The controversy began on the eighteenth anniversary of 9/11. Responding to Omar’s notorious statement that on 9/11, “some people did something” (which phrase was emblazoned on his t-shirt), Nicholas Haros Jr., the son of a woman who was killed in the World Trade Center bombing, declared: “Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done. There is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion? On that day, 19 Islamic terrorist members of al Qaeda killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of economic damage. Is that clear? I was attacked, your relatives and friends were attacked, our constitutional freedoms were attacked and our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian principles were attacked. That’s what some people did. Got that now?”
Omar responded to Haros by playing the victim card: “9/11 was an attack on all Americans.” (She didn’t address whether or not it was an attack on Somalis.) “It was an attack on all of us. And I certainly could not understand the weight of the pain that the victims of the families of 9/11 must feel. But I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not forgetting, right, the aftermath of what happened after 9/11. Many Americans found themselves now having their civil rights stripped from them. And so what I was speaking to was the fact that as a Muslim, not only was I suffering as an American who was attacked on that day, but the next day I woke up as my fellow Americans were now treating me as suspect.”
Ilhan Omar’s message here is familiar, as many, many other Muslims have said it. After every jihad massacre and every jihad plot, we hear it again: the true victims of the attack are Muslims.
But Omar’s claim that after 9/11, Muslims in the United States had “their civil rights stripped from them,” and that now she herself was being treated “as a suspect,” is entirely baseless. Contrary to the prevailing myth, there was no wholesale targeting of innocent Muslims after 9/11. FBI hate crime statistics year after year show Jews, not Muslims, as the primary victims of hate crimes. Muslims have not been stripped of any civil rights.
In fact, the whole claim of Muslim victimhood after 9/11 is a scam. Jonathan S. Tobin reported for the Gatestone Institute in December 2017 that “the statistics published by the FBI over the last 17 years refute both the Islamophobia narrative and the claim of a widespread backlash against Muslims in the aftermath of terrorist attacks by Islamists.” The reality is that “the myth of a post-9/11 ‘backlash’ against Muslims is politically motivated and spread by groups such as the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which presents itself as a civil rights group, but was founded to serve as a front organization for the terrorist group Hamas. The effort to persuade the public that America is Islamophobic stemmed largely from the aim to shift the narrative about terrorism to that of an Islamist war on the West to one according to which Muslims are terrorized by and in the United States.”
The facts, however, never get in the way of the Left’s narrative, and in this case, no one in the establishment media dared to contradict Ilhan Omar’s fanciful claims, if they were even aware that they were false. One day this mendacious and extraordinarily corrupt official will fade from the scene, but as Shakespeare noted, “the evil that men do lives after them.” (Yes, that adage applies to migrant women of color as well as to the evil white supremacist males of establishment media myth). Many Leftist public figures before Ilhan Omar have used the kinds of charges that she makes here to stymie counterterror efforts and stigmatize counterterror analysts, and they’ve had great success with that. It is almost certain that that success will continue far longer than the public career of Ilhan Omar.