Ilhan Omar, Patriot?

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has generally seemed to have nothing but contempt for the country that took her in as a refugee, educated her and elected her to Congress. But in a speech at a CAIR event in Bellevue, Washington, on Saturday, she sounded almost patriotic as she described her own successes and the growing power of Muslims in American government.

This is the poster for the event. It emphasizes the theme of Muslim power:

These are the first few minutes of Omar’s speech:

These introductory comments include a jarring note: Omar’s claim that she is fighting against “efforts to ban our entire religion from this country.” Really? As a Congresswoman, Omar should know that the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and there is no way any religion can be “banned from this country.” Moreover, I am not aware of a single person anywhere–let alone a political movement that needs to be fought against by Omar–that advocates banning the entire Muslim religion from the U.S.

It is hard to tell, sometimes, whether Ilhan Omar is a skilled demagogue or a person for whom allowances must be made because, as Nancy Pelosi put it, she has a “different experience in the use of words” and therefore cannot be held to normal standards of veracity. Unfortunately, in the years to come we are likely to have many opportunities to revisit this question.

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