That visibility, along with her fierce criticism of Republicans, has made her the target of right-wing bigotry in the form of violent threats and anti-Muslim smears. Omar’s name also appeared on a list of targets of a recently-arrested Coast Guard officer who was plotting acts of domestic terror.
On Friday the Congresswoman took to Twitter to share some of the abuse she’s been subjected to which has included both an instance of gas station graffiti that read “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” and, shockingly, a poster displayed at the West Virginia Capitol that pictured Omar beneath a photo of the 9/11 terror attacks and the words: “Never Forget – You Said… I Am The Proof You Have Forgotten.”
A photo of the poster was shared by a delegate in the WV House, who condemned it, and then cited by Omar who blamed the GOP’s Islamophobic rhetoric for the threats being made against her.
According to BuzzFeed News the poster was on display outside the House of Delegates chamber during a Republican Party event called “WV GOP Day.” BuzzFeed News reports that according to local media the poster was the work of a conservative group called ACT For America, though the group has reportedly denied this.
Regardless of its authorship what’s not in dispute is that the anti-Muslim poster was on display in the state Capitol at an event organized by the West Virginia Republican Party.
Omar’s colleagues Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib came to the congresswoman’s defense on Twitter, condemning the bigoted display.
When racism becomes acceptable on a partisan basis, and official GOP groups begin to use it to demonize communities, it puts real people in danger.@IlhanMN, I am sorry these threats are being targeted on you.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 2, 2019
Praying for your safety. https://t.co/G6tCVHOEfS
Yet another display of racism by the GOP. I urge my colleagues to speak up & condemn this. @IlhanMN is being targeted just because of who she is. If folks stay quiet it will only continue.What does the silence say about us? We need political courage right now to help combat this. https://t.co/P48tamj88O— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 2, 2019
Other citizens also added their voices to the conversation, decrying the ugly anti-Muslim bigotry of the poster.
Absolutely horrible to see this blatant Islamophobic smear. Bigotry and dog-whistles of all kind are unacceptable. Whether its anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, or any kind of hatred, we must call it out when we see it. https://t.co/WLIq9tfa7N— Eliot Engel (@RepEliotEngel) March 2, 2019
This is Islamophobia through and through, @wvgop. One may disagree with @Ilhan‘s views or denounce her statements —as I have in recent weeks—as part of civil discourse, but this display of hate is totally reprehensible. https://t.co/5xQ5be45jp— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) March 3, 2019
To be 100% clear, being an observing Muslim, loving freedom, the USA and the rule of law is possible and is demonstrated by millions of Muslims in the USA and several in Congress. Stop this drivel. It’s dangerous.— Ibrahim (@ialhusseini) March 3, 2019
Disgusting slander of a person, who is a member of the House of Rep., on the basis of their religion. Who can get this removed?— Melanie Ehrlich (@MuscleCell) March 1, 2019
The entire GOP is just a Facebook meme at this point.— Ken Goodrich (@KenGoodrich) March 2, 2019
That is the leadership of West Virginia. In the citizens of this great state wonder why we are 49th and 50th in everything. Horrible leadership! Wake up West Virginians— Patrick Davis (@Davis1Pj) March 1, 2019
What is going on?! We have apparently lost our minds, our decency, and our democratic ideals and all it has taken us is 2.5 years of unfettered bigotry from the mouth of the man who claims the White House for it all to be OK and endorsed by other bigots. I thought we were better https://t.co/fcIoITjNB0— Deborah Burke (@Deborah65770486) March 4, 2019
Vile. https://t.co/wwjj2Rm8W7— Howard Swerdloff (@GerminalUSA) March 3, 2019
Yes, the GOP in West Virginia are racist. https://t.co/Ox00FuHNTj— Sal Martinez (@SMartinez85) March 3, 2019
These asshole Republicans using @IlhanMN as a lightning rod are going to get someone killed.— Dick Grimm (@BogusDickGrimm) March 2, 2019
Maybe some imbalanced nutjob will take out their hatred on a random Muslim or Sikh they encounter.
It's irresponsible & dangerous to focus on minority personalities rather than issues. https://t.co/TAv4OcDnxx
Her courage is an inspiration to people all over the world. It's a horrible reflection on us all that such ignorance is so blatantly approved by any American!— We are the World (@YIDidNotVoteHRC) March 4, 2019
What the hell? https://t.co/CtdbUvgtJR
Are there any Republicans left in office that are not a bigot or racist? https://t.co/eeCyPLoqjJ— tim looper (@tm_looper) March 3, 2019
h/t: BuzzFeed News