- Yemeni-Americans across New York City are boycotting the New York Post over a cover image put forth by the publication featuring the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a stand-alone quote from Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.
- Omar has faced criticism over a speech she made last month about the 9/11 terror attacks, and said in a recent statement that she has experienced an increase in death threats after President Donald Trump shared an inflammatory video about her comments.
- Yemeni-American bodega owners and taxi drivers are now taking a stand against the tabloid, worried that the publication is encouraging anti-Muslim violence and rhetoric.
- The Yemeni American Merchants Association has issued a set of demands, including a public apology to Omar by the Post, and a request that the publication’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Lynch, step down from his position.
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Yemeni-American shop owners across New York City are denouncing the New York Post in light of a controversial cover image put forth by the publication featuring the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a stand alone quote from Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.
“Here’s your something. 2,977 people dead by terrorism,” read last Thursday’s headline, appearing to suggest Omar, a Somali American congresswoman from Minnesota, was dismissive of the attack on the Twin Towers.
The cover was in reference to a speech Omar delivered last month at an event for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“For far too long we have 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,” Omar said. “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.” (CAIR was founded in 1994, and an Omar spokesperson later told the Washington Post that the freshman lawmaker misspoke and meant to refer to the fact that the organization had doubled in size after 9/11).
Omar has faced backlash in recent weeks from the media, commentators, and politicians alike. Last Friday, President Donald Trump shared a video on Twitter blasting Omar for the speech. In the days since Trump’s tweet, Omar said she has experienced an increase in death threats. As of Monday, the video remains on his Twitter page.
This is ugly pic.twitter.com/R2XVyS4dq8
— Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) April 11, 2019
New York City’s Yemeni-American community says they are worried that the New York Post’s front page will encourage anti-Muslim violence and rhetoric. As of Saturday morning, ten well-known Yemeni store owners had agreed to stop selling the tabloid, while Yemeni taxi drivers passed out fliers about the boycott to other Yemeni-owned establishments across the city, according to The New York Times.
In an open letter, the Yemeni American Merchants Association said the New York Post’s front page “provoked hatred against Rep. Omar,” and lambasted its decision to publish as “cheap and sensational tabloids that undermine national unity and entice violence and hate for the sole purpose of circulation and sales.”
“This rhetoric threatens the safety and wellbeing of Rep. Omar, Muslim leaders, and the larger Muslim American community at a time when Islamophobia is at an all-time high,” the letter added.
INSIDER reached out to the News Corporation, the New York Post’s parent company, for comment. On Sunday, the Yemeni American Merchants Association announced its formal boycott at a news conference outside of the News Corporation’s building in Manhattan. People in attendance displayed signs that read “boycott hate” and “New York Post take your paper back.”
— YAMAbodegastrikebaby (@YAMAMerchants) April 14, 2019
The association has issued a set of demands, including a public apology to Omar by the Post, and a request that the publication’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Lynch, step down from his position.
Yemeni-American store owners have previously turned toward political activism: after the president issued a ban on travelers in 2017 from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, thousands of Yemeni-Americans closed shop and gathered together to rally against the policy.
“It’s not the first time that the New York Post basically spreads hate and fear in their newspapers,” Ayyad Algabyali, the association’s director of advocacy, told the Guardian, adding that there is “no end date” to the boycott and “this might be for good.”
- Read more:
- Rep. Ilhan Omar says she has received an increase in death threats since Trump shared a video about her 9/11 comments on Twitter
- Pelosi demands Trump take down ‘disrespectful and dangerous’ 9/11 video, says Capitol Police are monitoring Ilhan Omar’s safety
- New York man charged for making threats over the phone to assault and kill Rep. Ilhan Omar