Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of two Muslim lawmakers in the current Congress, called on US Muslims to "raise hell" and "make people uncomfortable" in the face of discrimination, The Washington Times reported Sunday.
"So, to me, I say raise hell. Make people uncomfortable", Omar said during her speech at at a fundraiser hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Greater Los Angeles in California.
"Because here's the truth, here's the truth: Far too long, we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly I'm tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it", she said, to cheers from the audience.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) claims that Muslims in the U.S. are “second-class citizens,” encourages them to “raise hell, make people uncomfortable” pic.twitter.com/BfsaefdZ8E— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) 24 марта 2019 г.
She also said US President Donald Trump bore responsibility for the 15 March New Zealand mosque shooting.
"The reason I think many of us knew this was going to get worse is we finally have a leader, a world leader in the White House, who publicly says that Islam hates us, who fuels hate against Muslims", she said.
Omar did not elaborate on what she meant by "raising hell". However, many Twitter users claiming to be Muslims objected to her speech, saying Muslims in the US have to put a lot of effort into creating a friendly image of themselves and that is what they should keep doing instead.
I am a muslim and @IlhanMN has it all wrong. Muslims in the West should work really hard so that everyone has no choice but to like them. Thats what got me to med school. It doesn't mean raising hell. I hope she said that metaphorically and not literally— Hamza Khan (@HamzaK_HK) 24 марта 2019 г.
As she spoke, hundreds of protesters carrying American and Israeli flags, as well as various Trump paraphernalia, protested outside, accusing Omar of hate speech and anti-Semitism.
"Omar Equals Hate", one banner read, according to The Washington Times report. "Ilhan hates Israel", read another.
Well maybe if they didn't act like 2nd class citizens and actually tried to assimilate and embrace our culture instead of trying to impose their will and barbarian customs on us, sharia law and funding terrorists groups, we might accept them.— 🇺🇸 🐾Lori🐾 🇺🇸💕 (@13thGenPatriot) 24 марта 2019 г.
I would ask if she’s subtly inciting terrorism, but there’s not much subtle about it— The Venezuelan Conservative 🇺🇸 (@venezuelancon) 24 марта 2019 г.
Second class citizen? You are holding an office in the USA!— Sandylsea (@sandylsea) 24 марта 2019 г.
@SpeakerPelosi and @SenateDems — how do you feel about the hatred being spewed by @IlhanMN Omar? Do you have what it takes to lead this nation with inclusive policies or is it going to be all about vote bank politics?— Chowkidar Varun Khanna ॐ 🇮🇳 वरुन 🇺🇸 (@varunkhanna) 25 марта 2019 г.
CAIR says its mission is "to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims". The organisation has gained notoriety over accusations of being a branch of Hamas and Hezbollah, Middle Eastern movements considered to be terror groups in the US and some other countries — allegations that the group denies. In 2017, the Centre for Security Policy, a far-right Washington-based think tank itself criticised by hate watch groups like the Southern Poverty Law Centre, published a book entitled "CAIR Is Hamas: How the Federal Government Proved that the Council on American-Islamic Relations is a Front for Terrorism".