Activists rally in support of Rep. Ilhan Omar after death threats

By Danielle Haynes
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., makes remarks during a rally on the Washington Mall on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.  Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
1 of 3 | Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., makes remarks during a rally on the Washington Mall on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.  Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

April 30 (UPI) -- Members of Congress and black activists gathered Tuesday in Washington, D.C., to show support for Rep. Ilhan Omar after she faced death threats.

The Movement for Black Lives organized the rally, which also saw support from the Women's March group. They called the event the Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar and called on Congress to censure President Donald Trump over remarks they said were racist and Islamophobic.


Activist Angela Davis said Trump has targeted Omar, D-Minn., because she is a black, immigrant Muslim who "speaks out in defense of Palestinians."

Trump "uses this bizarre logic of fungibility, where ... all Muslims ... represent the worst deeds that any Muslim has ever conducted," Davis said. "And it's this logic of fungibility that is at the heart of racism, that is at the heart of Islamophobia.

Omar drew criticism from Trump and some Republican and Democratic leaders in February when she tweeted that U.S. politicians' support for Israel was fueled by money. Later that month, she made another comment that drew accusations of anti-Semitism.


"I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," she said in reference to Israel.

Omar later apologized, saying her colleagues have helped educate her better on anti-Semitic tropes.

She addressed the accusations of anti-Semitism at Tuesday's rally.

"I can't ever speak of Islamophobia and fight for Muslims if I am not willing to fight against anti-Semitism," she said.

Omar's previous remarks about Israeldrew Trump's ire over the past several months and he jeered her when he spoke to a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas earlier this month.

"A special thanks to Rep. Omar of Minnesota," Trump joked, as the crowd booed at the Venetian Resort. "Oh, oh, oh I forgot, she doesn't like Israel, I forgot, I'm so sorry. Oh, no she doesn't like Israel, does she. Oh, please, I apologize."

At Tuesday's rally, Omar's supporters accused Trump's repeated negative comments against the congresswoman of fueling racist and Islamaphobic death threats. Earlier this month, law enforcement officials arrested a New York man for threatening to assault and kill Omar because of her faith.

Davis said she was "quite afraid for her."


"Trump has been vitriolic toward so many groups, but I think there's a particular venom when it comes to black women," said Barbara Ransby, an adviser for the Movement for Black Lives and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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