Lawmaker’s post featuring Rep Ilhan Omar draws violent responses

North Carolina Representative Madison Cawthorn is drawing ire for violent responses to a social media post featuring Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar that said she supports “terror”.

The post, which was made on the encrypted messaging app Telegram on May 15, appears to reference support for Palestinians under Israeli occupation expressed by Omar and other members of the progressive “Squad,” including Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib, whose family comes from Palestine.

“Far-left Democrats have chosen terrorism over tolerant freedom,” Cawthorn wrote in the post. “The Muslim Brotherhood is a purveyor of terror. Democrats are on the wrong side of history and it’s not even an argument.”

The post, which linked to an article featuring Omar, who was born in Somalia and went to the United States as a refugee, drew responses calling to put a “noose” on the Minnesota representative, according to the Asheville Citizen Times.

Cawthorn, a Republican, is a stalwart supporter of former President Donald Trump. Many of Trump’s supporters have taken to encrypted chat apps like Telegram following Trump’s removal from Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

Cawthorn’s channel on Telegram was opened in February, a month after the January 6 storming of the US Capitol in an attempt to stop a joint session of Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Telegram moderators did not respond to questions by the Asheville Citizen Times on their policies for removing posts.

Trump faced consistent criticism of Islamophobia over his term. One of his first acts was to issue an administrative order that came to be known as the “Muslim ban”, which blocked people from six predominately Muslim nations from travelling to the US. Many of his allies have faced similar accusations.

In April, House Democrats passed a bill preventing another “Muslim ban” from being enacted, making travel bans based on religion illegal.

Omar’s communications director, Jeremy Slevin, tweeted on Wednesday the lawmaker is against “all armed conflict” and “violations” of international law.

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