans but on what happened to poor Muslims in the aftermath. Also not made-up: Omar’s repeated anti-Semitic remarks, which have exposed her as one of the most bigoted and radical members of Congress.
But to Khan, criticism of Omar just comes down to religious and racial hatred. The solution, she feels, is not for Omar to start making sense about her views or denounce her radical positions – no, it is for us to shove Islam in everyone’s face until we’re all good and used to it.
“Moving forward, normalizing the hijab would be the first step towards removing stigma and pressure against women like myself and Ilhan. Engaging in dialogue about topics that make us uncomfortable, such as the hijab, can also help to dismantle stereotypes and increase understanding,” Khan writes. “It is certainly no coincidence that the two US congresswomen reportedly barred from entering Israel are women of colour, with one of them wearing the hijab and following the Muslim faith.”
Well, we agree: It is no coincidence that the two Muslim members of Congress are also the two who are the most virulently against the existence of Israel. Maybe THAT – and not headwear – should be the starting point of the conversation.
But Khan, Omar, and Tlaib don’t actually want to have a conversation at all. They just want us to shut up and accept their lies about Israel and America.
Not in this lifetime, Tasmiha.