Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar is no stranger to expressing hatred for the United States. Her visit to Qatar last week for the World Cup proved to be no exception when she conflated the Middle Eastern country’s persistent human rights violations to American history.
While Omar noted she is aware of the criticisms Qatar faces for its use of fatal migrant labor practices, she said she believes Qatar’s questionable human rights track record should not taint the country’s image. “I don’t think that should really negate the fact that this being held in Qatar is historic, and there are a lot of people who are celebrating that historic achievement,” Omar said.
While in Qatar, Omar met with Qatari foreign minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and allegedly raised concerns about some of the country’s dubious practices. But in the end, Omar chalked up Qatar’s problems to a global failure to reach perfection — and compared the human rights abuser to the United States.
“In the world that we’re living in right now, and the way in which we understand history, there are no perfect countries that have a perfect record,” she told Insider. “We are slated to host the World Cup next with Mexico and Canada. I wonder what kinds of conversations will be had, and how many people will object to that happening with the history of indigenous people, of enslavement, of police brutality.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who joined Omar’s trip to the tournament, opted to call Qatar “an imperfect partner” before claiming that “in many ways, they are our best partner in the region.”
This isn’t the first time the historically antisemitic Omar has tried to equate the actions of the nation she swore to represent with the morally reprehensible practices of other nations and groups.
For Omar’s comments conflating the “unthinkable atrocities” committed by terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Taliban to the sins of the U.S. and Israel, House Democrats issued a reprimand.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” a dozen leftist lawmakers said in a joint statement. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.”
Omar did not apologize for her comparison. Instead, she chastised her colleagues for allegedly using “islamaphobic tropes” in their critique.
After facing renewed calls to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Omar eventually issued a statement “clarifying” her objectionable comments. Her offending tweet, however, is still featured on her official Twitter page.