AIPAC 'putting Ilhan Omar's life at risk' with 'Islamophobic' attack advert, rights group says

AIPAC 'putting Ilhan Omar's life at risk' with 'Islamophobic' attack advert, rights group says
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is being targeted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee with Islamophobic adverts, the congresswoman's aide said. l
2 min read
13 August, 2021
Ilhan Omar has long been the target of trolls online [Getty]

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has once again been accused of mounting an Islamophobic advert campaigns against Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib.

Omar’s communications director Jeremy Slevin, took to Twitter and accused the pro-Israel lobbying group of putting the lawmaker's life at risk with the language it used to describe her.

"The language AIPAC uses in paid ads to smear and vilify @IlhanMN is virtually identical to the language used in death threats she gets.

"Make no mistake: AIPAC is putting Rep. Omar’s life at risk with repeated Islamophobic attack ads."

In the tweet, Slevin shared an advert sponsored by AIPAC alongside a tweet by Omar in which she shares death threats she has received after speaking out on human rights.

The advert posted on Facebook features a picture of Omar alongside text that reads: "For Ilhan Omar, there is no difference between America and the Taliban. Between Israel and Hamas. Between Democracies and terrorists".

Slevin went on to add: "It shouldn’t have to be stated, but baselessly linking Muslim-Americans to terrorism is *the* textbook example of Islamophobia and is routinely used to silence advocacy for Palestinian human rights."

His tweet went viral and was 'liked' nearly 2,000 times and many agreed with his sentiments.

"This is not subtle," wrote Khaled Elgindy, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute. "There is no dog whistle here. @AIPAC is very clearly and explicitly peddling in vile islamophobia. Shameful beyond words."

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The Council on American Islamic Relations also condemned AIPAC, calling its attacks on Omar "a dishonest and dangerous smear campaign…to spread this vile, Islamophobic language to Facebook users."

The council added that it could "incite threats of violence against Rep. Omar and other American Muslim leaders…AIPAC’s bigotry is placing Ilhan Omar’s life at risk [and] Facebook should immediately taken down these vile ads."

In response, AIPAC doubled down.

Addressing Slevin, AIPAC said in a tweet: "Your baseless attack on us can’t deflect from [Omar’s] attack on America and Israel."

This is not the first time AIPAC targeted Omar. Several months ago, the congresswoman was targeted in the same way for her criticism of Israel’s violence against Palestinians in East Jerusalem and its bombing of Gaza.