Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.
There are plenty of spaces on social media where politicians would be well-advised to exercise a bit of restraint. Take Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Twitter account. Please.
Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, managed to go bad-viral again when she used a video of singing Christians on an airplane to try to make what one assumes was an oblique point about “Islamophobia.” Instead, she ended up getting shut down.
(This isn’t Omar’s first troubling tweet — and we’ve chronicled her troubling social media history, which is rife with anti-Semitism. We’ll continue to hold her to account — as well as the Democrats who refuse to come down on her. You can help us keep our politicians honest by subscribing.)
So, a bit of backstory: According to the New York Daily News, the original video, which made the rounds on Easter Sunday, was posted by Jack Jensz Jr., who leads a congregation known as Kingdom Realm Ministries. His group is currently in Europe aiding refugees from Ukraine.
The internet sleuths at TMZ found the clip was posted to Jensz’s Facebook page on April 9, apparently on a flight to Germany. It wasn’t clear from the Facebook post whether the flight was commercial or charter.
When it went viral over Easter weekend, this is the kind of response it typically got — in this case from Hugh McIntyre, who covers music for Forbes:
This but it’s me singing Lindsay Lohan’s “Rumors” for the entirety of a cross-country flight.pic.twitter.com/XeiLd52UmB
— Hugh McIntyre (@PopBangHugh) April 16, 2022
Omar was less … indulgent.
“I think my family and I should have a prayer session next time I am on a plane. How do you think it will end?” she tweeted on Saturday — Holy Saturday to Christians around the world.
I think my family and I should have a prayer session next time I am on a plane. How do you think it will end? pic.twitter.com/5696Erwsl5
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 17, 2022
You get the context, of course: Because Ilhan Omar is Muslim, she’ll be dragged off the flight by air marshals. Off to Gitmo with her!
To answer her question, first: I can guarantee it will end better for her and her family than it will for McIntyre if he sings Lindsay Lohan’s “Rumors” — or anything else by Lindsay Lohan, while we’re at it.
Second, it likely would have ended uneventfully. Her tweet, however, not so much — since the Christian-baiting nature of it didn’t go over quite so well.
“One thing upon which we can depend: Ilhan Omar /CAIR is a perpetual participant in the Oppression Olympics,” tweeted Asra Q. Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal writer and education activist who is herself a Muslim. “And as Easter begins, she has to compete with a Christian ‘prayer session.'”
One thing upon which we can depend: Ilhan Omar /CAIR is a perpetual participant in the Oppression Olympics. And as Easter begins, she has to compete with a Christian “prayer session.” 🤦🏻♀️ https://t.co/QNrTNVQew4
— Asra Q. Nomani 🐾 (@AsraNomani) April 17, 2022
Writer Shant Mesrobian tweeted, “A member of Congress is supposed to have the restraint and maturity to not post a stupid, random, old video that for some reason is going viral right now as a way to score religious culture war points on a holy day for millions of people around the world.”
A member of Congress is supposed to have the restraint and maturity to not post a stupid, random, old video that for some reason is going viral right now as a way to score religious culture war points on a holy day for millions of people around the world. https://t.co/XOBBEwFBcM
— Shant Mesrobian (@ShantMM) April 17, 2022
Some urged her to calm down: “Relax, it’s just a guitar and a guy singing,” one user tweeted.
Relax, it’s just a guitar and a guy singing. https://t.co/rnkKYt9cA8
— Joe Pilot, MD (@JoeSilverman7) April 17, 2022
Others noted Omar seemed to be taking umbrage with Christianity more so than making a valid point about Islamophobia:
Why is a sitting congresswoman having a problem with people expressing their faith over a Holy Week/weekend? https://t.co/Fvo8amSXYb
— Trump is my President 🇺🇸 (@MAGAALLTHEWAY) April 17, 2022
I think you should shut up and stop being a bigot. https://t.co/8OoiuZsRGN
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) April 17, 2022
And, as businessman Avi Kaner noted, this was “Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN attacks a group of Christian volunteers on an @easyJet flight in Europe delivering aid to Ukraine, because they’re singing. She has no idea about what transpired and whether or not it was approved. But it’s suddenly about her.”
Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN attacks a group of Christian volunteers on an @easyJet flight in Europe delivering aid to Ukraine 🇺🇦, because they’re singing. She has no idea about what transpired and whether or not it was approved. But it’s suddenly about her. https://t.co/uELEsEbq8D
— Avi Kaner ابراهيم אבי (@AviKaner) April 17, 2022
As usual, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro cut to the chase.
You can’t whine about public practice of your religion and then demand respect for the public practice of your religion. As a religious Jew, this country is better with MORE of this, not less. https://t.co/zHuCECnxee
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 18, 2022
Conservative commentator and former New York Police Department officer John Cardillo may have had the best point, however:
Without issue. I’ve been on many flights with Muslims saying a prayer before takeoff. No one cares. https://t.co/KPl6IMUEOf
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) April 17, 2022
As someone who flies in and out of Muslim countries frequently, I can tell you that Muslim passengers often pray before takeoff. In the United States, I’ve been on domestic flights where this happened, too.
Forget any kind of criminal charge or nervous passenger reporting these individuals to the crew — I don’t remember even seeing anyone paying undue attention to them.
As always, though, this is about Ilhan the persecuted. In her view, she apparently lives in a country that is unduly cruel to her just because of her religion.
To Omar, we focus too much on 9/11 — like, for instance, the time she generated controversy by saying the terrorist attack that killed almost 3,000 Americans and plunged the country into war was an occasion upon which “some people did something.”
If she thought tweeting this video with a snarky comment was a way to prove her point, she was wrong.
But, hey — way to score points dunking on the congregation of Christians heading to Europe to help Ukrainian refugees. I’m sure that delivered your message swimmingly, Rep. Omar.
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