Talk about an incendiary situation!
A poster linking Rep. Omar to the 9/11 terrorist attacks was put up at the West Virginia State House and it caused a fierce reaction to break out….including a fight!
Here’s the full image that caused the uproar:
And here's more:
Omar herself was quick to respond:
Here's more on the story, from NPR:
A day after a sign at an event sponsored by the Republican Party of West Virginia linked one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the head of the state GOP is putting distance between the party and the poster.
The sign led to a spat, an injury, an official's resignation and potential disciplinary action against a lawmaker.
It sat on display outside the House of Delegates chamber on Friday during a series of events around the state capitol for West Virginia's GOP Day. The poster featured a photo of New York's World Trade Center, ablaze on Sep. 11, 2001 with a caption that read "'NEVER FORGET' - YOU SAID.." Just below that was a photo of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who wears a hijab. The caption attached to that image read, "I AM PROOF - YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN."
On Saturday, State Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter said the display was not affiliated with the party in any way.
"The West Virginia Republican Party does not approve, condone, or support hate speech," she said in a statement. "One of the exhibitors at our West Virginia Republican Party Day at the Capitol displayed a sign that we did not approve, were not aware of before the day started, and we do not support." The party immediately asked the exhibitor to take the sign down, Potter said.
West Virginia State Senate President, Republican Mitch Carmichael, also denounced the sign. "We must be strong in our resolve to stand up and speak out against fear and hatred when we see it, and we absolutely condemn the kind of behavior that was on display in our own State Capitol," he said in a statement.
Others in the party pointed to the First Amendment when discussing the matter.
"While I may not agree with everything that is out there, I do agree that freedom of speech is something we have to protect," Del. Dianna Graves said.
Responses were swift online:
Here's more from CNN:
An anti-Muslim poster associating US Rep. Ilhan Omar with the September 11 attacks appeared Friday at a Republican-sponsored public gathering at the West Virginia statehouse, creating a firestorm of controversy that apparently led one official to resign.
The poster, featuring pictures of Omar and the terror attacks in a fashion of an Internet meme, was displayed behind a table during WVGOP Day at the Capitol, an event in which the West Virginia Republican Party had invited the public to the Capitol's upper rotunda.
The state GOP denounced the sign, saying that an exhibitor had put it up without its knowledge and that it demanded its removal.
Omar, a Minnesota Democrat who became one of the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress last year, branded it as "the GOP's anti-Muslim display."
"No wonder why I am on the 'Hitlist' of a domestic terrorist and 'Assassinate Ilhan Omar' is written on my local gas stations," the Somali-American posted to Twitter on Friday. "Look no further, the GOP's anti-Muslim display likening me to a terrorist rocks in state capitols and no one is condemning them!"
Her mention of a hit list refers to recent news in which a US Coast Guard officer was accused of writing a hit list of prominent Democrats and journalists. Court documents say the congresswoman was named on that list.
Friday's incidents came as Omar has come under criticism from members of both parties for suggesting that pro-Israel groups effectively buy off politicians and push allegiance to a foreign country.
The poster created tumult at the Capitol in Charleston, some 750 miles away from Omar's Minneapolis-area congressional district.
With images and text, the display suggested that Omar's election is proof that Americans have forgotten the September 11 attacks.
The poster's top picture was of the World Trade Center's twin towers engulfed in smoke and flames, topped with the words, " 'Never forget' -- you said."
The bottom picture was of Omar, accompanied by the words, "I am the proof -- you have forgotten."
Arguments ensued in the rotunda over the poster, involving even lawmakers who were in the building for a House session, WCHS reported.
A state lawmaker has alleged that during these arguments, a different woman -- Anne Lieberman, the House sergeant-at-arms -- countered criticisms of the sign by equating all Muslims with terrorists.
Lieberman eventually resigned Friday. Her short resignation letter, read by a House clerk while the chamber was in session, did not mention her reasons for the resignation or the allegation against her.