Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe called President Donald Trump “a reckless fomenter and inciter of murder” for his attack on Representative Ilhan Omar.
The Minnesota congresswoman said on Sunday that she had received an increase in death threats since Trump tweeted a clip that fused footage of her speaking with clips from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“But for Trump’s hate-filled anti-Muslim provocations against [Representative Ilhan Omar], this death threat would’ve been less likely. When are we going to wake up and start calling Trump what he is: a reckless fomenter and inciter of murder? Remember Charlottesville?” Tribe tweeted on Monday.
Trump drew extensive backlash after the 2017 rally of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he said that there were “very fine people, on both sides.” James Alex Fields killed counter protester Heather Heyer when he drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters.
Trump has now provoked backlash, with some figures calling for his Twitter account to be suspended, for attacking Omar with the tweet, which he posted on Friday.
Republicans have used a small section of a speech Omar gave last month to claim she is minimizing the attacks.
“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” she said, incorrectly noting the creation date of CAIR, which was founded in 1994.
Critics of Omar have focused on her remarks that “some people did something.” Her defenders have said that the president is inciting violence, a charge which White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has denied.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Senator Bernie Sanders criticized the president. Rashida Tlaib, who along with Omar is one the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, also took aim at the Democratic leadership for not more harshly criticizing Trump.
“They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse. 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,” she tweeted on Saturday.
Tlaib’s comments came after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter “The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence. The president shouldn’t use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack.”
Trump repeatedly criticized Islam during the 2016 presidential election, and some analysts have argued the president’s attacks on Omar are part of his 2020 election strategy. Others have also noted Trump’s history of criticizing Omar and said that he is focused on her because of her identity.
“We have seen that this kind of rhetoric gives oxygen to violence.” Dalia Mogahed, the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, said while speaking Sunday on MSNBC . “These are Islamophobic tropes based on misinformation. Why Ilhan keeps getting targeted is because she is an unapologetic black Muslim woman, and her real crime in the eyes of those attacking her is that she dares to speak out and to act like she’s equal. She doesn’t know her place, in their eyes,” she added.
“She is the face of the future. She is a progressive Congresswoman who did not get elected to be silent, and that’s what scares them.”
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