Legislators' fight over Ilhan Omar 9/11 poster leads to injury & resignation

Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar

A poster connecting Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar to the September 11 terror attacks sparked a chaotic scene at the West Virginia statehouse on Friday, where lawmakers got into heated arguments and one staffer was injured, a report said. The posters show the burning Twin Towers set above a picture of Omar, who is Muslim and wears a hijab. "Not in the country that I love".

"I can not understand why it is so hard for my Republican colleagues to say it is wrong to display an Islamophobic, hateful poster in the Capitol this morning", Mike Pushkin, a Democratic member of the House of Delegates said on Twitter.

The West Virginia Register-Herald reported that Brenda Arthur, a local representative of ACT for America who also presented before the House of Delegates' homeland security committee in 2017, was responsible for the poster.

According to Democratic Delegate Mike Angelucci, Lieberman said "all Muslims are terrorists".

The display was outside the House of Delegates chamber as part of a "Republicans Take the Rotunda" event.

Del. Mike Caputo, the House minority whip and a Democrat, admitted to kicking open the chamber doors out of anger, an act that reportedly injured a doorkeeper.

The House has 59 Republicans and 41 Democrats. He said no Republicans condemned the display.

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"Our party supports freedom of speech, but we do not endorse speech that advances intolerant and hateful views", West Virginia Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter wrote in a statement, which added that they did not approve of the sign and had asked the exhibitor to remove it. "I'll own it", he said, per West Virginia Public Radio.

"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.

"We owe it to ourselves; we owe it our constituents; we owe it to the men and women and children and families that we represent to do better than we are", Hanshaw told lawmakers. "The West Virginia House of Delegates unequivocally rejects hate in all of its forms", he said in a statement later.

Rep. Omar, a refugee from Somalia who immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was young, tweeted that she had been receiving some threats recently.

"Look no further, the GOP's anti-Muslim display likening me to terrorist rocks in the state capitols and no one is condemning them!"

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said she invoked a "vile anti-Semitic slur" by questioning "the loyalty of fellow American citizens due to their political views, including support for the US-Israel relationship".

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