Rep. Ilhan Omar Describes Islamophobic Threats from Cab Driver in Facebook Post

December 8th 2016

Lucy Tiven

Minnesota State Rep. Ilhan Omar chronicled a disturbing encounter with an allegedly threatening and Islamophobic cab driver in a Wednesday Facebook post.

Ilhan Omar

"I spent yesterday afternoon at the White House, learning about policy ideas states could implement in the areas I am passionate about," the Somali-American Democrat writes. "On my way to our hotel, I got in a cab and became subjected to the most hateful, derogatory, Islamophobic, sexist taunts and threats I have ever experienced."

Omar, a former refugee, was the first Somali-American to be elected to a state legislature in November. 

She claims the driver called her "ISIS" and threatened to remove her hijab.
ilhan omar fb post threats in uber

Omar's story arrives less than a month after the election and subsequent surge in hate crimes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 867 reports of hate crimes in the ten days after November 8.

"The incidents documented here almost certainly represent a small fraction of the actual number of election-related hate incidents that have occurred since November 8," the SPLC writes. "The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported to the police."

Mark Potok, a senior fellow and expert in extremism at the SPLC, told ATTN:'s Kyle Jaeger there was a clear link between the election and the increased number of hate crimes. 

"For one thing, it coincided precisely with the immediate aftermath of the election," Potok told ATTN:. "More obviously, in a very significant number of these incidents, Trump's name was invoked directly by the perpetrators in a variety of different ways."

"I am still shaken by this incident and can't wrap my head around how bold [sic] being are becoming in displaying their hate towards Muslims," she writes. "I pray for his humanity and for all those who harbor hate in their hearts."

Omar's post does not mention if she filed a police report on the incident. ATTN: reached out to a representative of Omar for comment and will update this post if we hear back. You can read and share her full post on Facebook.

[h/t the Hill]