Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from Minnesota is being criticized for anti-Christian bigotry after expressing outrage over a video of Christians singing on an airplane.
In a tweet on April 16, the day before Easter, Omar posted a video of a worship leader with a guitar singing Christian songs on a plane.
Omar’s tweet read, “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?”
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
This comment was met with a wave of criticism.
Some tweeted that Omar was being religiously bigoted while others pointed out the basic fact of religious freedom in the U.S.
Why do you hate Christians, Ilhan?
If the freedom of religion we enjoy here in America disturbs you, feel free to pack your bags and head back to Somalia, Sudan, or wherever you’re from.
Take your brother with you. https://t.co/f2FZhWruz0
— Vernon Jones For Congress (@VernonForGA) April 17, 2022
Vernon Jones, a black pro-Trump Republican who is running for a Georgia House seat tweeted, “Why do you hate Christians, Ilhan?”
Do you think Omar’s comments were bigoted?
Omar’s comment seemed to indicate that she does not have the religious freedom, as a Muslim, to pray in public. But Jose Castillo, a Republican candidate running for Congress in Florida’s 9th Congressional District tweeted that Omar is free, as a Muslim, to pray in public.
“In America, Muslims can & do pray in public,” Castillo’s tweet said. “If she wants a country where Christians aren’t allowed to do the same [Omar] should go back to her own country.”
Omar is originally from Somalia and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Somalia is a country that is known for brutal religious oppression and strife, with large sections of the country being subjected to Islamic law.
“Somaliland’s constitution declares Islam the state religion, prohibits Muslims from converting to another religion, bars the propagation of any religion other than Islam and requires all laws to comply with the general principles of sharia,” the U.S. Department of State reported.
Omar and her family had to flee Mogadishu, Somalia, after militias invaded, she told MSNBC News.
Once she entered Congress, Omar actually fought for more religious freedom, Voice of America News reported.
As a Muslim woman who wears a hijab, or head covering, when Omar first became a Representative, she sought to change the Congressional rule that stated that “every member shall remain uncovered during the sessions of the House.”
She stated at the time that she was exercising her first Amendment right of religious freedom.
No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice—one protected by the first amendment.
And this is not the last ban I’m going to work to lift. https://t.co/7U3ZLTaWur
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 17, 2018
Omar has also been behind other actions to promote freedom of religion, such as the Freedom of Religion Act in 2021, which is meant to “prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration system,” her website reported.
As a congresswoman who has been a proponent of religious freedom and outspoken about Muslims’ rights to religion, Omar’s comments about the Christians singing on the plane seemed out of place, as many critics pointed out on Twitter.
Some simply accused her of hating Christians and Jews, and even some Muslims.
Cicely Davis, who is running in Minnesota’s 5th District to “Defeat Ilhan Omar and Save Minneapolis,” tweeted, “The issue is you hate Christians & Jews & lots of Muslims.”
Qatar – a country you’re very familiar with – plays Islamic prayers on the intercom before takeoff on their planes. They have a designated prayer area & coordinates for Mecca are posted on the screens.
It’s no problem. The issue is you hate Christians & Jews & lots of Muslims. https://t.co/wBX1ycl5nv
— Cicely Davis (@CicelyDavisMN) April 18, 2022
Neither Omar herself or her office have responded to any of the comments and criticisms arising from her comments.