WASHINGTON — Democratic Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar issued a recent painful death threat sent to him by voicemail on Tuesday, while asking House Republican leaders to do more to reduce “anti-Muslim hatred” in their ranks. Motivated and “held accountable those who maintain it”.
Omar, one of a handful of Muslim members of Congress, has been the subject of repeated attacks by conservative pundits and some Republicans in Congress, which he says has increased the number of death threats he has received. The most recent example first came after a video by Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert went viral, calling Omar a member of a “jihad squad” and comparing him to a terrorist carrying a bomb.
“When a current member of Congress calls his colleague a member of the ‘Jihad Squad’ and goes on to suggest that I blow up the Capitol, it’s not just me but the millions of American Muslims across the country. There is an attack,” Umar said during a press conference on Tuesday. “We can’t pretend this hate speech from prominent politicians doesn’t have real consequences.”
Then Omar played a voicemail, which was filled with slang, racist adjectives and threats to “take you off the face of the (devoid) earth”, which he said was one of hundreds of such messages. was what he has reported since joining Congress. Omar said the voicemail was left for him after Boebert released another video of him attacking him on Monday.
In the grainy recording, a man can be heard saying, “You won’t live long, b–” while promising that “we’re getting up.” He also calls Omar a “traitor” and vows that she will stand trial before a military tribunal.
Omar then concluded, “It is time for the Republican Party to do something to really confront anti-Muslim hatred and those who hold it accountable.”
Boebert’s incendiary remarks are the latest example of a GOP lawmaker launching a personal attack against another member of Congress, a volatile trend that has gone largely unchecked by House Republican leaders.
The chain of events was set in motion a week ago when a video was posted on Facebook saying,
Boebert speaking at an event and describing a conversation with Omar – a conversation which Omar says never happened.
In the video, Boebert claims that a Capitol police officer approached him with a “fret on his face” shortly before he stepped onto a house elevator and the doors slammed shut.
“I look to my left and there he is – Ilhan Omar. And I said: ‘Well, he doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,'” Boebert laughs.
Boebert’s comment about Omar not wearing a backpack was a clear reference to him not carrying a suicide bomb.
The response to the video was swift. Omar called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to “take appropriate action.” But so far McCarthy, who is in line to become House speaker to secure a Republican majority next year, has proved reluctant to police members of his caucus, whose views are often closely aligned with the party’s base.
Representative Andre Carson, D-Ind., who is also Muslim, said he is working with Democratic leadership on a House resolution that could address the issue.
Boebert initially took steps to de-escalate the situation. Last week, she “annoyed me with anyone in the Muslim community”, but not directly with Omar.
But after refusing to apologize directly to Omar during a tense phone call on Monday, which Omar abruptly ended, Boebert struck again.
“Rejecting an apology and hanging someone is part of Cancellation Culture 101 and a pillar of the Democrat Party,” Boebert said in an Instagram video.
So far, McCarthy is taking her side.
When asked on Tuesday what he would do if Democrats tried to denounce Boubert, McCarthy said: “After apologizing personally and publicly? I’ll vote against it.”