“Some People Did Something,” Revisited

Ilhan Omar appeared on Face the Nation yesterday. The host asked about her “Some people did something” description of the 9/11 attacks, which was denounced by the son of one of the victims at a commemorative service in New York last week. Specifically, the host asked Omar whether she understands why people find her “some people did something” comment offensive.

Actually, I think many have failed to recognize why Omar’s description, apart from its superficially dismissive tone, is both obnoxious and revealing. I wrote about it here:

She described the September 11 attacks as “some people did something” so that “all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” It’s all about “us,” although what civil liberties were lost is, as always, unclear. …

This is a common theme in Islamic and liberal circles: terrorist attacks are significant only insofar as they raise the specter of “backlash” against Muslims.

Yesterday, Omar repeated her view of 9/11, consistent with what she said to the CAIR group in California where the original comment was made, and with what I wrote in April. Yes, she said, the 9/11 attacks were terrible, they were an attack on all of us as Americans. But–and for Omar, everything important follows the “but”–

I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not forgetting, right, the aftermath of what happened after 9/11. Many Americans found themselves now having their civil rights stripped from them. And so what I was speaking to was the fact that as a Muslim, not only was I suffering as an American who was attacked on that day, but the next day I woke up as my fellow Americans were now treating me as suspect.

This “stripping of civil rights” from “many Americans” is a fantasy. What on Earth is she talking about? And how exactly was she–age 18 at the time–treated as “suspect” the day after the terrorist attacks? What I remember about the days following September 11 are the frequent encomiums to Islam, from President Bush on down, as a “religion of peace.”

It would be hard to find a more privileged and coddled person than Ilhan Omar, rescued at taxpayer expense from a refugee camp in Kenya, elected to the Minnesota legislature at 34 years old and to Congress, after a single term in the legislature, at 36. And yet, for Omar, the terrorist mass murders of 2001 were all about her, and her purported victimization.