A few days ago, RedState writer Jennifer Van Laar posted and wrote on a video of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar laughing it up about Al Qaeda and wondering why people don’t put the terrorist group on equal footing with the United States. It was a pretty astonishing display and would rightly leave most wondering how she ever made it to Congress with her views.
What kind of sick monster would find comedy in the words Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah and compare those two terrorist organizations to America and the U.S. Army?
Rep. Ilhan Omar. That’s who. pic.twitter.com/YyyuddzGMi
— ForAmerica 🇺🇸 (@ForAmerica) April 12, 2019
Given that this video made the rounds again this past weekend, I wanted to take the opportunity to share just who Omar was allowing herself to be interviewed by.
Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar gave multiple interviews to a fringe Arab-American television host, Ahmed Tharwat, who calls Israel the “Jewish ISIS” and has compared the terrorist group Hamas to Holocaust victims.
Omar blamed “our involvement in other people’s affairs” for terrorism in a 2013 interview with Tharwat.
“When are we gonna decide or realize that terrorism is a reaction? It’s an ideology, it’s a means of things, it’s not an entity, it’s not a place, people. It’s a reaction to a situation,” Tharwat said in the interview, which Fox News uncovered Monday.
And was this just a one time mistake? Nope. She gave another interview to the same guy in 2017, even as she was gearing up to run for Congress.
Omar gave another interview to Tharwat at a January 2017 Women’s March event, despite the host’s history of radical rhetoric.
The fact that Ilhan Omar is comfortable sitting down and yucking it up with a noted anti-Semite who’s called for the destruction of Israel isn’t actually that surprising. She’s made her personal views fairly clear and I believe we are past the point of having to make assumptions about her priorities and beliefs.
What strikes me more about all of this is just how large the double standard is within the American political landscape when it comes to politicians cavorting with extremists. If a Republican speaks at a hotel where a white supremacist is present, even if neither are connected in any way, that Republican makes national news and is made to answer for it. You’ll famously remember Donald Trump being excoriated because David Duke once tacitly endorsed him, something that wasn’t even under the President’s control. Rep. Dan Crenshaw even made national news last week because he once shared a campaign video in a public Tea Party Facebook group where a few bad actors made some offensive posts.
Yet, here we have Ilhan Omar sitting down and laughing it up with an anti-Semite who supports actual terrorists in Hamas. The Democratic party is silent. No one seems to care. It’s a pretty incredible inconsistency. What Omar does in that interview is far worse than Donald Trump has ever done as far as relating to extremism. Why isn’t she denounced? Why isn’t she made to answer for it? Where are the cameras being shoved in her face to ask her why she’d socialize with such an awful person?
The answer is two-fold.
One, many are simply scared to call her out. We now live in a society where any criticism of a black and/or Muslim person is considered racist and Islamophobic. I suspect many media members are smart enough to realize how bad it looks for her to have done this interview, yet they say nothing because it’s easier to not take on the mob that results from criticizing her. Secondly, because Omar is a Democrat, that takes precedence over everything else. To criticize her would hurt the Democrat party and since 95+% of media members are liberal, they can’t let that happen.
Republicans should stop playing along with this game. They should be challenging the media at every opportunity over their suppression of the facts but too many Republicans have learned nothing and continue to play defense. The same way Democrats all repeated the same talking point in defense of Omar over the weekend, Republican Congressional members should be universally sharing the above interview and asking why it’s acceptable for a sitting member of Congress to entertain a radical anti-Semite who sympathizes with Hamas.
That’d require getting out of the fetal position and actually pressing the issue though, so don’t hold your breath.
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