Ilhan Omar jokes about tone of voice when former professor said 'Al Qaeda'

The Minnesota Congresswoman also drew a contrast between the responses of people to mass shootings as opposed to terror attacks perpetrated by Muslims.

April 14, 2019 13:58
1 minute read.
U.S. Democratic congressional Rep. Ilhan Omar attended a gun violence prevention roundtable before s

U.S. Democratic congressional Rep. Ilhan Omar attended a gun violence prevention roundtable before she was elected. . (photo credit: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER)


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A video of Ilhan Omar has resurfaced in which she joked about how a professor of hers said the name Al Qaeda.

“When I was in college, I took a terrorism class. ...  every time the professor said ‘Al Qaeda’ his shoulders went up," she said while laughing.

“But you know... you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘England’ with the intensity. You don’t say ‘the army’ with the intensity,” she continued. “... But you say these names [of terrorist groups] because you want that word to carry weight. You want it to be something.”


The clip was part of a 2013 interview on a show called "Belahdan" on Twin Cities PBS, in Minnesota. During the half-hour interview, which Fox News first reported on in February, Omar asserted that acts of terrorism were "byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people's affairs."

Her comments came just weeks after the September 2013 attack on a Kenyan shopping mall by al-Shabab terrorists, in which almost 70 people were killed. Al-Shabab was affiliated with Al Qaeda at the time.

In the same interview, Omar commented on the different responses people display after mass shootings as opposed to terror attacks perpetrated by Muslims.
"When you have an a Western society...[who] commits mass murder," she said in a clip posted online by the Reagan Battalian, "we investigate that person and what has driven them to commit that act."

She protested that in contrast, "When an act is committed by...Muslim terrorists, what we investigate is that whole community, we investigate that whole faith, we investigate that whole society, and everyone is supposed to have some answer as to why these people are doing this.

"It is those individuals that people need to be investigating," she continued," it is their lives that need to be under the microscope, not the lives of the whole community."

Omar was in the news recently after it was revealed that in a speech in March, she referred to the September 11, 2001 hijackers as "some people [who] did something."

“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” the Congresswoman said at a fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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