Two peas in a pod



I started writing this piece around the 18th anniversary of 9/11. The words of Ilhan Omar were ringing in my ear from a speech she gave at a CAIR conference.  And now she is supporting Bernie Sanders  who is Jewish, and has defended Omar,who is pro-BDS, against criticism from Democrats and Republicans over her past remarks about Israel. Two peas in a pod.

Her words are far more important, now. And the ringing is reaching a crescendo.

At the conference she said:

“Because here’s the truth — here’s the truth: Far too long, we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. 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.”

Let’s take a moment and learn a bit about CAIR-which in Canada is NCCM.

First of all, it was not founded after 9/11.

CAIR was founded in 1994 following a meeting of the US Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, in Philadelphia, which the Department of Justice has described as a covert organization established to support Hamas.

CAIR stands for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. According to its website, CAIR exists “to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America.” It annually issues reports on the status of American Muslim civil rights; reports on its website date back to 1996.

In 2007, CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case that found Holy Land Foundation responsible for siphoning more than $12 million to Hamas. A 2009 ruling by US District Court Judge Jorge A. Solis determined that CAIR is Hamas. In 2014, CAIR was designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

In 2013 CAIR Canada became the National Council of Canadians Muslims (NCCM)  “We remain the same organization our constituents and partners have come to rely on to represent a broad and diverse spectrum of Canadian Muslims.”

Omar is truly disturbed that Muslims in America are being treated as “second-class” citizens.

Do you remember traveling by plane, train and automobile before September 11, 2001? I do. My children do, but my grandchildren have no idea. They never experienced arriving at the airport about one hour before flight time and board thirty minutes later.

What happened? Well according to Ilhan Omar “…some people…”

Because of “…some people…” we spend billions of dollars on security around the world to prevent another terror attack. We spend time in lines; whether at airports or stadiums; going through metal detectors and pat downs. Assumed guilty until proven innocent, because of “…some people…” I hear complaints about the no-fly list. Someone’s name gets on by mistake.  Well, I have been threatened with a strip search. Because I look like a terrorist and act like one. I have been pulled out of line as I waited to go through the gate. I have been chosen as the random person for extra screening more times than I can remember.  All because of “…some people…”

Now back to her speech and   “…some people…” said with a dismissive flick of the wrist.  Those…”some people”… attacked America‘s financial centre, military headquarters and without the courage of the passengers of Flight 93, could have taken out the White house. This was an act of war just as the attack on Pearl Harbor was an act of war. Can you imagine someone referring to the people how attacked Pearl Harbor as “…some people…”?

Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said  he “saw nothing wrong” with Rep. Ilhan Omar’s controversial comment about 9/11. Wow, Homeland Security is AOK with Omar demeaning the attack on America. I know that makes me feel all warm and cozy.

And this was not the first attack by “…some people…” on the World Trade Center. There was a failure in 1993. I remember. My eldest was at school in New York City.

When Omar was confronted with her words and the shock that resulted from them, she had an answer. And as happens all too often, today, her answer was rooted in identity, victimology politics.

Omar noted the “very fascinating people outside” the conference and said she found the irony “very entertaining” that many say Islam oppresses women but that “today they gather outside to protest a Muslim woman who is in Congress.” Ahh yes. She is the victim of her religion. Except they were not protesting/oppressing a Muslim woman. They were protesting a member of Congress for dismissing the evil of 9/11.

Omar argued that even a “good Muslim” may find roadblocks in the United States — and that that was the moment to stand up for one’s rights. “Once you are willing to stand up for yourself … then others will show up for you,” she said. She ticked off several examples, such as a Muslim being unable to find a place to pray in a hospital, even in “a country that was founded on religious liberty.”  I don’t know what hospitals she is talking about. I am a hospital chaplain and every hospital I have visited has had a quiet room; for prayer. Prayer for all people who wish to pray.

And then, of course, she is a woman; she is not white. And she is a Muslim.  All that intersectionality protecting her from criticism. Omar is being defended by the left. Why are people justifying and excusing her words? Ahhh, she’s new to Congress.  Hmmm. Lack of language skills, perhaps? Just misunderstood. Rep. Rashida Tlaib explained that her words were taken out of context. “They do that all the time, especially women of color, they take our words out of context because they’re afraid because we speak truth, we speak truth to power.”

Were her anti-Semitic tropes straight out of the Nazi handbook, also misunderstood? Taken out of context? Here is one of my favourites: on Twitter

“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

She is given a pass, a mulligan. She’s just young, or inexperienced, or a woman, or not-white, a Muslim. So we have to give her more leeway. And by giving her excuses these same people infantilize her and demean her.

Because that is the way of the Progressive left. Yes, different rules for different people. Hate can come from the mouths of some and be excused. And her hate is endorsed by the Democrat party: Their silence is collusion.

After all, we are far more concerned about Islamophobia than holding people to account. Only in a country where the #IslamophobiaIndustry has taken hold could “someone” like Ilhan Omar get away with demeaning 9/11, the people who were murdered and those who stood up to her.

Islamophobia: fear of criticizing “…some people…” for fear of being attacked by the mob.

Now that is an irrational fear of Islam.

I leave with the words of Barack Obama.

In 2014 President Obama sent these wishes to the Muslim community

“While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.

In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy. That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.”

Addressing the Islamic Society of Baltimore on February 3, 2016, former U.S. president Barack Obama declared,

“it is possible to be faithful to Islam and to be part of a pluralistic society… and to believe in democracy.

President Obama said in 2016:

”So let’s start with this fact:  For more than a thousand years, people have been drawn to Islam’s message of peace.   We are all God’s children.  We’re all born equal, with inherent dignity.


From the Ethics of the Fathers: “Rabbi Tarfon used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it.”