Tlaib hits top Dems over silence on Trump's Islamophobic Ilhan Omar attack


Rashida Tlaib. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Rashida Tlaib.

Rashida Tlaib over the weekend slammed top Democrats for failing to defend Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Islamophobic attacks by Donald Trump and other Republicans.

Omar and Tlaib are the nation's first Muslim Congresswomen, and Omar is facing criticism for comments regarding 9-11 that Trump and other Republicans have taken out of context.

"They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse," Tlaib wrote in her Saturday tweet. "However, when we ask to be at the table, or speak up about issues that impact who we are, what we fight for & why we ran in the first place, we are ignored. To truly honor our diversity is to never silence us."

Last week, Trump and the New York Post, which is owned by Fox News media mogul Rupert Murdoch, each used images of planes crashing into the twin towers. The Post put the image on its front page while Trump on Friday tweeted a poorly edited video using Omar's out-of-context comments. Omar said she's been receiving more death threats since then.

Tlaib and other progressive Democrats, as well as some 2020 candidates, immediately defended Omar. By the end of the day Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a mild rebuke of Trump that didn't mention Omar and asked Capitol Police to "safeguard" her.

The centrist Dem leaders silent on the controversy are mostly the same ones who in recent months criticized Omar over her comments about the influence of the pro-Israel lobby, some labeling her "anti-Semitic." However, they don't seem interested in speaking up when the president and GOP make Islamophobic attacks against Omar, who is a black woman. Most Democratic leaders take a lot of money from the pro-Israel lobby.

On Saturday afternoon, Omar offered a clear explanation of why she's standing up to Trump and other GOP leaders, even when her own party won't. She also thanked those who have rushed to her side.

“I did not run for Congress to be silent. I did not run for Congress to sit on the sidelines,” she tweeted. “I ran because I believed it was time to restore moral clarity and courage to Congress. To fight and to defend our democracy.”

“Thank you for standing with me ― against an administration that ran on banning Muslims from this country ― to fight for the America we all deserve,” she added.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.