One of the first ever Muslim members of the US Congress has said that a tweet by President Donald Trump has led to an increase in threats against her life.
Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar said the threats were sparked by “violent rhetoric” accusing Mr Trump of stoking right-wing extremism. “It has to stop,” she added.
It comes after Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, announced a new “security assessment to safeguard” the lawmaker.
The tweet showed Ms Omar talking to a US-Muslim group about the 9/11 attacks.
On Monday Mr Trump stepped up his attacks against Ms Omar, calling her “out of control”
He also said Mrs Pelosi “should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful US HATE statements Omar has made” before defending her.
Congresswoman Omar has become a lightning rod for criticism following her 2018 election.
Mr Trump tweeted on Friday “WE WILL NEVER FORGET” alongside a 43-second edited video showing footage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, spliced with a speech by Ms Omar.
“Some people did something” she is seen saying, in between footage of planes hitting the World Trade Center, damage to the Pentagon and people fleeing buildings.
Democrats claimed the video does not provide context to Ms Omar’s 20-minute speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on March 23.
She was discussing civil rights for Muslim Americans in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
CAIR, she said, was founded “because they recognised that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties”
Republican critics said that her comment “some people did something” was offensive to the nearly 3,000 Americans killed in the attacks.
In a statement on Sunday, Ms Omar said: “Since the president’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life – many directly referring or replying to the president’s video”
She thanked security officials for “their attention to these threats” and accused Mr Trump of fuelling a rise in “violent crimes and other acts of hate by right-wing extremists and white nationalists”.
She also expressed concern that Mr Trump’s visit to her home state of Minnesota on Monday could lead to an increase in hate crimes and assaults.
“Violent rhetoric and all forms of hate speech have no place in our society, much less from our country’s Commander in Chief.” –BBC