Rep. Ilhan Omar responds to criticism from 9/11 victim’s family

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar responded Sunday to criticism from the son of a victim of the 9/11 terror attacks over comments she made earlier this year.

Omar was criticized by Nicholas Haros Jr., whose mother died in the World Trade Center attacks, during a remembrance ceremony at Ground Zero in New York City last week. Haros Jr. wore a shirt with the words, “Some people did something.”

On CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday morning, Omar was asked about Haros Jr.’s comment and if she understood why her March remarks before the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in which she said, “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something” offended some people. Omar said she was speaking to how the attacks affected her as a Muslim and an American.

“So 9/11 was an attack on all Americans. It was an attack on all of us and I certainly could not understand the weight of the pain that the victims of the families of 9/11 must feel, but I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not forgetting the aftermath of what happened after 9/11,” she said Sunday. “Many Americans found themselves now having their civil rights stripped from them, and so what I was speaking to was the fact that as a Muslim, not only was I suffering as an American who was attacked on that day, but the next day I woke up as my fellow Americans were now treating me as a suspect.”

In April, President Donald Trump tweeted a video using 9/11 imagery attacking Omar’s remarks, but the under-a-minute video that Trump posted did not include Omar’s comments in context. The congresswoman — who was defended by Democrats while conservative circles heavily criticized her comments — said at the time that she had experienced an increase in death threats.

Haros Jr. told CNN on Wednesday that Omar’s previous remarks “hurt me personally, my family, and other victims of 9/11 families,” also saying, “I felt as a son of a victim to step up and set the record straight.”

On Wednesday, 18 years to the day of the 9/11 attacks, Omar tweeted from her personal account that “September 11th was an attack on all of us,” adding: “I will continue to fight to make sure we care for the first responders and families who lost loved ones.” A video of Omar expressing how the 9/11 attacks affected her was also tweeted from her congressional account.

Haros Jr. told CNN that Omar “showed respect for the loss of families. And that was a good thing.”