The New York Post on Thursday put a photo of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack on its front cover as a rebuke of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
“Here’s your something,” the cover blared. “2,977 people dead by terrorism.”
The caption referred to comments Omar made at the annual banquet of the Council on American–Islamic Relations for Greater Los Angeles last month. At one point in her remarks, Omar incorrectly said that CAIR “was founded after 9/11” (in fact it was founded in 1994), because “they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
Omar’s critics took issue with her characterization of the 9/11 attacks as “something.” On Wednesday, Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade quoted Omar out of context and said, “You have to wonder if she’s an American first.” He later issued a non-apology.
Fox News has not said whether Kilmeade will face any consequences for the comment. Fellow Fox News host Jeanine Pirro disappeared from air for two weeks after she too questioned Omar’s allegiance to the Constitution.
Omar called Kilmeade’s attack “dangerous incitement.” And, appearing on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert Wednesday night, Omar pointed out what she said was a double standard: Some critics accused her of anti-Semitism for referring to White House adviser Stephen Miller as a white nationalist — Miller is Jewish — though white men including Colbert and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) have done the same without being accused of anti-Semitism.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the only other Muslim woman ever elected to Congress, responded to the cover by accusing the Post of taking Omar’s quotes out of context and “endangering” Omar’s life.
The NY Post knows exactly what it's doing – taking quotes out of context and evoking painful imagery to spread hate and endangering the life of Rep. Omar. Shame on them, and shame on Rupert Murdoch.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) April 11, 2019
As the Guardian pointed out, a minute before her comment about CAIR’s founding, Omar recognized the existence of terrorists and their outsized place in the public perception of Islam: “It doesn’t matter how good you are if you one day find yourself in a school where other religions are talked about, but when Islam is mentioned, we are only talking about terrorists, and if you say something you are sent to the principal’s office.”
And Omar herself retweeted another response from fellow freshman Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA):
@Ilhan full comments clearly speak to post 9/11 #Islamophobia Manipulating her remarks is defaming & dangerous for her & her family. Stop with this recklessness. @rupertmurdoch this is on you – stoking hate, fear & division, putting REAL lives at risk. Shame on you. https://t.co/fpemnGxQKk
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) April 11, 2019
This post has been updated.