The Yemeni American Merchants Association announced this week its push to have thousands of New York City’s bodegas boycott the New York Post after the paper published a front page rebuking Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
In a letter, the organization wrote that the criticism that the Minnesota Democrat faces over the comments incite divisiveness and vitriolic invective against Muslims in the U.S., adding that New York as a community should not stand for that kind of religious attack.
“This rhetoric threatens the safety and well-being of Omar, Muslim leaders, and the larger Muslim American community at a time when Islamophobia is at an all-time high,” the organization wrote in the letter.
The association, which is said to represent the merchants who own thousands of the city’s small neighborhood convenience stores, has actively engaged the Yemeni community in New York against President Trump’s policies and criticism from right-wing circles. The organization formed two years ago as a rebuke of the Yemeni bodega strike as a countermeasure against the Trump administration’s proposed travel ban against individuals from several Muslim countries.
Ayyad Algabyali, a spokesman for the association, told the Guardian: “It’s not the first time that the New York Post basically spreads hate and fear in their newspapers.”
Omar, a Muslim, has been the subject of criticism over controversial comments about the terrorists who killed roughly 3,000 people in the Sept. 11 attacks.
“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” the Somali-American lawmaker said last month to Muslim advocacy lobbying group the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Reacting to Omar’s comments, The New York Post published a cover Thursday with a photo of the American Airlines jet crashing into the World Trade Center in New York City, N.Y., on Sept. 11, 2001, with the headline “Here’s your something.”
Other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have also stood in solidarity with Omar, saying that the criticism she faces has to do with the fact that Republicans want to tear down as a Muslim woman.