NEW YORK, Mar 26 (APP):One of the first two Muslim women in the US Congress, has accused President Donald Trump of inciting hatred of Islam and inspiring attacks like the killing of 50 people last weekend in a mass shooting at mosques in New Zealand.
Speaking at dinner hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Los Angeles, the newly elected Democratic Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, said the New Zealand attack by a white supremacist fit a pattern of threats and assaults at American mosques and schools, according to American media reports.
“We all kind of knew that this was happening,” Congresswoman Omar, a Somali immigrant, said. “But the reason I think that many of us knew that this was going to get worse is that we finally had a leader in the White House who publicly says Islam hates us, who fuels hate against Muslims, who thinks it is OK to speak about a faith and a whole community in a way that is dehumanizing, vilifying.”
Trump, she told the crowd, “doesn’t understand, or at least makes us want to think that he doesn’t understand, the consequence that his words might have. Some people like me know that he understands the consequences. He knows that there are people that he can influence to threaten our lives, to diminish our presence.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said last week that it was outrageous to suggest Trump had any responsibility for the New Zealand shooting.
Before her speech at the CAIR’s fundraiser, more than 100 people staged a protest outside the hotel where she the was the guest speaker, the reports said. Police closed the street leading to the hotel and uniformed officers stood watch over demonstrators waving Israeli and U.S. flags and calling Congresswoman Omar an anti-Semite.
Several of them marched with an enlarged photo of Omar, with a swastika over her face and the slogan: “Your Hate Makes Us Stronger.”
Recent comments by Congresswoman Omar that were described as anti-Semitic led the House of Representative to pass a resolution condemning hate speech. She had said that pro-Israel advocates “push for allegiance to a foreign country,” and she’d apologized for suggesting money was the source of Israel’s influence in Washington.
Congresswoman Omar was applauded enthusiastically by the crowd at the dinner.
In her remarks, she mocked the protesters.
“There are thoroughly fascinating people outside who for so many years have spoken about an Islam that is oppressive, an Islam that lessens and isolates its women, and today they gather outside to protest a Muslim woman who is in Congress,” she said. “The irony in that is very entertaining to me.
“I don’t think many of them realize that people like myself, and many of the people in this room, could care less about what they have to say, because we know who we are, and where we belong, and what we stand for,” she added.
Congresswoman Omar, who wrote a column in The Washington Post last week backing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.