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Ilhan Omar: The amount of hate speech online is at a crisis level – American Politics

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Ilhan Omar: The amount of hate speech online is at a crisis level


U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN) takes part in a discussion on “Impacts of Phobia in Our Civic and Political Discourse” during the Muslim Caucus Education Collective’s conference in Washington, U.S., July 23, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)


Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minnisotta) slammed social media platforms Facebook and Twitter for not taking seriously their role in spreading white nationalism and misinformation.

“We need to create a culture that doesn’t tolerate hate as a normal part of political discourse,” Omar said. “The amount of hate speech that’s allowed to flourish online is at a crisis level. A report released just yesterday studied my own Twitter mentions. They found that almost 60% of the accounts that mentioned me used explicit hate speech whether it was in regards to Islamophobia or anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

She continued: “Most of those tweets were from automated accounts. In other words, the hate is being fueled is coming from a small group of people that are acting as agitators. We get these sort of attacks that are designed to intimidate us. It was inundated with these attacks after the Christchurch massacre took place. My sister, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got this following threat: ‘Attention Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and ragheads Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. I was totally excited and pleased when I heard 49 Muslims were killed and many more were wounded in New Zealand. This is a great start. Let’s hope and pray that it continues here in the good old USA. The only good Muslim is a dead one.'”

She added that this letter wasn’t a unique instance. Rather, Omar explained, “It’s a regular feature of being a Muslim member of Congress, and especially worse when you are a visibly Muslim woman in Congress. As I say always, I survived. I can survive this. It is true right as members of Congress, we have lots of protection and resources that we can deploy to protect ourselves. What I worry about is the millions of Muslims, refugees and black women around the country who do not have that protection but are identifiable with me and it becomes clear that these technological platforms do not take seriously their role in providing a platform for white nationalists to spew the hate and dangerous misinformation in this country.”

Omar is a controversial figure in American politics. She, along with her fellow members of “the Squad,” have been seen by many on the Right as the forefront of the Democratic Party‘s ever-increasing extremism. She has been a vocal critic of US President Donald Trump, and the two have often made disparaging remarks towards each other over social media, including Trump infamously calling for her, a Somalian immigrant, to “go back where she came from.”

Omar has often been accused of propagating hate speech as well, particularly antisemitism. She has been accused of being antisemitic and, due to her vocal support of the BDS movement, was barred from entering Israel along with fellow member of “the Squad,” Rashida Tlaib.


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