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“I am an American,” wrote Republican Dalia al-Aqidi, a former Iraqi refugee who hopes to replace Omar in representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.
“That’s why I’m running for Congress,” al-Aqidi added.
The response came shortly after Omar’s Twitter message late Sunday, in which the freshman congresswoman listed ways that she describes herself.
“I am, Hijabi, Muslim, Black, Foreign born, Refugee, Somali,” Omar wrote.
Then, appearing to provoke her critics, Omar added, “Easily triggering conservatives, Right wing bloggers, anti Muslim bigots, tinfoil conspiracy theorists, birthers, pay me a [dollar] to bash Muslims fraudsters, pro-occupation groups and every single xenophobe since 2016.”
Omar ended the post with a laughing-face emoji and a GIF showing her addressing an audience, saying “Hello Hello!”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also blasted the Omar post, writing, “in today’s Leftist world of intersectionality, ‘American’ is deemed embarrassing & gauche.”
During an appearance on “Fox & Friends” in January, al-Aqidi, a journalist, spoke out against what she described as “hateful rhetoric” coming from Omar since she took office.
“As an American citizen, my duty is to defend my country and my duty is to stand up to her hatred and racism that she’s spreading within her community, within the country, and even worldwide,” al-Aqidi said. “Ilhan Omar is harming every American with her hatred, her standing against what we believe in, [and] against our own Constitution.”
Like Omar, al-Aqidi came to the U.S. with her family to flee a nation ravaged by war. But unlike Omar, al-Aqidi said she has stopped considering herself a refugee.
“I came to the U.S. more than 25 years ago. So, basically, I’m not a refugee anymore. I’m not an Iraqi anymore. I’m an American. Period,” she said on “Fox & Friends.”
Omar’s comments about Israel have frequently drawn accusations that she is anti-Semitic. But the congresswoman has insisted she opposes all forms of bigotry.
Like al-Aqidi, many commenters on social media this week were quick to notice that Omar had opted not to describe herself as an American.
“Hmm. I don’t see that you identify as a US citizen???” one commenter wrote. “You should not be in Congress!”
“Not surprising that you didn’t identify at all as American,” another wrote. “I have no problems with any of the above except that. You were elected by Americans to serve Americans. Thank goodness you don’t purport to represent me.”
“She leaves out American,” another Twitter user wrote. “Doesn’t even occur to her.”
Others offered other suggestions that Omar could add to her description list.
“And a one and done congressperson,” one commenter wrote.
Still others reacted by saying Omar’s attention seems directed away from her Minnesota constituents.
“That’s a lot about you,” one person wrote. “Can we talk about our state of Minnesota now and what we are working on here? I really tire of how much you focus on… well, you.”
According to the election website Ballotpedia, at least three Democrats will challenge Omar in the party’s primary election Aug. 11. They are community organizer John Mason, lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux and community clinic founder Leila Shukri Adan.
At least five Republicans are vying for Omar’s House seat as well. They are al-Aqidi and technology professional Lacy Johnson, special education professional Danielle Stella, minister Lucia Vogel, activist Alley Waterbury and former sales manager Brent Whaley.