Omar on New Zealand mosque shooting: 'We must not live in fear'

Omar on New Zealand mosque shooting: 'We must not live in fear'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarNew York Times defends itself against Project Veritas defamation suit Tlaib: US policing 'intentionally racist,' can't be reformed Biden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan MORE (D-Minn.) on Friday expressed support for victims of a mass shooting in New Zealand, tweeting that the devastating attack that killed an estimated 49 people in Christchurch would not force Muslims to "live in fear."

Omar, who along with Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Democrats brace for new 'defund the police' attacks Bernie Sanders says he disagrees with Tlaib's call for 'no more police' MORE (D-Mich.) is one of the first two Muslim women elected to the House, tweeted that she would attend traditional Friday prayers and urged others to do so as well.


"Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. This is chilling news to wake up to. In the face of this horror, I’m mourning with, and holding our community extra close today," Omar wrote.

"We must not live in fear. I will be at Jumu’ah today and I hope others will too. Jummah Mubarak," she added.


New Zealand authorities announced that four people including one Australian had been detained in connection with the shooting, which the country's prime minister called an act of right-wing terrorism.

One man who claimed to have perpetrated the attack left a more than 70-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained his reasoning. Videos and photos on his social media page that appeared to have been taken live during the attack were shared on the platforms before being taken down.

In the online manifesto, the suspect declared himself to be a 28-year-old Australian radicalized online by right-wing influencers amid pages of rhetoric against Muslims and other minorities. 

Omar herself has been at the center of controversy in recent weeks over statements about the U.S. relationship with Israel, with some accusing her of making anti-Semitic comments and others defending her and accusing her detractors of targeting the Muslim congresswoman over her own faith.

A former refugee from Somalia, Omar has been critical of the Israeli government and its support in the U.S. and came under fire after tweeting that such support was "all about the Benjamins," a reference to a 1990s song by P. Diddy that some said also referenced an anti-Semitic trope.

She was also criticized for suggesting that she was being forced to declare "loyalty" to Israel in order to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee during an exchange with Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue Lowey Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Biden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs Committee chairs continue their lawmaking decline MORE (D-N.Y.) on Twitter.