Yemeni-Americans to boycott New York Post over Ilhan Omar quote and 9/11 front page

Yemeni-Americans are criticizing the New York Post over its front page last week that featured a photograph of the burning World Trade Center and a quote from Democratic Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar that some say was dismissive of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

On Sunday, The New York Times reports the Yemeni American Merchant Association announced a formal boycott of the tabloid after Yemini bodega owners in New York had earlier agreed stop selling the newspaper.

Last week’s front page featured a quote that came from a recent speech the Minnesota Democrat gave to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in which she described the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center as “some people did something.”

“We support free speech, but we will not accept the incitement of violence against Muslims,” said Debbi Almontaser, the secretary of the board of directors for the merchants.

“What the New York Post is doing is endangering the lives of American Muslims and people of color,” Almontaser said.

The merchants are demanding that the newspaper apologize to Omar and to the Muslim-American community in New York.

A spokeswoman for News Corporation, the parent company of the New York Post, declined to comment.

Ilhan Omar
Rep. Ilhan Omar seen Nov. 30, 2018.


Also on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she has taken steps to ensure the safety of Omar after President Trump’s retweet of a video that purports to show the congresswoman making the remark along with news footing of the hijacked airplanes hitting the Twin Towers. Mr. Trump captioned his tweet with: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”

Neither Mr. Trump’s tweet nor the video included Omar’s full quote or the context of her comments, which were about Muslims feeling that their civil liberties had eroded after the attacks.

Pelosi was among Democrats who had criticized Mr. Trump over the tweet, with some accusing him of trying to incite violence against the Muslim lawmaker. An upstate New York man recently was charged with making death threats against her.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, accused Mr. Trump of “moral vandalism” for his verbal attacks on Omar and told CBS News that she “does not deserve the kind of vicious, hate filled attacks that she’s experiencing.” He made the remarks in a Sunday interview with “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan. “We all as Americans should say that’s outrageous and unacceptable and what Donald Trump is doing, he’s making life dangerous not just for her but for other Muslim Americans.”

In two television appearances Sunday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders strongly defended Mr. Trump.

“Why is she brushing this off dismissively? She continues to make anti-Semitic comments over and over again and Democrats refuse to call her out for it,” Sanders said on “Fox News Sunday.” “If she continues to do it, the president will continue to call her out — call her out by name. And he’s not going to be ashamed, nor should he be.”

During her other television appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Sanders denied the president was inciting violence against Omar. “The president is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence towards anyone,” she said.

Full Extended Interview With Rep. Ilhan Omar by
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on

Omar, who was elected in November, has become one of the most high-profile lightning rods in Congress. She apologized after comments she made about Israel and Israeli lobbyists AIPAC were considered by some to be anti-Semitic. She said on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Wednesday she is still “learning” about the weight of some comments.

“As I’ve said to my constituents and my colleagues, when you tell me that you are pained by something I say, I will always listen and I will acknowledge your pain,” Omar said.

In March, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro questioned whether Omar’s wearing a hijab indicated her adherence to Sharia law and alleged that it violated the Constitution. Fox News issued a statement saying it “strongly condemned” Pirro’s remarks and her show did not air for two weeks.

Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota makes history, says U.S. “could do better”

Caroline Linton contributed to this report.

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