West Virginia Republicans are under fire after they were caught displaying a poster that compares Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to terrorism at the state’s capitol building.
NBC News reported Friday that the poster was allegedly set up during “WV GOP Day” in which “Republicans Take the Rotunda,” per a Facebook event advertising it.
The poster features the burning World Trade Center buildings on 9/11/2011 with an image of Rep. Omar superimposed over it.
“‘Never forget’ – you said,” the meme-like poster read. “I am the proof – you have forgotten.”
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— (((Mike Pushkin))) (@pushkinforhouse) March 1, 2019# p #6_19 # ad skipped = true #
As Del. Mike Pushkin (D) noted, the poster was featured at a booth sponsored by the West Virginia GOP. As the WKTV news station reported, the booth where the poster was featured also had a number of other anti-Muslim pieces of literature, including a book titled “Readin’, Writin’, and Jihadin’ —The Islamization of America Public Schools.”
According to Democratic state Del. Mike Angelucci, the House’s sergeant at arms, Anne Lieberman, reportedly said “all Muslims are terrorists” during the event after Democrats spoke up about the poster.
WV House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, a Republican, issued a statement saying his office is investigating the matter, NBC News reported.
“As we began today’s floor session, we had a series of incidents occur in and outside of our Chamber that absolutely do not reflect the character and civility the people of this state demand of their public servants,” Hanshaw’s statement read. “Leadership of the House of Delegates is currently working to investigate these incidents to learn firsthand the factual basis of what occurred, and will respond with appropriate action.”
Pushkin renounced its message in interviews with local West Virginia outlets.
“I’m proud to live in a country that somebody can come into this country with absolutely nothing and wind up in the halls of Congress representing the state of Minnesota,” Pushkin told WVNews.
On Twitter, the Jewish delegate continued to call out the poster’s messaging — as well as the Republicans who put it there or ignored it.
“I cannot understand why it is so hard for my Republican colleagues to say it is wrong to display an islamaphobic, hateful poster in the Capitol this morning,” Pushkin tweeted.
I cannot understand why it is so hard for my Republican colleagues to say it is wrong to display an islamaphobic, hateful poster in the Capitol this morning# p #15_19 # ad skipped = true #
— (((Mike Pushkin))) (@pushkinforhouse) March 1, 2019# p #16_19 # ad skipped = true #
Omar has been the subject of GOP ire after comments she made about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbying group were interpreted as anti-Semitic.
In a since-deleted tweet, the Somali-American Minnesota representative criticized the conservative pro-Israel group’s financial backing of candidates. She later apologized for it.