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Published On: Thu, Oct 24th, 2019

Oley Larsen attacked for not apologizing to Ilhan Omar, she’s ‘grossly sympathetic’ to ‘religious extremists’

Ilhan Omar is back in the headlines, this time over a meme North Dakota State Senator Oley Larsen shared, depicting Ilhan Omar training as an Al-Qaeda fighter.

Oley Larsen

Larsen issued a statement, read the whole transcript below, “I’m not immune to confirmation bias and I have made the mistake of sharing something in poor taste on the internet. I’m sorry for spreading fake news. As an elected official, the public and the media are right to hold me to a higher standard. I’m willing to own my role in spreading misinformation but I will not be resigning any of my positions within the North Dakota State Legislature. Moving forward, I will do my best to thoroughly vet the information I share online.”

The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Special Counsel for Anti-Muslim Bigotry Madihha Ahussain responding to North Dakota State Sen. Oley Larsen’s refusal to apologize, stating that Larsen’s action was “false information and photos on Facebook claiming she is a terrorist and instead spewing a litany of anti-Muslim stereotypes. Muslim Advocates and North Dakota’s governor and senate majority leader have called on Larsen to resign from his senate leadership position. Muslim Advocates is also urging North Dakotans to email state leaders to echo this call.”

Ahussain: “Senator Larsen’s weak non-apology for spreading offensive disinformation contains a laundry list of anti-Muslim tropes that are just as harmful and misleading as his original claims. Disturbing stereotypes suggesting Muslims are foreign and anti-American contribute to an environment of discrimination and even physical violence against American Muslims.

“Governor Doug Burgum and Majority Leader Rich Wardner were right to call for his resignation as president pro tempore of the Senate and his refusal to even apologize shows why. A man this hostile to religious freedom and interfaith dialogue has no place holding a leadership position like this. Oley Larsen does not represent North Dakota’s values and he is unfit to serve as interim president pro tempore of the North Dakota Senate. We echo the calls for him to step down and we urge all North Dakotans to raise their voices and tell their representatives that their state is a place where religious freedom matters.”

Full transcript via Facebook:

Op-Ed Larsen: Omar Isn’t a Terrorist, She’s just Sympathetic to them.

Last weekend, I shared an erroneous image purportedly showing Congresswoman Ilhan Omar training as an Al-Qaeda fighter. Like most people, I’m not immune to confirmation bias and I have made the mistake of sharing something in poor taste on the internet. I’m sorry for spreading fake news. As an elected official, the public and the media are right to hold me to a higher standard. I’m willing to own my role in spreading misinformation but I will not be resigning any of my positions within the North Dakota State Legislature. Moving forward, I will do my best to thoroughly vet the information I share online.

However, I want to be clear, this is by no means an apology to Ilhan Omar. Although there is no evidence that she has directly engaged in terrorist activity, there is ample evidence that she is grossly sympathetic to the cause of certain religious extremists. As a Minnesota State Rep., Omar actively lobbied a judge to be lenient with two men convicted of terrorism and trying to join ISIS. Imagine if a white conservative representative wrote a letter advocating for less harsh sentences for Klansmen and white supremacists. The media and the public would be outraged and rightfully so. Luckily for Ilhan Omar, a complicit press dismissed this episode as an anti-Islamic conspiracy. Ms. Omar defended her position as restorative justice but has shown no interest in advocating on behalf for other racial and religious extremists, which is quite possibly the only silver lining to her farce.

Unfortunately, Ms. Omar’s questionable history doesn’t end with that particular event. Upon being elected to the U.S. House, she has drawn praise from infamous white supremacist David Duke for her anti-Semitic attacks on Israel (our closest ally in the war against terrorism) and drawn rebuke from many Jewish Americans. She trivialized the horrendous terror attack of 9/11, much to the offense of the survivors and their families. But her suspect behavior didn’t stop there. Omar has openly called for defunding the Department of Homeland Security (which she promptly walked back after being called out). Her rhetoric can be more easily likened to that of the Grand Ayatollah of Iran than that of an American congresswoman.

Some voices have called me racist, asserting that I believe all Muslims are terrorists. This absurd smear ignorantly conflates race and religion for the purposes of attacking me. As a Native American man, and enrolled member of Kluane First Nation, I’m well aware of the historic injustices faced by minority communities in our nation. However, Ilhan Omar openly seeks to undermine the interest and security of our nation and the media cowardly allows her to hide behind the facade of her protected class status. I’m strongly of the belief that most of the members of our Islamic communities are God-fearing patriots that seek to build up our country. In my opinion, Ilhan Omar is not one of them. I was wrong to call her a terrorist and spread misinformation about her. But the truth is more than sufficient. The aforementioned show a pattern of behavior by Ms. Omar that is just far too sympathetic to the people who wish us harm.

Bio- North Dakota State Senator Oley Larsen. Proud American, North Dakotan and Member of Kluane First Nation

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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