Over the weekend, Rep. Ilhan Omar made an appearance at a Seattle-area fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Her appearance not only drew protesters but socialist counter-protesters showed up, as well. The event, which was held on Saturday in Bellevue, Washinton, had tight security. As Omar spoke, protesters criticized her controversial comments, some of which were considered anti-Semitic.
Omar’s appearance also brought support from a socialist political group. Liberation, the Newspaper of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, announced Monday that members of the socialist Community & Labor Against Fascism (CLAF) carried signs reading “Solidarity with Ilhan Omar” and “We stand with our Muslim neighbors.”
The newspaper branded those that stood against Omar at the event as “fascist,” while celebrating Omar’s time in Congress. According to the paper, “Omar, the first Somali American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, has been the focus point of a disgustingly racist and Islamophobic campaign. She has spoken out against U.S. support for Israel, against U.S. war on Venezuela, for Muslim civil rights and against abortion bans.”
The newspaper continued by saying that the far-left group “militantly and non-violently” defended the area near the main entrance of the event even as “police allowed hostile right-wingers to move out of what had become their ‘zone’ and wade into the crowd of anti-fascists.” The Liberation website wrote: “As CLAF activists sang ‘We Shall Not Be Moved,’ an organizer with the Ilhan Omar event came out and thanked the anti-fascist demonstrators for their support.”
According to Crosscut, police from different departments had been for preparing for the event at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue for at least two weeks. Their training was in anticipation of a large number of protesters. The sold-out event brought in approximately 700 people. According to the paper, authorities had said that they had to prepare for every possible scenario, including an assassination attempt on Omar’s life.
Omar has consistently faced criticism ever since she took office, whether it was because of her poor choice of words or for her far-left views. On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz called out Omar after she wrote a now-deleted tweet about creating a merit-based immigration system that would disadvantage Latino migrants.
Omar said that a “merit based” immigration policy is fueled by racism towards the Latinx community.” She continued by adding: “Our immigration policies shouldn’t be based on discrimination, fear, or bigotry. We should welcome immigrants to our country and offer a simple way to citizenship.” This caused Cruz to accuse Omar of suggesting that Hispanic immigrants couldn’t qualify for skill-based legal immigration.
Cruz tweeted: “As the son of a Cuban immigrant whose Dad came to get a math degree & become a computer programmer, I’m troubled that Dems seem to believe Hispanic immigrants can’t qualify for skills-based legal immigration. Bringing in more scientists, engineers & doctors is good for US jobs,” he tweeted. Earlier this year, President Trump publicly condemned Omar after she described the terror attacks on September 11 as “some people did something” while at a fundraiser for a Muslim group in March.
Trump received a bit of criticism after tweeting a video of those comments, edited together with the images of the twin towers burning down. In the tweet, Trump wrote: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” Recently, Vice President Mike Pence and State Secretary Mike Pompeo called out the Democrat after she defended socialist dictator Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. She also said that the U.S. actions are responsible for the country’s misery.
During last week’s program of “Democracy Now,” Omar said: “A lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela and we have sort of set the stage for where we are arriving today.” She continued by saying: “This particular bullying and the use of sanctions to eventually intervene and make regime change really does not help the people of countries like Venezuela and it certainly does not help and is not in the interest of the United States.”