A poster that linked Rep. Ilhan Omar with 9/11 sparked pandemonium at the West Virginia statehouse – Business Insider
An Islamophobic poster displayed at the West Virginia statehouse this week sparked pandemonium on Friday that ended with the resignation of one state official, the injury of a staff member, and condemnation from Omar herself.
The poster featured an image of the twin towers in flames with the caption, “‘Never Forget’ — you said..” above a second image of Omar with the caption, “I am the proof — you have forgotten.”
It was displayed as part of the GOP’s “Republicans Take the Rotunda” event, but the West Virginia Republican Party distanced itself from the poster on Friday.
The party released a statement that said it never approved or saw the poster before it was displayed, and had it removed after learning of its existence.
“The West Virginia Republican Party does not approve, condone, or support hate speech,” the statement said. “One of the exhibitors at our West Virginia Republican Party Day at the Capitol displayed a sign that we did not approve, were not aware of before the day started, and we do not support.”
Local media outlets in West Virginia reported that the poster prompted outrage among Democrats in the House of Delegates.
One of them was Del. Michael Angelucci, who accused the Sergeant at Arms, Anne Lieberman, of calling all Muslim’s “terrorists,” according to West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
Lieberman told the outlet that she did not call all Muslims terrorists, but she submitted a letter of resignation on Friday regardless.
A doorkeeper in the statehouse was even injured in the fracas, after a Democrat who had been incensed by the controversy kicked open the entrance to the chamber.
The lawmaker, De. Mike Caputo, admitted to kicking open the door, according to West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
“We’ve got doorkeepers going nose to nose with members, Sergeant at Arms going nose to nose with members. We have created an anger that I’ve never witnessed in 23 years in this body and it’s sickens me. It absolutely sickens me,” he said. “But, yeah I, kicked that door open. I’ll own it.”
Omar herself weighed in on the incident on Friday, complaining that the GOP had not been sufficiently condemned for the poster.
“No wonder why I am on the “Hitlist” of a domestic terrorist and “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” is written on my local gas stations,” she tweeted. “Look no further, the GOP’s anti-Muslim display likening me to a terrorist rocks in state capitols and no one is condemning them!”