Rep. Ilhan Omar revealed on Tuesday a threatening voicemail she says came hours after her phone call with fellow congresswoman Lauren Boebert, which by all accounts escalated a feud between the two that began with the emergence of a video of Boebert making anti-Muslim comments about Omar.
Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, appeared with Reps. Andre Carson and Rashida Tlaib, the two other Muslim members of the House, calling on Republican leadership to condemn Boebert for her conduct.
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At one point during the press conference, Omar shared a graphic voicemail she says she received hours after her phone call with Boebert on Monday, which apparently ended with Omar hanging up on Boebert after the two demanded apologies from each other, and Boebert's Instagram video talking about the conversation.
"We see you Muslim sand [N-word] b****. We know what you're up to. You're all about taking over our country. Don't worry, there's plenty that will love the opportunity to take you off the face of this f****** Earth. Come get it, b****, you f****** Muslim piece of s***. You jihadist. We know what you are. You're a f****** traitor. You will not live much longer," a male voice is heard saying.
The message goes on to talk about "we the people ... rising up" and Omar appearing before a military tribunal.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) plays a horrific death threat she received following Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) recent Islamophobic attacks on her.— The Recount (@therecount) November 30, 2021
Warning: It's incredibly graphic. pic.twitter.com/5PGODcaJOu
The controversy between Omar and Boebert began last week with the emergence of a video showing Boebert at an event telling a story about a Capitol police officer running to stop an elevator door from closing as she got in an elevator with Omar, to which she said, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.” She also called Omar, who is a Somali immigrant, part of the “Jihad Squad” and joked that she could be a terrorist.
Omar shot back, calling Boebert a "buffoon" and claimed the Republican made the "whole story" up.
Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up. Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 26, 2021
Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized. Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation. https://t.co/S1APT7RbqW
On Friday, Boebert tweeted, "I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar," and said she reached out to Omar's office in the hopes of having a conversation with her Democratic colleague.
But that phone call, which took place Monday, ended with acrimony.
Boebert posted an Instagram video in which she said Omar insisted her tweet wasn't good enough and "kept asking for a public apology. So I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, antisemitic, anti-police rhetoric," Boebert said. “She continued to press, and I continued to press back. And then, Rep. Ilhan Omar hung up on me.”
Omar released a statement of her own, acknowledging that she hung up on Boebert as the Republican claimed. But that was just about all they could agree on.
“Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments. She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call,” Omar said. “I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate.”
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During Tuesday's press conference, Omar said Islamophobia "pervades our culture, our politics, and even policy decisions," according to Insider.
She also criticized the rhetoric coming from some Republicans, saying that she has reported "hundreds of threats on my life" that often come from their "attacks on my faith."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, has not condemned Boebert, but he did say on Saturday that he spoke to Boebert about the comments, and she "apologized" for what she said. He noted that Boebert had reached out to Omar to talk.
"I spoke with [Democratic House Majority Leader Steny] Hoyer today to facilitate that meeting so that Congress can get back to talking to each other and working on the challenges facing the American people," McCarthy added.
A joint statement last week from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership called on McCarthy to “take real action to confront racism."