The New York Post, a sorry excuse for a newspaper, essentially invited a lynch-mob to attack Rep. Ilhan Omar with a racist and Islamophobic front-page image on its April 11 issue. Yemeni-American bodega owners in New York and some supporters of Rep. Omar have now launched a boycott of the newspaper over the depiction, that could provoke attacks against American Muslims.
The front page in question appeared last week and showed a photo of the burning Twin Towers of the World Trade Center together with partial comments from a statement made by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar before an American Muslims organization. Rep. Omar, while describing the Islamophobia that followed the 9/11 attacks in part said “something” had happened on that date. Republican, Right-Wing and Conservative critics, taking the quote out of context, accused Omar of downplaying the attacks.
The New York Post, owned by the Rupert Murdoch-founded News Corp., joined the attacks on Rep. Omar with its incendiary front-page image of the burning World Trade Center buildings together with Rep. Omar’s partial comment. The Post’s headline, on April 11, declared: “Here’s your something. 2,977 people dead by terrorism.” The Post knows what it’s doing; is inciting violence toward Omar and other Muslims.
Muslim-American leaders and their supporters have criticized the front-page , leading to the boycott of the tabloid. Rep. Omar is an immigrant from Somalia. Debbie Almontaser, the secretary of the board of directors for the Yemeni American Merchant Association, at a protest outside the Post’s headquarters said: “We support free speech, but we will not accept the incitement of violence against Muslims.”
Last week President Trump was also roundly criticized by Democratic leaders after he tweeted a video of the World Trade Center also with a partial quote from Omar.
The Post, as did Trump, a master in stoking racism and Islamophobia, lifted the partial quote from Rep. Omar’s speech in March to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Rep. Omar said: “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 “something” word became the rallying cry in Trump’s and The New York Post’s Islamophobic crusade.
In 2009 The Post published a cartoon portraying then President Obama as a chimpanzee who’d just been shot dead by two white police officers, with the caption: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill..” (In a widely reported incident at the time, Police had shot dead a pet chimpanzee that mauled its owner).
Obama had just signed a multi-billion dollars stimulus bill into law; many Republicans, Right Wingers and Conservatives opposed the move –just as they opposed everything he did– even though it ended up rescuing the U.S. auto industry.