Home Opinion Why US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar attempts to sabotage Bangladesh’s garment export?

Why US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar attempts to sabotage Bangladesh’s garment export?

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Garment Production

To millions of people throughout the world, Democratic Party’s Somali-born Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is seen as the mouthpiece of Islamist, anti-Semite and jihadist forces.

Supporting October 7 Hamas pogrom in Israel she introduced a resolution in the US Congress seeking ban on supplying weapons to Israel for fighting Hamas terrorists in Gaza. She also issued a press release stating Israel’s military operation in Gaza would have “disastrous consequence”. Omar’s hatred towards Jews and Israel is so intense that she even did not hesitate in sharing a fake image of dead children alleging that they were Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. After a fact check by several agencies, it was found that the images of dead children were taken from an article by National Geographic in 2013. The dead children were from Syria, who got killed due to a chemical weapons attack on August 21, 2013.

On December 18, 2023, Ilhan Omar issued a press release titled ‘Reps. Omar, McGovern, Schakowsky Lead Letter Demanding Living Wages for Bangladeshi Garment Workers’ stating: “We are writing to urge the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) to strongly support the demands of Bangladesh’s garment workers for fairer wages”.

While Omar and few more members of the US Congress are calling upon the American Apparel & Footwear Association to ensure “fairer wages” for workers in Bangladesh’s ready made garment sector, they are fully unaware of two things – Bangladesh already pays standard wages to the workers, while American and European buyers are buying goods from Bangladesh by paying much cheaper price. If the wages have to be further increased, the average production cost shall increase, resulting in an increase in price of the finished products thus forcing end-buyers to pay a higher price. Can the American and European buyers increase the existing purchase prices? Can the consumers in the West afford this price hike? In fact – they can’t. Knowing this, Ilhan Omar and others have written the letter, simply to serve the political agenda of Bangladesh’s ultra-Islamist forces.

According to the press release, a letter written to Stephen Lamar, President and CEO, American Apparel & Footwear Association was signed by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Jan Schakowsk and co-signed by Reps. Raúl Grijalva, Barbara Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, David Trone, and Susan Wild. Following issuance of press release by Ilhan Omar, activists and lobbyists of ultra-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), including Jon Danilowicz began enthusiastically circulating it on social media platforms, as this letter was arranged as part of BNP, Jamaat and other Islamist forces in Bangladesh in toppling Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and turn the country into a neo-Taliban state.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party is heavily inclined towards Lebanese Hezbollah and Hamas. According to media reports, in 2006 then coalition government of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami named a bridge as ‘Hezbollah Bridge’ honoring the Lebanese terrorist group. The bridge is located in the southern part of the South Asian country, spanning the Batakhali River in an area known as Cox’s Bazaar. Junior communications minister Salahuddin Ahmed named the bridge after the Lebanese group at the height of Hezbollah’s war with Israel.

The bridge was renamed in 2013 by the Awami League government.

Bangladesh’s former Foreign Minister M. Morshed Khan and a senior leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) issued several strong statements on the war, calling Israel’s actions “state terrorism” and “religious terrorism” and accusing the United States of sponsoring it.

Ilhan Omar and few other members of the US Congress have enthusiastically joined hands with BNP, while this ultra-Islamist party is making frantic bids in sabotaging Bangladesh’s prospective readymade garment sector thus pushing over 4.5 million workers towards unemployment, so that it can turn Bangladesh into a nation in trouble.

Ilhan Omar’s statements surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks on US soil, her views on Israel, and her personal associations have sparked debates and prompted scrutiny into her background.

Her remark downplaying the severity of the 9/11 attacks by stating “some people did something” has drawn criticism. Similarly, her assertion that America’s support for Israel is motivated by money (“it’s all about the Benjamins”) has ignited debates and accusations of promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Omar’s background has raised questions about her family’s history in Somalia. Her father moved to the United States with her in 1995 after spending time in a camp for Somali refugees in Kenya. There have been conflicting reports about her father’s background in Somalia, with some claiming he was a teacher and others asserting he was associated with the repressive government of dictator, Said Barre.

In 2009, Omar married Ahmed Elmi, who some believe is her brother. The marriage allowed Elmi to attend North Dakota State University. The legitimacy of this marriage has faced scrutiny, and questions remain about its purpose, particularly it is stated that Ahmed Elmi is a son of Nur Omar Muhamed – Ilhan’s father.

Furthermore, Omar’s travels have attracted attention. She visited Qatar, where she posed for pictures with soccer star David Beckham and reportedly received support from Qatari authorities, raising concerns about foreign influence.

In 2022 Ilhan Omar and her new husband jetted off to Doha for the World Cup games where she shared pictures of them posing with soccer star David Beckham and an unknown man in a burnoose. Omar offered scant further details on the trip where she was seen in the stadium with a good view of the games, but in her financial disclosure she was forced to reveal that the Qatari authorities paid for her meals and hotel room.

The Qatari Embassy in Washington, DC, confirmed it had paid for Omar’s visit to the Gulf kingdom last year. The congresswoman “accepted an invitation from the Embassy of Qatar to attend events in Doha in November 2022” a spokesperson told Jewish Insider, “as part of a program authorized under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act”, or MECEA, which allows House members to take trips funded by foreign governments provided that the travel is later disclosed in their annual financial statements.

Two months before the visit, Omar was among a group of House Democrats who signed on to a letter expressing “dismay regarding FIFA’s inaction and heel-dragging on human rights abuses in Qatar” — and requesting a “written response” concerning FIFA’s “commitment to concrete steps for migrant worker compensation and empowerment”.

Ilhan Omar had previously been accused of serving as a Qatari asses in a Florida court case against a member of Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family who had, according to a lawsuit, ordered murders on American soil. During the case a Kuwait-born businessman had submitted a deposition claiming that Qatari officials “recruited Ilhan Omar from even before she thought about becoming a government official… They groomed her and arranged the foundation, the grounds, for her to get into politics way before she even showed interest”.

Reports have also suggested ties between Ilhan Omar and Qatari officials. She was accused of being a Qatari asset in a Florida court case, where a businessman claimed that Qatari officials groomed her for politics.

Omar’s visit to Pakistan also raised eyebrows due to her interactions with political figures there. She met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who has initiated negotiations with Al Qaeda, and former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had referred to Osama Bin Laden as a “martyr”. Her stance on Kashmir and association with individuals linked to extremist ideologies drew criticism from India’s foreign ministry.

Reports indicate that Omar traveled with Tahir Javed, a Pakistani Democrat donor, who hosted a fundraiser for her and donated to her campaign. Javed has met with politicians from both the United States and Pakistan, raising concerns about foreign influence in American politics.

During Ilhan Omar’s trip funded by Pakistan, she visited parts of India’s Kashmir territory illegally occupied by the Islamic nation. India’s foreign ministry responded by accusing the radical congresswoman of “violating our territorial integrity and sovereignty”. Omar would later announce a boycott of Indian Prime Minister Modi’s speech to Congress while claiming that the leader was cracking down on the Muslims occupying India’s Kashmir area.

She met with Taliban and Al Qaeda allies in Pakistan’s political establishment and took the terror state’s side in its demands on Kashmir. According to official reports, she described her fight against “Islamophobia” with former Prime Minister Imran Khan who had utilized blasphemy laws to persecute Christians. Prime Minister Sharif, who had sought to negotiate with Al Qaeda, celebrated Omar’s “courage of convictions and her political struggle”.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research-scholar, and Editor, Blitz, a newspaper publishing from Bangladesh since 2003. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers. Follow him on X @Salah_Shoaib

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