World

Trump slammed for using 9/11 to criticise Muslim congresswoman

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticised US President Donald Trump on Saturday for a Twitter post that used 9/11 imagery while suggesting Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Muslim, was dismissive of the New York attacks.

"The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence," Ms Pelosi said on Twitter. "The President shouldn't use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack."

On Friday, Mr Trump tweeted a video suggesting Ms Omar, a US representative from Minnesota, was dismissive of the attacks, reported Reuters.

The video spliced news footage of 9/11 with a clip from a speech Ms Omar gave last month in which she described the terror attack as "some people did something".

The Trump tweet included the words "WE WILL NEVER FORGET!", Reuters reported.

In Ms Omar's speech, given to a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, she said Muslims had "lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I'm tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it".

She said the advocacy group recognised that "some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties".

Lawmakers from Mr Trump's Republican party have accused Ms Omar of minimising the 9/11 attacks, while his critics said he took Ms Omar's words out of context to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment.

"No one person - no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious - can threaten my unwavering love for America," Ms Omar wrote in a tweet on Saturday.

"I stand undeterred to continue fighting for equal opportunity in our pursuit of happiness for all Americans."

In Charleston, South Carolina, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke denounced what Mr Trump did in a speech, the Washington Post reported. It said many people gaspedthen applauded Mr O'Rourke's response.

He said the video is a continuation of rhetoric used by Mr Trump against Mexican immigrants, asylum seekers, Muslims and others.

"There is a cost and there is a consequence to this rhetoric - hate crimes in this country is up every single one of the last three years," he said.

"This is an incitement to violence against Congresswoman Omar, against our fellow Americans who happen to be Muslim."

WORLD