Poster of Muslim Rep Sparks Anger, Injury, and a Resignation

The rage flowed at West Virginia's Capitol
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2019 10:37 AM CST
In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., listens to President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech, at the Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – Things got ugly Friday at the West Virginia Capitol over a poster linking a newly elected Muslim congresswoman to 9/11, the Washington Post reports. Displayed as part of "WVGOP Day," the poster shows Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota under an image of the burning Twin Towers along with the words, "'Never Forget' - You Said" and "I am the Proof - You Have Forgotten." Mike Pushkin, a Democrat in the state House, angrily tweeted a photo of the poster, but that's not all: A dispute erupted in which angry Democrats condemned the poster, a Democratic delegate angrily kicked open a door that injured a doorkeeper, and the body's sergeant at arms resigned after allegedly saying all Muslims are terrorists, per West Virginia Public Radio.

"We've got doorkeepers going nose to nose with members, Sergeant at Arms going nose to nose with members," says Del. Mike Caputo. "...But, yeah I, kicked that door open. I'll own it." The dispute turned into a debate on the House floor, where many Republicans defended the poster on First Amendment grounds and Pushkin, who is Jewish, recalled darker times: "I said, 'In 1933 in Berlin, they might have had a similar poster about somebody like me,'" he says. Who made the poster is unclear, but it was up beside a placard for ACT for America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls an anti-Muslim hate group. "WVGOP Day" was sponsored by the state Republican Party, per WV Metro News. (Omar has apologized for tweets that many considered Anti-Semitic.)

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